My name is Sean Christopher Lewis my story "ISN'T IT SLO-MANTIC" was part of last week's This American Life. You can listen to it here.
I would like to pitch a story to you. When I was in college I got offered the opportunity to audition for a famous avant garde director in Manhattan. I took off from school and headed down to an apartment in SOHO. There were no markings on the door. I rang but no one answered. i was a little early so I circled the block and came back. When I returned I rang again. An ominous voice said "hello?" And then buzzed me up. When I got off the elevator there was no one there to meet me. Just a long stretch of hallway leading to an open door. In the room it led to, there were nothing but stacks of books, a maze of shelves, and there around a corner... The Director.
He was looking at a book of nude photography- Helmet Lang- and told me to sit without ever looking at me. He then put down his book and said that he didn't know what he was doing there because he couldn't audition me. After all "what was an audition?" I was dumbfounded. This man was famous and according to my teachers this whole encounter would change my life. Quickly it seemed like a nightmare. So he told me to stare at him and make him feel like shit. wHICH i attempted- mumbling things the whole time- till he told me to shut up. He didn't "ask me to talk." Just stare. So i did. For a real long time. Until he got bored and said "all right boy I'm tired of that game. Now I want you to find a book on my shelves and i want you to read me a quote from one of them about how great I am."
And I started wondering how I got here. I had dreamed of meeting this person. Truly, a hero of mine. And here i was being barked at like a dog, demeaned- and willingly going along with it.
I found a book on the shelf with a Tristan Tzara quote and I read it. it talked about how the "Great one was a fool and a charlatan." He smiled and said "the great one! That is me. Now put my book back boy. i don't like people touching my things."
I wanted to hit him. For crushing my dream in front of me. I threw the book at his feet. And challenged him.
And he looked up, smiled and said: "Congratulations. You're cast."
This is obviously the synopsis of it all. But gives a sense of the over all story. As well, if you have a contributor's list like TAL for shows in progress that need stories I'd love to be added if you like.
Sean Christopher Lewis