The Lotus Tree Literary Review, Autumn 2022 (issue #1)

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32 | From the Editor

Portrait of an Anonymous Actor

I met my old friend, who requests anonymity, during the filming of an episode of The Other Side, a TV show that ran from 1994-1995 on the NBC Daytime schedule. We costarred in that particular episode, involving two snowplow drivers who were buried by an avalanche. I played the character “Eddie.”

My friend had established himself as an actor long before that gig and continues his acting career to this day. He has built quite the accomplished resume and is, extraordinarily enough, an international radio drama star! Yes, in this day and age, thanks to SiriusXM satellite radio and online radio. It’s interesting that new technologies have ushered in a radio renaissance of sorts.

During the 90s, he worked with legendary Seattle disk jockey Dave Yates at the classic rock station KJR 95.7 FM. On one occasion, we all got beers together at the Romper Room. The only radio acting that I’ve had the opportunity to do was for KJR, as a “stoned caller” requesting that Dave play a song by Pink Floyd. My friend had me run through the bit several times over the phone, recording a final version that was played on the air.

The 90s were for me an intensive period of writing and creating abstract and surrealist art long into the night. While by day, I painted houses in a stuporous, terrifically caffeinated and nicotine-buoyed fog, landing the occasional acting job.

I drew this portrait of my friend in my old Ballard apartment, which had a nice view of Fishermen’s Terminal and of Queen Anne. The Space Needle was on the other side of that hill, such that you could just see the top of it, hovering there like some monumental flying saucer, its antenna blinking in the rain – which may have served to further fuel my fascination with UFOs.

Though I was more dreamer than artist, I nevertheless followed the inspiration of my muse and perhaps that is what matters most, the very experience of participating in the creative process. Inspiration banishes gloom, filling one with a lively sense of purpose and presenting bright horizons of the possible. Like the ancient Andean tribe that is guardian of the world’s rain, whose vast and complex belief system overlays every aspect of their existence, viewing life through the lens of art and creative endeavor provided me with what I would now characterize as spiritual sustenance.

My friend saw things in a similar light. Our get-togethers were a laboratory of the creative mind, where ideas bubbled from test tubes and radiated iridescent from Erlenmeyer flasks.

It is a real pleasure to include this portrait of my old friend and this vignette in the debut issue of The Lotus Tree Literary Review.

[I had to apply a ‘cold’ filter to the image to remove the swaths of yellow that have discolored portions of the decades-old sketchbook paper. The original has warm tones.]

The Editor