Tom Avitabile: I’ll never forget good ol’ what’s his name

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This morning I had a shocking experience. I am sure very few people like it when they are confronted with their past. The best you could hope for is that, in the past, you didn’t make an idiot out of yourself – yet the potential and possibility remains that you can be incredibly embarrassed over the minor felonies and ‘it seemed funny at the time’ moments of your youth.

And so that was the threat this morning. I have recently been putting together a project in New York that will reinvigorate and relaunch and incredible theatrical/movie experience. It is Tom Avitabile, I’ll Never Forget Good Ol’ What’s His Name, it is a ‘Thank You’ card to both theatre and cinema, for all that I’ve derived from both of those disciplines, from being both a “mere” audience member and also as a practicing professional in both industries.

To that end, I have curated a team of wonderful, dedicated people who have allowed me the privilege of sitting at the head of the table, where I am free to pontificate about my grand vision of breathing new life into what I believe is just a wonderful theatrical/movie experience.

This morning, an article came my way from a 2006 issue of Backstage, which is the Bible of the film production and theater business here in New York.  I didn’t read more than the headline before shuffling it over to one of my associates. The question that accompanied his E-mail back to me was, “Tom, do you remember who interviewed you?” And I had no idea what that question meant because I wasn’t interviewed by anybody.

I was shocked to open the article and see myself quoted over three paragraphs, but more importantly, using the exact same words that I used days before at the head of the table. I was lost in the recesses of my hippocampus, trying to spark some sort of memory-kindling :

I don’t do drugs and I forgot this? How can I forget being quoted in an article, being interviewed in an article and having the article run and totally forget about it? Thank God I didn’t say anything stupid!

After all, I spend most of my days bringing characters through situations, and part of what makes a mystery or thriller work is what the protagonist knows and what he remembers. Clearly here, my life was not imitating my art.

We’ve all watched the T.V. shows where Sherlock Holmes, or somebody, gleans a small detail seen only to him. Inevitably, that golden nugget becomes the key to unraveling the fiendish plot of the bad guy.

Ergo: Remembering things is pretty high on the list of heroic attributes.

Recently I wrote a whole blog about my mantra: Adapt, Innovate, Overcome – and now I see I need to add one more element: REMEMBER.. I’ll tell ya, sometimes getting old sucks.


Hammer of God front coverTom Avitabile is the author of The Eighth Day and The Hammer of God. You can read more of his thoughts at his blog or follow him on Twitter! You can learn about his books at our website.

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On October 11, 2013
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