An Open Letter to the Guy Who Always Plays the Waiter

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Dear Gary,

All of us in your improv troupe, Abraham LinkedIn, are co-signing this letter because we’ve come to a consensus: Stop playing the waiter.

When we were all discussing this after our show the other night — at Bar 64, to which we didn’t invite you, as we felt it’d be inhibiting to plan this sabotage if the subject of our sabotage (you) were at the table with us — Susan brought up a good point. “Has Gary even ever been a waiter?” she asked.

None of us could answer that simple question, Gary. Gary, we know you’re currently a web developer or something, but most of us in the troupe were, at one point, a waiter or waitress or, as Haqib so sensitively pointed out, a server.

I was a server, Gary. (This is Roger, by the way.) Susan was a server for six years. Haqib was a server in Cairo, for chrissakes, Gary. Cairo! And we all know that Mimi is still a server at Brady’s Brunch House. Only Stefan hasn’t been a server, but he was a flight attendant for a few years, which is practically the same thing.

In other words, we all have the requisite bona fides to come into a scene as a credible waiter. When we ask the couple sitting down to their blind date if they’d like soup or salad, we do it with countless instances of asking “soup or salad?” to back it up. When we drop waters off at the table, we do so with a certain flair that someone who hasn’t actually waited tables IRL just can’t muster.

But it’s more than just your insincerity, Gary. It’s that you come on as a waiter all the time. Like, you’ll start brand-new scenes as a waiter just standing by a couple of empty chairs, waiting for customers to sit down so you can ask them for their drink order.

Or here’s a better example: In our showcase show the other night, we were doing a great job, really amping up the crowd with our sweet montage. We were operating on the next level, frankly. And then came the Nazi scene.

You know the one I’m talking about, Gary. (This is Roger, by the way.)

Mimi and I were playing Nazi newlyweds, and we were doing some super sweet German accents as we discussed how to design our new Nazi apartment. The audience was a bit nervous at first — they’d seen plenty of Nazi improv scenes that night, after all — but after a minute or two of our committed and obvious character work, they finally gave in and began to laugh.

Hell, they were roaring, Gary. Our Nazi couple discussing feng shui had that crowd crapping themselves, Gary. And then, out of nowhere, in you come as a waiter.

You remember what you said? You came in holding a tray (of course!) and asked us, in a weird Irish-Rastafarian hybrid accent, if we wanted “borscht or salad?”

So. Many. Questions. For starters, Gare Bear, why would a waiter be inside a Nazi couple’s new apartment? Where the hell did he come from? Second, why that accent? I mean, at least match our super sweet German accents. And third, borscht? Isn’t that a little bit on-the-nose, Gary? Couldn’t you have played it more cool, more subtle?

Look, we get it. You’re newer to improv than the rest of us. And we love that about you! We asked you to join Abraham LinkedIn because we wanted a handsome guy who would lend us a certain … Gosling factor. But we never intended for you to be a waiter in 82% of our scenes.

And it’s exactly 82%. Susan did the math.

This is not a kicking-you-out-of-our-troupe letter, Gary. (This is Roger, by the way.) This is simply a probationary alert. You are allowed to play exactly ZERO waiters for our next three shows. If you can manage that, you’re off probation and back to a full member of Abraham LinkedIn. If you can’t, however — if you insist on playing a waiter, Irish Nazi or otherwise — we’ll have to find another handsome 22-year-old man to join us.

Best of luck,

Roger, et al.

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