Monday, September 21, 2009

When Worlds Collide. Or Something.

One day during the summer, I received an email from someone in Moscow named Martin, asking if I "still wanted to do any acting?"


Still do any acting?

I had no idea what this was all about, but made some cheery, non-committal reply like "I'm not in Moscow now, but when I get back, sure."

Martin asked to let him know when I returned.

Okaaaay. I did that. Fast forward to this month.

He sent me to audition for some voice-over work. (Haven't gotten any, but thanks. It was fun.)

Oh, have I mentioned, at this point we still have not met in person? I chat about him to the nice fellow who runs the studio where I made my audition tape. He concurs that Martin is a good egg. Certainly one-of-a-kind.

Friday, I get another email from Martin:

This Sunday we are having a little performance including a recitation of some of my own work.

Please come.

He includes the program which promises "a recital of poems & advanced graffiti," live music performed by a band calling themselves The Funkovich Project, an episode from Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter, "& the inevitable addition of some hilarious comic interludes."

The curtain rises at 19:00, and the "entry fee is optional," meaning they will pass the hat (or teapot, as it turned out) at some point during the evening.

All this just walking distance from our place.

The Spouse, having cosy-ed up with some vodka and a good book, declines to join me.

Fine. He can babysit.

So off I head into the soft Moscow night.

The evening is just as I expected.

I looked at Martin's website to make sure I could identify him at the event. Turns out that wasn't necessary, but who knew?

As predicted, the band is funky. There's a guitar, a bass, keyboards, and a sax. They seem to be speaking English, but it's hard to tell. They're not bad, actually. They suggest, at one point, that they are sort of winging it, but although there is a sense of a jam session at times, they don't seem unrehearsed.

During the music I look at the crowd and play the "Who's Hot?" game. This is a game The Spouse and I have refined over the years. In Slovakia, where there are only eight attractive men and they keep them on three-hour shifts, we used to sit on the Main Square and play "There's Your Boy/Girlfriend." I know another couple who play a version they call "Death Is Not an Option." It's always a good way to pass the time, so I scan the crowd, mentally rating the attractiveness of the men (it's Moscow, so the women are all off the chart . . . no need to keep score there).

Martin resembles the quintessential absent minded professor. Or English academic. Slightly formal, yet slightly rumpled, hair that refuses to be contained. Charming, but no doubt complicated.

Then there is Young Guy with Biceps sitting against the wall to my right. Goodness. He is very cute. And tall. Helloooo!

Next to him is Dude with Camera. Young and attractive too, he's taking pictures of the proceedings, but has become distracted by Gorgeous Young Russian Girl on my left. He takes her picture, but the camera's flash gives him away. She smiles, but indicates he should stop that. He makes himself a tripod of sorts, by steadying the camera on his beer glass so he can take pictures of her sereptitiously. She's flattered, but keeps waving at him to stop. He doesn't.

I watch the band for a while.

The sax player reminds me of someone. Can't think of who. But he is definately attractive. Seems to have both a light on and a sense of humor based on his interactions with the rest of the band. My. He's adorable.

The band finishes, the actors do their Pinter scene, Martin reads his poetry, and the band comes back for another set, this time with a pretty blonde chanteuse. They play a few more numbers including a rockabilly version of Sixteen Tons and an encore of Tainted Love.

I go home.

This morning I was reading the blogs on the right side of the page here --->

I hit on Impressions of an Expat, a blog by a fellow American who I have never met. He writes really well, almost poetically, about his experiences here in Moscow. Today, he has posted this link. Go on. Read it.

Isn't that too weird?

For a town of over 12 million people, it sure is small sometimes.