30 Days of NYMF on BroadwayWorld Day 25: The View From Here

Calls of the Wild

By Timothy Huang

"This is fantastic Tim, really," says David.

"My musical?," I ask.

"No," he sips, "this latte. Its fantastic. Seriously, you have to try it. A spry smile forming on his face. Here Im on my first cup of coffee and the battle of wit has already begun."

Touché. I raise my cup. Point: Grimm. "You know you love my work." Another spry smile.

Its 4:00 in the afternoon and somewhere between Washington Square and whatevers south, Im enjoying a thick slice of humble pie with my coffee and conversation. Its just getting on the beginning of fall and like a masochistic lemming, I obey the call of the wild and submit myself to an audience with friend, playwright and sparring partner, David Grimm. My musical, The View From Here opens at the New York Musical Theatre Festival around the same time his play, The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue does the Hartford Stage. Today is all about getting notes.

"Seriously though," I continue. "I gave some thought to what you said about the distinction between comedy and humor, and how there's humor in everything- especially pain."

The View From Here is, on one level, about a young novelist who comes to the city braving many painful misadventures to get his first book published. Something I am vaguely familiar with, having had to sell both kidneys and my unborn child to get my first musical And the Earth Moved off the ground last year.

"Absolutely, "David agrees. "Who wants to laugh at someones shtick when you can laugh at their pain instead?"

"This is what I'm saying!," I gesture with my hands. The other day, Shonn [Wiley, the show's lead] and Elizabeth [Lucas, its director] were asking me about the origins of the Three-Part-Rant number.

"That thing where he gets tazered because the security guard thinks his hat is a purse? That didn't really happen to you, did it?"

Guess. I nod my head. You don't know what suffering for your art means until you've been told by a girl named Latrine to scan the purse or kiss the floor, punk.

"Well what's the point of even living in the zoo if you can't write about the animals?" David laughs, "I mean, you've had to work with some really bizarre creatures."

"Whaddaya mean," I ask, "it's not like Ive ever worked with you. Are you gonna eat that? Point: Tim.

Timothy Huang is an actor and writer in New York City. He has made appearances on "Conan O'Brien," "SNL" and HBO's "The Sopranos." His one-act musical, The View From Here will premiere at NYMF this fall. (Sept 27 - 8:00pm, Sept 29 - 4:30pm, Sept 30 - 11:00pm, and Oct 2 - 1:00pm) at the 45th Street Theatre, 354 West 45th Street. His full length And the Earth Moved was an audience-voted favorite at last years NYMF. And he really hopes you like this one too.

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