Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Performance of a Lifetime

This past weekend was the wedding of my bestest friend in the whole wide world.  It was such a beautiful weekend and wedding.  I felt so relaxed and just....I dunno, at home the whole time.  Yeah, that's it.  Only I wasn't home, I was in the Berkshires.  This was SUCH a beautiful wedding.  The setting was idyllic, the ceremony heartfelt, the bar was deep, the dancing tunes spot on and the food was rahhrrrrrr.  I was asked to make a wedding speech and I was excited and humbled to do so.  This speech quite possibly could have been the performance of my life.  I might actually make it into a monologue, no joke.  Everyone laughed at every joke, they sighed at every mushy detail.  As a performer looking at it, I think I was effective because I truly meant every word that I said.  Every noun carried meaning, every adjective carried meaning etc etc etc.  Here is the speech with names taken out.  It's equipped with actor notes.

"Hello my name is Phillip ______  and I am a life long friend of (GROOM).  I believe a toast is in order for the parents of the bride, to Robert and Mary - thank you for such a beautiful day and for all of your generosity, as well as the parents of the groom, Tim and Wendy.  Cheers to you, for such a beautiful day as well.  And finally an extra special toast for Gordon and Mary for allowing us to enjoy this rather bucolic (BYOO-Kah-lik) property.  (aside) I am a fan of Virgil's lesser works.
How does one define a wedding?  Webster defines it as: the fusion of two hot metals.  (beat) Right?

This definition rings true with BRIDE and GROOM.  GROOMis whatever metal is really cool and knowledgeable.  Such as.......Aluminum!  Being a nice blend of athletic and smart, It can be a baseball bat or a sliderule.  Aluminum also serves as the bristles of a grill brush, which reminds me of his full beard.

BRIDE is platinum, mostly because it's precious. Platinum is also used in medical equipment.  Did you know that the Hope Diamond is set in platinum? Neither did I until I googled it.  When people see the Hope Diamond, they fail to notice the quiet elegance lying underneath - and that is the essence of BRIDE.  

Separate they are just two useful and highly sought after metals, aluminum and platinum.  But together, they are platuminum.   

Metallic analogies aside; GROOM is in many ways, the brother that I never had.  It wasn't always like that though.  We were inseparable from birth until my folks moved to Bergen County New Jersey - I being four years old, came with them.  The GROOMS FAMILY and MY FAMILY would see each other a few times each year, typically during holidays - including, but not limited to Thanksgiving and Easter.  After college, GROOM and I lived together in Chelsea.  I was the largest person in the apartment and I had the smallest far. 

But I'm totally not bitter about the “small room thing” because in that grimy walkup is where our relationship blossomed into what it is today. 

I had the pleasure of meeting BRIDE at that time as well.   BRIDE would visit during the week and she would give apartment number four some much needed elegance.  She would arrive with goodies for GROOM, which I would pilfer after he went to bed.  (Sorry about that) That's another great quality of BRIDE, she is able to pick the best ice cream flavors.  Chocolate with Cayenne?  It's delicious. That's how I know that BRUDE will be a great wife, she will take care of GROOM!  She took care of me, and who was I?  I was just some guy who lived in the maids room off the kitchen.  When BRIDE was gone and we were left to our own devices we would watch the Mets, drink scotch and grunt at each other.  GROOM is definitely the “agra” to BRIDE’s “dolce”.

So today is a great day - I am not only seeing my brother get married, but I am also gaining a sister.  Here's to the two of you - congratulations and I love you very much."

After the speech I was thanked by the bride and groom, that felt really nice, I could tell that they really enjoyed it.  I was then thanked by the father of the groom.  If the thanking and congratulating had stopped there it would have been perfect. I, no kidding stopped counting how many times I was congratulated at 103 times.  I kid you not.  This is not an exaggeration.  I achieved celebrity status.  And I gotta tell you it became a little annoying.  I always knew that I didn't want to become famous as an actor.  But that day and the next day I realized what it could be like for someone famous.  I know that I am sounding a bit weinerish to you, and perhaps I am indeed a weiner regarding this matter.  I also know that people's compliments came from a nice place and they did truly mean those things.....but believe me, it gets really really annoying to constantly tell people 'Thank you!  I'm glad you enjoyed the speech, it means a lot to me."  I was even thanked by a few people 4+ times.  There were only 135+/- at the wedding so 103+ compliments is an outrageous number.

The compliments were bizarre.  People were like "That speech made the wedding so special!"  No, dickhead, the wedding made the wedding special!  These two beautiful people decided to combine their lives together in front of their closest friends and family.  That was special. Not some speech!  A speech should never usurp nuptials, no matter how fantastically delivered.

I was not the only person effected.  My wife was absurdly marginalized.  She was no longer Dawn, or Phil's wife.  She was now, the wife of the guy who made that great speech.  She was completely devoid of any identity!  Ha.  She would introduce herself, and people would recognize her taken name and they'd ask her if she was my wife.  She would say yes.  What would they say?  They told her congratulations!!!!! HA! 

Possibly the most outrageous compliment came when the photographer, the next day, at the brunch said "Hey, that speech was excellent last night, thanks for that!"  Why is he thanking me???!?!?!!?

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