How Did This Get To Be ALL About Me?

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Between the Lines of a Third-Person Bio.

“There has to be a way around it,” said Michael J Grady pacing anxiously through his bedroom.

“It’s inevitable,” I said, looking at my reflection in his mirror, “at some point, everyone has to write a third-person bio.”

“Everyone?” he asked, looking back at me.

“Everyone with a vanity website, at least.”

“It’s embarrassing!” he exclaimed. 

“Well,” I said, “You made your bed.”

He glared at my reflection for a moment.

“It’s just what you do,” I added.

“Is it? Is it what YOU do?” asked Michael accusingly.

I reluctantly admitted I was working on one.

“It’s absurd!” 

“Of course, it is,” I admitted.

“Who do you think you’ll be fooling?” I could feel him waiting for my answer in that annoying and condescending “Michael” kind of way.

“How did this become about me?” I asked.

“My point exactly!” said Michael, as he continued to pace.

I sat down at Michael’s computer and opened a Word file.

“Tell me about your writing,” I said.

Michael nodded and took a breath.

Most of my writing is . . . inspired in some way by the comic double act,” he said.

“Not terrible.” I said, “go on.”

“Well, I find the straight man and the stooge delightful, versatile, and compelling.”


“They’re the fundamental building block of comic writing. Through the stooge’s inability to understand and the straight man’s difficulty in explaining, they dramatize the folly and the tragedy of human communication. Comic masks have been a creative boon to me. Learning about the characters of commedia dell’arte and meditating on the make-up of classical comic characters – their statuses, their desires, their inability to see whole, and their tendency to land themselves in the same situations over and over, have opened me up as a writer and made a consequential impact on my worldview. How’s that?”

“It’s a start,” I said.

“What else?”

“Give ’em your background.”

I have degrees in Theatre and Education from Emerson College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. In 2004, I studied clowning with the New York Goofs, and the following year I went to Italy to study Commedia at the Accademia dell’ Arte (ADA). In 2008 I returned to ADA, where I lectured in Comic Masks and Clown Types and co-taught a year-long graduate course in Comedy Aesthetics. As a playwright, several of my short plays have been published and produced in Europe and the US, and one of them was a finalist at the Humana Festival. GOD! I feel like I’m humble bragging.”

“You are,” I said, “It’s kind of gross.”

“Should I start over?” he asked.

“I couldn’t handle it,” I said, “Just tell ‘em what you’re working on.”

I’m the head writer and co-creator of THE DEATH OF COMEDY, a radio sitcom and sketch show which has been airing on KPTZ (91.9 FM broadcast out of Port Townsend, Washington) for the last several years. I’m also uploading episodes of DINING WITH CANNIBALS, a satirical sci-fi novel that I am publishing in audio form on Spotify. I have other projects in various stages of development and I’ll announce them here.” Michael exhaled with a frustrated sigh, “Is that good enough?”

“It’s a bit long,” I said.

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