I passed this place yesterday.
Once upon a time, it was a small un-pretentious Pueblo-Mex restaurant called Pio Maya that specialized in delicious roasted chickens.
But now, it specializes in video games and comic books while you eat burgers with guacamole in them.
Stuck in a small corner near the NYU stretch and the West 4th Street Subway Station, “Planet Action” seemed both willfully bizarre and too nerdy to exist.
Also, it seemed like a terrible idea to combine these things (though I heard from Ro-formerly-Beardo that a place called “Barcade” does something similar).
I could only imagine, your controller would get greasy, not to mention the comic books.
You would spill some pico de gallo on your X-Box and then you would be in real trouble.
Microsoft wasn’t going to repair that shit.
On top of that, no self-respecting gamer would go someplace to play Madden or Oblivion in front of other people when he could just order in and do so at home in his underwear with a 2-liter soda or malt liquor of his choice.
Still, I felt like trying it since, by virtue of its willful insanity, it seemed still like the sort of place a gamer might open.
Alas, there was no non-meat entree.
When I asked about a turkey burger advertised on the menu as “TOP SECRET BURGER X!”, the owner said he had made them but nobody had bought them so he had given up.
I left disappointed, but I still would like a meat-eater to try it and see if they find the experience satisfying.
As I have said in the past, it’s my belief that my friend Jason Lee is a better, if not much-much more depressing writer than I am.
His most recent post is a meditation on his job search upon reaching the holy land of the savaged post-collegiate coastal-intellectual: Austin, TX.
There he lists over 46 places he has applied for jobs, some for which he is ludicrously overqualified (Test Prep, Bookstores) and some for which is he under (Administrative Assistant, Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Government) but all of which, through numerous follow-ups seem to only irk him further on a plateau of post-jobless-despair boredom.
The list would be funnier if it wasn’t true and is also funnier that it is.
In any case it’s a sad and true attempt to depict the difficultly for the post-collegiate in getting jobs which previously were assumed to be shitty enough to hire anyone (a story about an ice cream-chain in Jason’s post particularly comes to mind).
Anyway the post, along with the rest of his deadpan, Scandinavian-misery blog is worth checking out, whether you know Jason or not.
He’s linked on my blogroll, but here’s the post direct.
Finally, come see my show.
We’re sold out but last night was the first night I felt I did really well.
I feel like as previews go on, I am beginning to get freer with my performance to ease up, to try things, to become more “natural”.
I remember meeting with Michael, my director, in Washington Square Park where he showed me the lines for one of my scenes and asked me to just read them naturally, which I was amazed when I was unable to do.
I felt a queasy feeling, like I had gipped him, considering that he had hired me as a non-actor for my natural persona. But the problem was is that I only knew how to portray the exaggerated character of “Nick Feitel” in performance and not the way I was daily added on to a script.
“You’ll do it when you know it better.” He said. “You’ll do it when you know the lines so well that speaking them is like talking about girls. Or magic cards. Or whatever else you talk about on your blog.”
Last night was the first night I felt that ease as, seasick with a headache from my second show of the evening, I settled in to a scene with an uncaring ease, using my pissy-ness for the work.
“Fuck, that was good.” I felt afterwards, the first time in my performance of the show that I hadn’t panicked about my own performance looking towards Michael for some brand of reassurance he couldn’t offer considering the 10 other actors he had to manage along with the one he was replacing temporarily as she headed to a Wendy’s commercial.
Last night, the actor I grew up downstairs from, Jay O. Sanders, came to see the play with his family (including a rambunctious son Jamie who had Facebook-snubbed me as a building dweller, but added me after the show).
He was, as always, professional and in good cheer, willing to support a “friend” as he generously described me to another peer working the show who he knew. Mr. Sanders was always like that, leading a cheer for me on my on film set and inspiring the people around me.
In the swirl of emotion and Tylenol and passing seasickness I even did something crazy and invited my last interviewee, the writer-director Whit Stillman to come see the show, who I barely knew at all and who had just been nice to me when I interviewed him.
I emailed him at 12:05 and was amazed when he responded to me within the hour saying that he’d love to come “if it wasn’t too shocking” and that he would let me know what day when he returned from Los Angeles.
He’s a generous guy and I won’t hold it against him if he can’t come, but nonetheless the giddiness of a filmmaker I admired coming to see a show.
Still, it didn’t stop me from feeling the pain from my shin I had bumped during the show, throbbing through the Tylenol I had taken for my headache earlier in the evening.
“I can’t see you tonight” I told my girlfriend over text-message. “I don’t think I would be any fun. I’m feeling a throbbing mix of abrasion/head pain and seasickness, also I miss you.”
“Three Similar Sensations!” She exclaimed.
And I kissed my phone in a way that I had told her was less a desire to french my iPhone and more about missing her, as I tucked the phone under my pillow and tucked myself to sleep.
A Burger and an hour of video games- $5
8th St bet 6th Ave and MacDougal St.
ACEBDFV to West 4th. R to 8th St-NYU