A Spurt in the Spotlight

puppetryBy Christopher J. Cannon

The sweat started early that night. It must have been the multiple shots we slammed minutes before we went on. Feeling the moisture drip down my back and slowly work its way down my very cute bubble butt always took my mind off of what I was doing, but I hated being sweaty on stage. It was hot that night, and the 900 middle-aged, screaming drunk women chanting, “PENIS! PENIS! PENIS!” only made it hotter. I loved my job, but the one hundred year old theater somewhere in the middle of Canada didn’t have air conditioning, no surprise, and I was starting to regret my fourth tequila shot I had slammed before going out on stage.

Too late now. 

I tried to wipe my hands on my white naked thighs, which only made them worse. It was hard to remember what I was doing or what part of the show came next. Thank god I wasn’t alone up there. My partner on stage made the same stupid dick joke he always did, and it always got the same stupid laugh. He looked over to make sure I was functioning in a manner in which we could continue. At this point in our tour, we didn’t need to say anything to each other on stage. Our eyes told each other everything. He knew I was fine, just gassy from the Chinese noodles I shouldn’t have eaten on the ferry ride over to the venue, as well as wasted off my ass from cheap tequila. The front two rows that night got more than what they paid for and not in a good smelling way. He continued with his lines, and I wiped my hands off one more time on my naked legs. With my back to the audience, praying my Imodium chaser would kick in, I leaned down and started to prep for my next jaw dropping trick while having a quick moment of reflection.

How the hell did I end up here?

If you had told me a year beforehand that I’d be standing naked on stage in front of this many people, every night, in every town from Vancouver B.C. to Helsinki, I wouldn’t have believed you. It was timing met with luck, that’s all. I was one of many semi-talented, stick-thin musical theatre boys in the Pittsburgh area finishing up their senior year of college who was slowly starting to realize fame would be an impossibility with my talent set. So I took a chance, and without the consent of my teachers and my girlfriend at the time, I auditioned and ended up getting cast in a very popular Australian comedy show with a good buddy of mine, which involved being completely naked on stage and making my dick into various animals, food items, etc. The best way to describe it is “genital origami,” and let’s just say, this is a hard one to break to mom.

So I ended a good relationship, said goodbye to Pittsburgh, packed two giant 51lbs bags, and got a coach ticket to New York City to begin what would be my fifteen minutes of dick-dom. People always ask what the rehearsal process was like. The truth is, we never really got one. Upon arriving to New York, we were FedExed a 27-page script with a note on the front that said, “Memorize all this, show opens in two months.” My partner and I would get together at his apartment on Wednesdays when not a lot of people were around, pull the shades down, and practice our dick tricks in front of the mirror. If there’s one other penis in this world that I know better than my own, it’s my partner’s.

The show was to open August 2nd at the Bleecker St. Theater with a dress rehearsal on the night before for the Aussies who were flying in. We came in pretty memorized and knowing the show for the most part we thought, but truly, we were a hot mess and nervous as hell. We weren’t too worried, as we were told we weren’t going to start performing till the second week, since they wanted us to watch and learn from the original Australian guys during the opening week. This would have been great if the Aussies hadn’t gotten in a huge fight in the dressing room after the dress rehearsal performance. We both got a call the next afternoon from our stage manager saying, “You boys are going on tonight [a sold out opening night in NYC] with only two rehearsals. I’d get down here to the theater right now if you want to make it three rehearsals before show time.”

We had time to run it once before the audience started to line up outside for opening night. We both had a lot of friends coming that evening, but none of them knew they were getting our dicks that night. (Let alone with only three hours of total stage rehearsal time before the opening night of an Off-Broadway show.) It wasn’t real to me until the press started to show up, and I mean a lot of press people came. I guess they heard there was free cock that night in SoHo. I was in the dressing room trying to entice my nervous dick out of me, which was pinned up like a little snail in his shell, when an Aussie came into the dressing room with a bottle of tequila and a few glasses, and told me words I’ll never forget…

“This will help.”

I had never been one to drink before I went on stage. Hungover many times from college parties the night before, but freshly toasted? Wasn’t my thing really, but if you’re about to get naked in front of five hundred people for them to sit and laugh at your dick that’s flopping around on stage for an hour, throwing a couple back beforehand doesn’t sound like a bad idea, and it wasn’t. This became our tradition every night for the next two years. Whisky, rum, vodka, it didn’t matter, except for beer. Beer lasted about a week until my partner left the stage mid-show to piss in a mop bucket that was used the next night to mop the floor. I couldn’t really judge because the following week I had to do the same thing. Except when I ran back on stage, my dick wasn’t done pissing all the way, and it shot some more piss out for a whole audience to see. I don’t know if they understood what they saw for that quick-spitting moment, or what shot out of my pee hole, but they know they saw something, and so did my buddy, who had to step over the drops of piss on the stage for the rest of the show. It took him everything not to burst out laughing and lose it. That was our life for the next two years, and it was a wild good time.

Looking back, I never really took the time to contemplate how it might or might not have any effect on my future. I knew I could kiss working for Disney goodbye and many other companies that could Google my name. I just didn’t care at the time. I was rubbing my balls on Christina Aguilera, had money in my pocket, and was touring the world. That’s all I ever wanted as a boy. To say it hasn’t affected me though, after it’s all said and done, would be a lie, but it wasn’t in the way I expected. I don’t feel shame for doing what I did. In fact, to do the show, you have to have a complete lack of shame. I still secretly love it when one of my friends brings it up in conversation with people we’ve just met. You can see what type of person someone is instantly when you talk about someone’s famous penis. The truth is, I’ve never really auditioned for anything else after it because I know nothing could top that wave, and that’s what makes me sad. It was too big and too perfect, and I got the ride of a lifetime, but like all good waves, it had to come crashing down.


Christopher J. Cannon is a guest writer for Tumbleweed Diaries. He proudly starred in the Off-Broadway production and international tour of Puppetry of the Penis. He lives in New York City.


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