by Kevin Burke. @ke7inburke.
NEW YORK, NY - In today’s ever-competitive field of entertainment, it can be harder than ever to break into show business. Whether it’s acting, singing, dancing, or some undiscovered fourth threat, it’s become increasingly clear that performers need powerful connections to help them along the way, not just raw talent and skill.
This is why I have handcuffed myself to the self-proclaimed “greatest showman,” Hugh Jackman, and swallowed the key.
My plan was simple: Stay physically connected to Hugh Jackman long enough for us to get to talking, exchange contact information, and maybe become best friends in the process – who knows where things could go?
I realized right away, however, that he was not the happiest camper, and this might take longer than I thought.
“What do you mean you don’t have another key?” said Jackman, who looked like he was about to go full Wolverine on my ass. “Wait a minute, you mean to tell me that you didn’t actually want an autograph, you were just waiting to trap me? Is that all this is? So, when you said that you loved The Music Man, you were lying then too? And to think I would’ve recorded a video message for your mom…”
I began using the de-escalation tactics that I practiced for hours beforehand, and reassured him that, no, sadly I did not have another key, and no, I was not lying: I loved The Music Man and he should be very proud of his performance as Professor Harold Hill.
It wasn’t working, however – and as Hugh threatened to call 9-1-1, I allowed my minimal improvisational experience to take over.
I told him that I understood how he must be feeling - getting handcuffed to a stranger with a dream was probably a huge bummer – but explained that the way he feels about being held against his will, well… that’s how I feel about my place in the entertainment industry.
I gave one final plea, asking him, quite frantically, to help free me from my metaphorical handcuffs, and in exchange, I could free him from his physical ones.
It was at this moment that the police came, broke the handcuffs with steel wire cutters, and threw me in the back of their police car.
You see, they’re friends of Hugh’s and offered to provide us a personal escort to the Tonys! We then spent the rest of the night rubbing elbows with the biggest names in show business, and more importantly, had a lot of fun along the way.
Fame and fortune, here I come!