Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I Hate Small Talk. So, I Do This Sort of Thing
(Dr. Ken bumps into an old "friend" at the bar)
Other Guy: Dr. Ken! It's been a while! What have you been up to?
Dr. Ken: You know. S.O.S. You?
OG: (Talks for way too long about himself. And then . . .) Are you still writing?
DK: Not really. Kabuki Theater has been my new passion, and that takes up the majority of my time, to be honest.
OG: That's so awesome! Wait, what is that again?
DK: Oh, well, you know, a group of us guys paint ourselves white and perform. All the women parts too, which is usually what I get stuck with, being the new guy and all. Okay, I had better get back to my friends, but great seeing you.
OG: Hold on just a minute. When is the next performance?
DK: Oh, we're sort of in between theaters right now so it's a little up in the air, but we're fixin' to keep the Kabuki going. Kabuki or die is what we say in the industry. We're down for life. I mean, it is quite a commitment, especially since the traditional white paint we use doesn't wear off until the middle of the next week of our day jobs, so we kind of look like splotchy albinos until at least Wednesday. But, we suffer for our art. For our Kabuki.
OG: Wow! You've always been . . . different. You got a Facebook or a Myspace for your theater group?
DK: No way, man. Kabuki has always been sort of underground, and that's the way we like it. We don't tell a soul until 20 minutes before the show, at which time we run out onto the streets in full makeup and swords and round up folks, usually tourists. Scared ones. It's more organic that way.
OG: Yeah. I think I read about that in The Reader.
DK: I wouldn't doubt it. The Kabuki scene is getting a lot of press, which to me is no good. But, so be it. If it gets too commercial, we just take it deeper into the underground. Maybe cut off each others fingers to show we're true artists.
OG: That is keeping it real.
DK: No. That's keeping it Kabuki. You be good, man.
(Dr. Ken merges into the crowd, disappearing, leaving Other Guy to his phone, frantically trying in vain to look up information on the Chicago Kabuki Theater scene. Must be too underground to find . . .)