by Kevin Burke. @ke7inburke.
NEW YORK, NY - It’s a sad day in America when a member of the theatre community gets chastised for their traditions. Unfortunately, this has been all too common of an experience for me lately, with my treasured Broadway collectables being the source of ridicule among those closest to me.
So, until these cruel and unwarranted attacks subside and an understanding is reached, I feel the need to reiterate: IT’S VERY NORMAL THAT I COLLECT PLAYBILLS and also toenails.
Let me take you back to where this all started, when my “friend” Morgan came over to my apartment and noticed my collection spread out all over my bed, counters, and floors.
“Ew, what is all that?” he said, clearly not understanding how vintage some of this stuff was. “Dude, do you not clean your place at all? They’re everywhere.”
So I collect playbills! Since when exactly is that a crime?
I explained to him that a lot of people collect playbills in the theatre community, and it’s a common way to save a memory of their experience, and cherish the time they had. Sure, I’ll admit my apartment’s a little messy, but that’s no reason for people to be so needlessly judgemental.
“No, that’s not it,” he continued, with his hands on his head as if some kind of illness had overcome his ability to think clearly. “It’s the toenails. Why are there toenails everywhere? I’ve never seen so many fucking toenails – holy fuck – this is gross. I honestly view you differently as a person than I did forty seconds ago. What the hell is wrong with you, you sick freak?”
Well, I never…
In all my years involved in the theater, I never thought I would see people stoop so low. I hate to break it to you, Morgan, but I’m not the only one with toenails! We all have them, even you.
You see, I’m no different than anyone else in that way – just multiply it by a million and add a bunch of little plastic baggies where I’ll keep them all stored away until my death. Do you see how silly this sounds now? Childish, really.
So, to all my valued readers, I implore you to learn from my experience. In the future, if a friend feels comfortable enough with you to show you their collection of playbills or ten million toenails, please do not be disrespectful. Wear that trust as a badge of honor, because God knows jealousy looks bad on you.