Sunday, August 28, 2011

My acting debut opposite Bill Streeter in George Malich's brain surgery series

My friend George Malich is producing and directing Life is Meant for Living, a series of improvised sketch comedy pieces based on the amazing experience he currently is undergoing with brain cancer and brain surgery.

In his new episode, "Day 9: The Conspiracy," George retells a remarkable experience from his brain surgery earlier this month. The expert brain surgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital kept him awake and talking for much of the surgery, to monitor what parts of his brain he was using so as to avoid cutting into any of his functional tissue while removing as much of the tumor as they could.

By all accounts, George was good, loquacious company while his brain was under the knife, as he depicts (with a fetching comic overlay) in the previous episode "Day 8: Awake Surgery." But when his surgeons woke George up, he pitched into a three-hour rage.

Curiously, the targets of George's rage were two local directors, Bill Streeter and me, Chris King. Bill is far more accomplished than me as a director, so I was flattered to be somehow sequestered in the directors' corner of George's brain with Bill.

With Poetry Scores, I have directed only one movie, though George has a prominent role in our second movie, currently in production, Go South for Animal Index. As I described in a recent post, "You Never Know What is Going to Happen, George Malich," we really had to rush and work George hard to get in his last scenes before his brain surgery. If there is a rational reason for such things, that's probably why George came out of a brain surgery in a three-hour rage at me.

But, as Rachel Cosic's character muses in this sketch, "Why Bill Streeter?" Bill -- who has never directed George -- asked himself the same thing. "Maybe George subconsciously wants me to direct him," Bill suggested.

That sounds good to me! I'm standing by to help that future project in any way. Given my highlight reel from this episode, my screen acting debut, I suspect it won't be as an actor.

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