Before the 24

September 13, 2004

Tomorrow’s the 24 Hour Plays. It’s the celebrity version. As I have since 2001, I’m playing songs between the plays.
There’s always a meeting the night before, at 10 pm (the 24 hours runs from the meeting at 10 pm, the writers write ’til 6 am, each coming up with a ten minute one-act, the directors show up at 7 am and read the plays, the actors show up at 8:30; they rehearse all day, the show begins at 8 and is done by 10 pm)
So we all met at the American Airlines theater, a very swank Broadway house. There I was in a room full of celebrities.

A bunch of the actors have done the 24 in previous years; it’s great to say hi to, and be recognized by Rachel Dratch (I’m a huge fan), Rosie Perez, Billy Crudup. Although Billy Crudup actually went to school with my friend Matt Saldivar, and was apparently at a party at our apartment on Second Avenue in 1992. I should’ve been starstruck in advance; I’m such a fan of his performances in Jesus’ Son and Almost Famous. (At any rate, a guy got drunk at that party, and crawled out our window and tried to party on the ledge. It was a bad environment in which to be a showbiz Nostradamus.)
(Actually, a few months ago, I was walking down the Bowery and a Land Rover pulled up to me. “Hey! Hey!” I squinted to see who was driving. “It’s Rosie!” And so it was. Rosie Perez gave me a lift home. AWESOME.)
Matthew Lillard is doing them this year; I love the guy for his performance in SLC Punk!, the greatest punk rock story ever told. Very poignant for those of us who grew up in, or in the margins of, the 80’s hardcore scene.
Also Marisa Tomei, Christina Ricci, Anna Paquin, Lili Taylor, Adam Goldberg, more…a bunch of famous people, basically.
Everybody brings a prop to potentially be used. I brought my zhong ruan–a Chinese tenor lute that I bought in Shanghai a couple years ago. I played a few chords and the celebrities cooed impressedly.
So I’ll report in full when I return from the show tomorrow.