A.R. Gurney Wrote My Pickup Lines


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You’ll have to indulge me… I’m having a bit of a spousal pride moment. Yesterday, I attended a party held in honor of my wife who is retiring from her position with Orlando Health after 17 years. It is always nice to hear kind words of esteem and appreciation directed towards the woman I love. It came as no surprise – she has always impressed me.

I met her in 1991. I had just moved to Orlando and didn’t really know anyone in the area. I decided to audition for a community theatre production of A.R. Gurney’s The Cocktail Hour to help pass the lonely nights. During the process I noticed an attractive actress who was auditioning for a supporting role. I was delighted when we were both cast.

If you have never worked in community theater before, the process is a bit different. In professional theater, the object is to move the production from rehearsal stage to live audiences as quickly as possible in order to begin recouping production costs. In community theatre, there is an extended rehearsal process followed usually by a short performance run.

I got to know my future wife fairly well during the six weeks we rehearsed. Well enough for me to not want the show to end. When the show opened, the time we spent together was dramatically reduced.  Concocting a reason to stay connected and continue the flirtation, I suggested we run our lines backstage before the show started. I had never done that before in any other play.

The other cast members noticed our mini-rehearsal routine and wanted in. It wasn’t long before our four person cast was doing a full backstage performance of the entire show before the show actually started. I can’t say it served the play well. I know I had more than one deja vu moment onstage where I felt like we had already done a scene before we actually did it. But the audiences didn’t seem to mind. The show was held over by popular demand and a year later that actress and I got to deliver some more rehearsed lines… our marriage vows.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of films, videotapes, audio cassettes, photos and slides (and yes, we do have a digital copy of the show we did together as part of our memory collection.) For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.


Some Like It Hot


I was running late at the studio yesterday so, instead of coming home to prepare dinner, I stopped off at our local Thai restaurant and brought home some chicken curry. I ordered it medium hot. One bite and I was reminded that my definition of hot and the Thai definition are separated by a few hundred degrees. It reminded me of one of my very first dates as a shy and awkward youth.

After summoning up the courage to ask a young lady for a date, I sought advice from her friends on where they thought she’d like to go for dinner. The response was immediate and unanimous. “Chinese food,” they said, “She loves Chinese food.”

“Perfect,” I thought, not knowing my Moo Goo from my Gai Pan. But I threw caution to the wind and booked a reservation anyway. How hard could it be? Food is food.

I didn’t recognize a thing on the menu. I let her order her course and then relied on the classic fall back position. “I’ll have what she’s having.” What I didn’t understand then was what she was having was extra hot.

I have a few very specific physiological reactions to extremely spicy foods… none of which are attractive, especially if you are aiming to impress someone.

First my nose begins to run. Like a fire hose. Next my eyes water. Think Terms of Endearment on steroids. And then, (and I didn’t even know this was possible), I begin to projectile sweat. Literally.. sweat droplets would leap from my forehead like they were launching themselves from the decks of the Titanic and, to my utter embarrassment, without regard to where they might land.

Throughout all this I kept trying to make small talk to keep some semblance of order and dignity to the date. Thankfully the waiter noticed my plight and brought me extra bowls of rice with the helpful advice, “Eat. You feel better.” I would have replied but my tongue was now swollen to twice its size.

I never went back to that restaurant. I never had a second date with the girl. But now, with every Chinese meal I eat, I order an extra side of rice. One never knows.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitizing of film, videotape, audio tape, photos and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.