VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve ever had at a reading?
GACHMAN: My first reading was at a comedy theater in Hollywood. I was nervous. I asked a friend to bring me some Beta Blockers, and I took half a pill, just to keep myself from shaking. I figured the other readers would be on Beta Blockers too, or at least drunk. You know, writers. Not so. They were all actors – thespians – people who love rolling around on a stage and emoting. Fine, I can make friends with most everyone, I thought. Why should thespians be any different?
They told us to hang out in the green room, and to my horror all the other readers were doing stretches, voice exercises – one woman was miming. I felt totally alone. I focused on my essay and read and re-read the thing over and over, pretending not to be distracted every time someone yelled out, “ooo-eeee-oooo-aaaa!” or “blah-blah-blah-BLAH!” These people were not easing my nerves.
Nothing too crazy happened after the green room insanity – I got out there and read my essay about crazy people in coffee shops – one man in particular who told me about a play he wrote several years ago where he played a Tampon. If I see someone miming in a green room at a reading again, you can find me by the bar.