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  • rileysoloner

Dick and Balls Dracula

Yesterday I managed to squeeze out a blog post about being uninspired, deflated and unsure about the work. If I can give myself a bit of grace, at least I can say I did it. Another day, another blog. I'm proud for remaining consistent. Even if my mood isn't. Even if the quality isn't. They can't all be lightning in a bottle.

I took the train to the East Village for the night. An old friend co-wrote a new animated TV show. The writers and voice actors were in NYC wrapping up a tour to commemorate the completion of, and to drum up buzz for, The Show.

As I entered the back room, I spotted my friend in full Dracula-with-giant-exposed-dick-and-balls costume. We hugged and laughed. He warned me he's going to do "one of the worst bits, ever" tonight. I tell him, "you must not be familiar with my work."

Midway through the show, my friend enters from the crowd with a ghoulish laugh as the host puts his hand to forehead. "Oh god, this bit." My friend powers through the uphill battle, getting his laughs. It's a dumb bit. The jokes are all groaners. The host, my friend's writing partner undercuts the bit by repeatedly referring to it as "the bit."

I hadn't seen my friend in-person in, what, five years? We're friends from Camp. Fifteen years ago, I moved to New York and he moved to LA. We would catch up once every couple of years, relating on our hippy inspired weirdo-art-reconciling-with-entertainment-industry paths. I have always admired my friend and how we relate. We quietly root for each other but never stayed so close. But last night, watching my friend power through an admittedly dumb, charming and simple costumed character bit as the grizzled comedy veteran undermined / underdogged him, I felt remarkably close. I had been right there, and I knew how he felt. I knew what he was fighting through merely to try and make the bit work. I knew what the host was doing and what he could have done to light up my friend and the whole show.

We sat together at the bar after the show. We had a deep, long heart to heart about our art, our little journeys, what we're trying to do, our hyper specific communities and the characters we know. My friend didn't have a change of clothes. I sat at the bar getting sincere, philosophical and nostalgic with my good friend, a dick-and-balls-Dracula. It couldn't have been better. It's inescapable. These are my people.

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