Monday, 17 December 2018


It’s always a shock seeing famous people without makeup. When you’re used to seeing a celebrity in movies or on TV, it can seem like you’re looking at a different person when you see them without mascara, lipstick or eyeliner. It’s amazing how transformative a little makeup can be—almost as transformative as my cousin Devin’s performances in such plays as Cabaret and Death of a Salesman in the Phoenix regional-theater scene. He recently earned a Rising Star nomination from the Arizona Regional Tonys, which should bolster his profile and lead to more bookings—and, god willing, allow him to work fewer hours at Menchie’s. You won’t recognize the following actors and pop stars without makeup—but you will damn well recognize my cousin as a force to be reckoned with in community theater!

Madge may be the Queen of Pop, but without makeup she looks more down-to-earth than regal. Speaking of regal, my cousin Devin earned a rave review from the Town Blurb, the third-largest neighborhood newspaper in Phoenix, for his performance as King Henry II in a production of The Lion in Winter. The reviewer took note of Devin’s convincing portrayal of a character far older than him, while offering some mild criticism of his tendency to loudly clap his hands together whenever he isn’t speaking.

This Oscar-winner may be one of Spain’s most glamorous exports, but sans makeup, she looks like the lovely yet approachable barista who brews your coffee in the morning. My cousin Devin played a barista in a play he wrote called Beany Baby, about two coffee shop employees who decide to steal Christopher Plummer’s chair. It ran for ten performances at the Arizona Theater Company until Christopher Plummer found out about it and sued them for defaming his chair.

The Santa Clarita Diet star may not be wearing the kind of accoutrements that we’re used to seeing her sporting on the red carpet, but that doesn’t mean she looks any less lovely! I’m proud of Drew’s stripped-down look, although not as proud as I am of my cousin Devin, who in 2014 managed to break the record for the longest production of Glengarry Glen Ross, at eight hours and forty-four minutes. He managed the feat by instructing his actors to leave eight-minute pauses in between sentences. Every audience member demanded their money back, and the Guinness Book of World Records refused to print his record due to what they deemed its “rank insignificance,” but I still admire him for earning no fewer than 400 death threats for his efforts!

The star of That 70’s Show and Black Swan rocks a casual, Sunday-morning kind of look here, as if she’s running to the corner store to grab coffee. My cousin Devin once threw hot coffee in his own face onstage to increase the buzz around a production of True West he was costarring in. There was no scene in the play in which anyone throws coffee in their own face, which made the decision more incongruous than compelling. It also didn’t help that Devin spent the rest of the performance writhing in pain on the floor while—it should be noted—still nailing his lines. Still, Devin’s decision was to me just as bold as Mila’s lack of blush, and presumably left more scars!

Monday, 5 November 2018


Trevor Hamilton, a data-entry clerk whose contempt for his tedious, completely inessential job has grown into silent yet consuming fury, announced today that he’s not really looking for new work right now.

“I don’t know, I just feel like I’ve settled into a bit of a groove here,” said Hamilton, who typically drinks at least six cups of coffee a day to give himself the energy to complete the repetitive, mind-numbing tasks that make up his work day.

“Plus, the pay isn’t too bad, and the people I work with are fine,” added Hamilton, who makes $15 an hour without benefits and eats by himself in the strip-mall parking lot across from his office so he doesn’t have to listen to his coworkers talk about the weather.

“I also just hate looking for work. It’s such a bummer,” he complained, without mentioning that he dreads getting out of bed to go to work so much that it often feels like an anvil is sitting on his chest when he wakes up.

The 27-year-old Hamilton was first hired at Rutherford Industries five years ago after graduating from university with a B. A. in Anthropology. He had originally intended the job to be a stopgap position until he found something more suited to his background and interests, a goal that never came to fruition.

“I don’t get it,” said Mike Thiessen, a friend of Hamilton’s since high school. “When I talk to him about his job, it’s clear that he hates it, yet every time I send him a link to an employment opportunity I think he’d be interested in, he never follows up on it.”

When told of Thiessen’s comments, Hamilton sighed. “Mike means well, but honestly, he can be a bit overbearing when it comes to telling me what I should be doing with my life,” he replied, neglecting to bring up that he routinely refers to his mode of employment as “my stupid fucking job.”

Hamilton, whose daily commute is marked by a mood of oppressive, suffocating gloom, claimed that his job “wasn’t ideal, maybe, but it’s, you know, fine. I just don’t see why I should just uproot my life and go through that kind of major change.”

At press time, Hamilton was standing in the office bathroom, staring into the mirror and swearing just out of earshot of anyone walking past outside.