September 21st, 2007


Misery, the good kind.

So, I'm still reading Happier. I'm enjoying it, and I'm happy to recommend it to other people. People who read books. People who like being happy. If you know anybody like that.

I was reading it today over dinner at my favorite local Chinese place. When the fortune cookie came, the fortune inside said "You will have good luck in the autumn". And here it is, not quite the equinox, but I've never met a cookie that was a stickler for a precise calendar.

I often go to this restaurant before going to my favorite local theatre, including tonight. I'm not only a season ticket holder, I've got my name on the various volunteer mailing lists, so when they come up an usher short, I'm happy to fill in. Most of their ushers are kids who need to do community service, and can't afford to see the shows otherwise, so in a way I hate taking slots (and free admission the nights they work) away from them. I've mentioned my willingness to "ride standby" on the ushering slots, but either it's never been an issue, or that's too much to worry about.

Anyway, so I was ushering tonight's play, "Misery". Yes, the one with Kathy Bates and a sledgehammer. Except not Kathy Bates, we're talking local repertory theatre. The cast (of two!) was terrific, and if you're into theatre, and into suspense (horror?), and local to Redmond - I strongly encourage you to go see it. The show's running through October 6th. Go, go, go.

Now, like I said, I'm also a season ticket holder, and I had seen the show last weekend. I wasn't entirely looking forward to seeing the show again, because it's that kind of show. There have been shows where it's fun to see it again and again. The previous show was practically Rocky Horror with its level of audience participation. (Man, I shoulda brought toast.) This one, not so much. Again, sledgehammer.

But I actually enjoyed it the second time around. I was focusing more on the performers than the performance, if that's a good way to put it. I wasn't so much wrapped up in the story, I was enjoying the craft of the actors. After the show was over and everybody was drifting through the lobby, the cast (both of 'em!) came out, and were greeted by friends and family. After a while, it was down to Mark (the actor playing the author) and I, and we were chatting about theatre (imagine) and whatnot, and I mentioned that I had been in The Man Who Came to Dinner back years and years ago, and wasn't that a fun show, too. Sure, but you can't put it on in a repertory theatre, what with the size of the cast, and having to pay them and so on.

And the conversation was winding down, and Mark says how truly thankful the theatre is for my help, and I say that I'm delighted to do whatever I can, whether it be standing behind a counter at intermission or pushing a paintbrush.

At this point, Mark takes a running start at a topic, and I wasn't exactly sure where he was going - "Dave, do you have any experience, or have you given any thought to being on a non-profit board?".


So we chatted about what that would mean, how the board is in a time where they need a few more people (read between the lines, some folks have left, which isn't great news, but it's an opportunity for young(er) blood to come in). Basically, there'd be monthly meetings, and I'd be one of the folks responsible for providing oversight to make sure the money isn't getting embezzled. The only prerequisite for the job is a love of The Theatre. Done and done.

... of course, when I say "job", it's not a job. It's an opportunity to serve a non-profit I already support in a new and more meaningful way. "Meaningful" is a buzzword from the book, much like "Quality" is from the motorcycle maintenance book. So, doing something fun and meaningful? Sounds great. I'll take two.