Greetings, friend! Welcome to the website, and welcome to the blog.
My name is Louis. I’m a scrawny, bald, middle-aged actor based in New York City. I’ve been here for more years than I care to contemplate – having grown up in a little seaside town on Long Island, NY, coming to the city was simultaneously a dream and an inevitability. Years later, well, here we still are. While my work has taken me to places near and far, it is to New York that I constantly return. It is a spiritual home, if by ‘spiritual,’ we mean ‘pushy, fast-paced, occasionally smelly, and utterly electrifying.’
Did I mention that I’m an actor? Here’s the thing about that: it ain’t easy. Unless one has acquired riches and fame, it can be difficult to frame the gig for people who are not in the business. Let me put it another way:
‘So, what do you do?’
‘I’m an actor.’
‘Oh, cool! So, what have I seen you in?’
The problem inherent in the second question is one of metaphysics. Not to be rude, but how would I know what you’ve seen me in? There’s also an issue of phrasing – I suspect the question is primarily a semi-polite way of saying, ‘have you been on the TV or in the movies?’ Or to be even more reductive, ‘have you acquired riches and fame?’
Frankly, though, the problem is more likely to be just me. To have arrived at middle-age and to have spent 20 years in the business without acquiring riches and fame can sometimes feel like a bit of a shanda, to tip my hat to my New York roots.
Why bother, then? one might rightly ask. I’ll try to boil it down:
What the gig, and perhaps more importantly the lifestyle, has been to me is a feeling of complete freedom. More often than not ‘the work’ simply doesn’t feel like work. Rather, it feels like some sort of a scam: there are people who will buy you a plane ticket and put you up in a condo somewhere so that you can dress up in outfits and pretend to be someone else. Weirder still, there are complete strangers who will pay money to watch you play pretend – and, at the end of it, clap their hands for you and put your name in the newspaper. It truly is the oddest thing. And for all of the occasional indignities, it really couldn’t possibly be more fun.
So why the blog, then?
I’ll be honest. I have a big milestone coming up this year. I’m working on a little project called Gravedigger’s Tale which recently got a booking in Hawaii. Once that booking happens, it will complete my visits to and performances in all fifty American States. To say that I find this both wonderful and bizarre would be an understatement, and my plan is to use this space as a reflection on twenty years of travel and performance.
If you follow along, you’ll find that I’m a little bit nerdy, I have a tendency to ‘mansplain,’ that I tend more towards the cerebral than the personal – my goal is to rectify that. I want to be vulnerable and honest, and I want to take you with me to Hawaii.
Come back here from time to time: I’ll be posting about each and every stop on the Gravedigger journey, starting with the three stops already in the can: South Bend, IN; Manhattan, KS; and Miami, FL.