My Life in a Nutshell, Emphasis on Nut

Oct 12, 2020

My father used to say, as a key to pronouncing our last name, that you have to sneeze when you say it.  It works! He said some other things about sneezes when I was teenager that had to do with them being the closest thing to an orgasm, but let’s not get into that for now.

I have always been a writer, first writing songs in my head, then stories. Never serious enough to be published because I was learning all those jack-of-all-trades jobs that paid the bills and gave me the stories to tell in the first place. I’ve delivered newspapers, been a dog sitter, a shoe salesman, a shoe store assistant manager, worked at McDonald’s, been a house painter and had my own company for a while, rebuilt motorcycle and truck engines and all the tune up stuff, worked sanitation at an ancient Wonder Bread bakery, done landscaping and gardening, learned a bit more than basic carpentry, drove a forklift, I worked delivering for a courier service and sorted LP records at a warehouse, cleaned apartments and ultimately became a pretty decent cook/chef specializing in saute and, my jedi skill, omelets. Done banquet cooking and worn the chef’s hat at giant buffets. Managed a couple of restaurants briefly.

And drove a taxi for several years at night in San Francisco.

In my twenties I met actors and pretty much everything changed  I went back to school and basically, because all my general ed was done I just acted for a couple of years and they threw a BA degree at me.

I started directing too and writing more and more. I wrote plays, screenplays galore, animated series, newsletters, essays, poems, songs, books and even a musical.

As an actor I mostly worked on stage doing seasons as a lead actor at the Berkeley, now California, Shakespeare Festival and then the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for three years where I added teacher and stage combat choreographer to my resume.

I met my wife Michelle in that era and many years later we adopted twins from Bolivia.

I’ve worked at some other theaters: Portland Center Stage, San Jose Stage Company, Kern Shakespeare Festival and PCPA (briefly.)

And then I worked for 25 years with Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, and learned to produce, write new things, direct new things and we did plays, books, online content and movies and we founded a non-profit for after school kids programs. We hosted the most amazing poker fundraisers!

There are a myriad of stories from every one of these walks of life.  I’ll be dropping some on you.

Kjeers

4 Comments

  1. Dean Blehert

    Enjoyed your musings. Smooth. The website below has my poems, musing, etc., and many of my wife’s paintings.

    Reply
  2. Dean Blehert

    By the way, I, too, drove a cab: Was a NY Hack for a few months in late 1970, then, on a 1 yr. A year and a bit more driving in NY. Later I drove all over the L.A. area for nearly 3 years delivering police assoc. show tickets to homes and businesses.

    Lived in SF area too (1963-7), loved to drive/walk SF streets, but never drove a cab there and got to play Bullett. (I was a grad student at Stanford, awful confession to make.)

    Reply
  3. Peter J Kjenaas

    NY cab driver, the deep end of the pool! I’ve always liked delivery jobs, something about completing the act of destination. Tidy. I miss SF for sure.

    Reply

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