Scavenger Hunt

I realized something today that made me a little sad: I haven't the patience nor the vocabulary to articulate the profound change Amsterdam is affecting in me. I wish I could write it out -- I'm sure it would be valuable to me in the future. And perhaps it would make for a good read. Unfortunately, I'm just too damn impatient to figure it all out, so I'll just have to keep writing down events in the hopes that their details will imply how overwhelming this experience is. Yesterday was the Boom scavenger hunt. Pep spent much of the last year and a half planning a full day event for the cast and immediate tech crew, and it all came to fruition over the course of 6 hours on Sunday the 2nd of March, 2003. At 14:00, we all checked into the irish pub "Hole in the Wall" and received our team breakdowns and first clue. By 18:00, I had biked all over the city. I had taken mysterious envelopes from waitstaff at cafes I had never been to before. I had followed photographs to a swamp where a bottle floated on the murky surface of black water -- which, once retrieved provided a digital code to a cellphone message that sent me to a man sitting at a booth in a restaurant across town. I had traipsed through a dutch jazz club looking for old medicine labels. I had used the internet in a basement at a coffeshop near the Leidsestraat, and pulled envelopes out of a tree in an unmarked park whilest a homeless man looked on with inebriated amusement.

I may spend all of my time with the same 20 people, but it's such critical play time that it's hard to believe I'm paid for it. Yesterday counted as a rehearsal -- we get Friday off because we had a treasure hunt.

I don't see how I can come back the same person.

I'm at boot camp. I'm in a comedy war. I'm in a sensory deprivation tank. I'm on paradise island. I'm in a foreign country, and I don't speak the local language very well. I'm growing comfortable with 20 new personalities, and no one I know at home will have access to them or understand it when I say, "Colton and I hung out at Haagen Daaz today." It's as inaccessible to you as this was to me before I arrived, and I'm not looking forward to the loneliness that will come when I move back some 15 months from now. I know I have things waiting for me at home -- and that much of life is in small pieces that form a much larger mosaic -- but it still seems such a shame that I can't share this with everyone at home in such a way that it will be more comprehensive. No amount of photos or entries or ticket stubs will submerge you in the atmosphere of A'dam the way that I'm drowning in it now. And once I leave, there will be no way to get back to it again.

Oh, right. I forgot to mention that my team won.

Today we started rehearsing and writing the next show, "Boom Saves the World." Here we go ...

P.S. Check out (click on reviews) in order to read the article about Jim, Suzi and I getting cast in the 2003 show. It's funny how a whim can change a life. I owe many thanks to Devo and Derrick.