"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Trap Dancing

Music from Three Walt Disney Movies: The Parent Trap, Summer Magic, In Search of the Castaways
Disneyland Records DQ-1318 
I pulled this record out of Goodwill on Thursday.  Cost me a buck. 

It had a $14 price tag from another store, from 2011.  It doesn't seem likely that an active collector would pay top dollar for a near-mint Disney soundtrack only to have the record donated to Goodwill two years later.  Foul play? Death in the family?  I know other stores donate unsold merch to Goodwill, but if it was overpriced at $14, why not just discount it?  Price it to move?

It's a conundrum.

I can't remember the last time I saw The Parent Trap, but I do remember owning the novelization.  Probably bought it at a Scholastic book sale at my school back in 1975. I've never seen Summer Magic or In Search of the Castaways.

Anyway, this post isn't about Hayley Mills and her guitar chops.  It's about synchronicity. On Thursday, I happened to pick up this record. Wasn't looking for it, didn't even know it existed.  Hadn't thought about The Parent Trap in years and years.

On Saturday morning, I met with a friend who's programming a reading I'm doing in May. Tania hosts a monthly reading series with five readers and a local band.  I participated last September, told a funny story about camping. In May, Tania is doing a one-off show in an 800-seat venue with ten readers and three bands.  Five Los Angeles-based readers, five locals.  She asked me to participate a couple of months ago, gave me a contract.  

For this, I am eternally grateful.  

I asked her if she wanted the camping story again or if I should write something new. She said she loved the camping story (it plays well, has some big laughs), but yeah, sure, knock yourself out.

I ended up writing a piece about my father, who died ten years ago. Not exactly loaded with laughs, but I was going for something different this time. Something personal, something quiet, something honest. Entertaining but reverent. It's about my father's life and death, not a rant about shitting in the woods.

I recorded the piece as a ten minute voice memo on my iPod Touch, brought it with me to coffee on Saturday.  I had a very nice chat with Tania and her French bulldog, Felix. Tania excused herself once to pee, and a second time to wipe some of Felix off the front of her pants.  It was almost an hour before we got around to talking about the May performance.

I gave her my iPod and sat while she listened.  She acknowledged the one big laugh I'd allowed myself, but mostly she went aah.  She did that a lot, she went aah.  

I found that very satisfying.  It's that kind of piece.  It ends with a whisper.  

She took off the headphones and returned my iPod.  She said, "this  kind of piece needs an intimate setting."  And she's right, it's perfect for a 100 seats.  

She asked me if I would read it in June or July, when the reading series returns to the smaller venue.  She said she could use this piece to establish the theme, an evening of parent-inspired stories.

This is what she scribbled in her notebook:  The Parent Trap.

And that, bitches, is what I'm talking about when I say synchronicity.

I gave Tania a hug and kissed her on the cheek and she took Felix to get his anal gland expressed.  

We have some vague plans to write something together this summer.  I hope it happens, I really do.

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