OK, so this guy from Freak Train has been buggin’ me to either help him with a skit, or work on one together. I finally caved. I also found out as we communicated via email that he enjoyed taking the pot. OK, whatever, no big deal. It’s not something I like to do, actually not something I’ve done and it makes me very uncomfortable, but I know other people do it and I’m OK with that.
We finally decide to get together and start talking about what to write about. I arrive at his house, or the house that he is renting until it gets torn down and rebuilt into a $1.5 (remember, million is always implied in ridiculous real estate – and wacky embezzlement figures by idiotic CEOs!) home. So, because it’s a temporary residence, the guy has basically no furniture to speak of. Actually, I’m HOPING it’s because it’s his temporary residence. He literally has a mattress in the floor in his room, one drafting table with a sewing machine on it, an old reclining chair, a non-matching ottoman, and a coffee table with a small TV, VCR, DVD player, and computer on it. In the back yard is a clothesline with a bunch of large potato or coffee sacks hanging on it. He picked the sacks up somewhere and planned on using them to decorate the house sometime soon. (Note: when I went back to this house for the second time, many sacks were hanging on the walls of the home, and he had 2 pair of jeans hanging on a doorway that kinda represented curtains. I have no idea why!)
OK, back to the writing. He immediately tells me that his phone isn’t working and he can’t get a hold of his "guy" (insert: dealer) so he may not have much creativity. He then proceeds to try to smoke the small remnants of burnt pot leaves that have fallen to the floor. I’m not impressed, but we start writing the skit and it’s kinda funny.
I went back a week later and we started polishing the script. He’s mostly sober this time and we start bouncing ideas back and forth. This thing is damn funny, and it jumps into all sorts of weird places. The perfect Freak Train skit has been penned, now we need to memorize it, practice, and perform it in a few weeks. I’m not sure how much I can rely on this guy, but I believe in the material, so I decide to stick it out.
In the next week, he keeps emailing me, changing things in the script. Not a big deal, because some things he added were pretty funny. But then he starts emailing me about how things are "really starting happen, ya know?" Ummm... Now he wants to take some head shots and put together a DVD and promo material. We haven’t even run lines yet, and he’s thinking we’re our own little SNL here?! I go back to his place that Friday night and we hammer out some lines. He’s having a little trouble finding his character, and that’s making me nervous, even though he’s sober. We make some progress and decide to get together on Saturday. To me, Saturday will be the day of reckoning. Either he’s found the character and we will perform, or he’s a flake and I’m done.
Saturday I get to his house and he’s sober and ready to go. We run through the first half of the skit many times and it’s very natural and seems to be going well. Then we add the second half, and we’re still working it well. We’re adlibbing some stuff and throwing in some other lines that seem to flow and this thing is coming together well. I’m getting excited! I’ve shared the skit with a few friends and family members and they all love it. I’m going back to his house on Sunday so we can get this thing nailed finally and ready for deployment.
I walk in the door on Sunday, ready to run some lines and finalize our project for the big Freak Train a week away. He immediately takes 4 bong hits after I walk in. Suddenly, I’m uncomfortable and he’s basically talking gibberish. I tell him I’m just not feeling it and we should try to get together during the week. I also let him know that the MJ makes me uncomfortable, so he says he’ll take it easy around me. Maybe my hint should have been more frying pan to the face-ish.
We originally said we’d get together on Tuesday, but it was my 8-year anniversary that evening and I had plans. So, Thursday was a go. He never called Thursday. I expected to hear from him on Saturday, but no. Sunday? Forget it. Finally, at 4:15 PM on Monday, the night of the show, he calls me to see if I’m ready and if I’m feeling it. Uh, no! I ask him where he’s been all weekend, and I’m getting dumb, pothead answers. I thought pot smoking was something people out-grew by the age of 38? I guess I was wrong.
In conclusion, I’m disappointed. The material is good, and I want it to see the stage, but I can’t rely on this guy or trust him. What can I do?