“Choice words and respectable inflections from a human washcloth.”
That was it . . .. that was the review casually posted in the bottom right corner of the “Arts and Leisure” section of the Sunday, March 22 2009 edition of the NY Times.
“Dissonant yet pertinent blabber from an amorphous blob of a man,” and “God’s little mistake literally rolls on stage in an inspired revival of Cat’s,” March 21st 2008, Seattle Arts Forum.
Then there’s my personal favorite: “Julian Puddles one man show: How I learned to Stand is literally half a man short and half a wit flat” and further “I found myself staring off during his intellectual ramblings on lunchmeat as symbolism for social and economic status, and getting lost in the numerous masses of skin gently laying across the freshly waxed stage like a giant human silly putty. Where is his jawline? Could he stick his own ear in his mouth? Are those his eyes or did someone spill marbles onto the stage that happened to land on . . . presumably. . . well I guess that’s his neck,” Broadway Magazine, November 21st 2007.
These were the reviews that poured in, as I would flex my dramaturgical muscles on stage. (Literally, my body isn’t capable of forming muscles; figuratively I’m the strongest fucking man you know). Yes it is true; I was born without a frame, without bones strong enough to support the flesh, blood, organs, and viscera that fuel every other living soul. With bones doctors estimate I’m about 6 feet tall 175lbs; in reality, in present state I’m about 1 foot tall, 150 lbs with a 3 ft. radius.
There it is, I said it, I have a damaging and irremediable disease listed in Stedman’s medical dictionary as Hemimelia. I have the most foregone, unfortunate, and untreatable version of this horrible, horrible affliction that doctors have resorted to calling it “Oh shit Hemimelia.” But people let’s get beyond that . . . you don’t need to hear how I used to get slept on during nap time in pre-school, or how my desk was a radio flyer in high school. You don’t want to hear how my least favorite food is pancakes and when I see Frisbees I get nauseous. For Christ sakes I went to Julliard, graduated top of my class, and have a voice that would make Bing Crosby sound like a Japanese Karaoke star. I have a masters in theater from NYFA, speak 4 languages fluently, and hold an honorary degree in Mythology and Folklore from Harvard (not Harvard extension.)
I’ll honor your inquisitions though; yes I look odd, and yes people stare. It is hard for me to make friends and get people to look past my exterior appearance. On a good day I look similar to what you may expect, like a somewhat handsome man smashed between two cartoon anvils, like the good ol’ Wyle-E-Coyote. I look vaguely and move exactly like “Brain” from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons in the early 90’s. Or here try this: I’m Brad Pitt, “Legends of the Fall” era Brad Pitt. . . ok got the picture in your mind? Sexy, fit, chiseled. . . Alright, now remove the bones. . . . Take a picture that’s me.
For some; one look at me can change your world, make you find a religion, make you commit to that girl you’ve been dangling like my limp right forearm, make you reveal your secret family in Mexico. Good I guess. But then. . ..well then there’s the bad days when I look like leftover liposuction and a poor toupee. When I look like a mentally challenged 3rd graders clay concoction that was left in the kiln a little too long, (he named me Fred). I have these days on stage, and people sit there in horror, people sit there in fear, some people sit there and even laugh. And all I can do is what I was born to do, I project my voice, squirm to my mark and use my God given gift to make people transform me into John Hamm, or George Clooney, hell I’ll even take Lyle Lovett. The point is they will get past my appearance and appreciate my talent.
Life has been tough for me I admit, but please give respect where respect is due. While I’m delivering my monologue please don’t imagine what it would be like if I was a gigantic omelet (yes I realize I could feed many starving nations). Don’t ask me if I am capable of sex, if I’m real or CG, if I’ve thought about selling my life rights to McG so he can create the next great action buddy comedy “Tito and the Blob: An Eddie Murphy and Julian Puddles Shoot-Em-Up.” I am an actor, I am talented. . . . you know how many actors truly make it in this world? Not a lot. Look at me; despite my affliction, despite the odds, despite my appearance I’ve made it, I’m on page six. I’ve got pictures of Marissa Miller and Meaghan Fox kissing where my cheek should be. And look at you, you poor miserable shmuck. Keep taking your acting classes, keep working at the Geisha house, keep driving your ford pinto to your Dentyne Ice commercial auditions. I’m a mass of human amalgamation, a talented damn blob, if I can make it then what the hell is wrong with you? Listen. .. . I’m sorry, I just get angry sometimes, but hey if things get really tough, you know really bad, you could always remove your bones, take a class at UCB, and enroll in Julliard.