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Spotted at O’Hare

Like many of the other good men and women profiled in this year’s “Solo Acts” article, I live a pretty public life. As a theatre director, writer, and artistic director, stories about my work get published whenever there’s a cool new play, and I’ve gotten accustomed to it.

But nothing could be stranger than the experience I had last week:

I was at O’Hare, departing for a business trip, and went to buy some gum. I looked over at the woman next to me, who happened to be buying the issue of Chicago magazine, and she was looking down at the Breakfast at Tiffany’s photo, and then looked up at me. I hadn’t yet seen the issue in print, and there was the picture, all two pages of it. She smiled and asked me if that was me, I turned strangely crimson and said it was, and left without the gum. I don’t know why it surprised me so, but I guess of all the places one wants to feel anonymous, O’Hare is number one.

I guess lesson one is everyone wants to know who is single.

* * *

Saturday night, About Face was honored at the annual gala of the Human Rights Campaign.  I accepted the Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign on behalf of About Face Theatre, and it was a really great night. Celebrating with me was “the other gay one,” Dwight McBride, who happens to be an old friend and a long-term member of About Face’s Board of Directors.

What was different was that about twenty different people came up to me and told me that they had seen the issue. I was introduced twice as “the eligible gay single” from Chicago magazine.

I guess one of the reasons I was excited to participate in the issue was to increase awareness about my theatre. But, unlike the last time I was featured in the magazine about two years ago for a play I was directing (the Chicago premiere of Take Me Out), this time, the recognition is so … well … revealing. Someone at the party told me how much they liked Wilco. Someone else started comparing notes about the best beaches in Michigan. A third guy told me he thought it was sweet that I talk to my sister every day.

So I think I’m burning through my fifteen minutes pretty fast. Now if only I can get a date out of all this, I’ll owe ["Solo Acts” writer] Noah Isackson a Coke.

[Eric]

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