Chances are, you’ve heard me say that phrase more than any other doofy thing I say on Accuracy Third. On first blush, you’d think that I say, “I’m D-day,” because it annoys D.J. Beth. You’re not entirely wrong. I do like giving Drunk J. Beth a gentle ribbing about her dislike of broadcasting conventions, it’s true. But being Drunk Beth’s second-most obnoxious friend is not actually the origin of why I smear “I’m D-day” all over our intros and outros. That’s a story from a while ago.
It was 2006, I believe. I was working at a theater in San Francisco’s Mission District called The Dark Room. The Dark Room was an incredible little black box theater with a punk rock aesthetic, which put on theater of all stripes, but specialized in putting on spoofs of well known movie properties. The Dark Room isn’t there anymore, but if you Google deep enough, you can find pictures of me shoddily dressed as some of cinema’s most iconic roles. Jack Torrence. Han Solo. The Terminator. Rod Serling. General 'Buck' Turgidson. Moses.
The Ten Commandments LIVE! was my first lead role at The Dark Room. I was in my mid-20s. I believe I was cast as Moses, not necessarily because of my impeccable acting skill, but due to my booming voice and the general commanding demeanor I can slip into. Needless to say, I was excited. This was not only my first starring role in counterculture San Francisco community theater, but it was my first time as the person on the poster for the play. I’ve been the central figure on a dozen or so posters since then, and it never gets old. I mean, it’s you drawing people into a show that you’re in. It’s thrilling.
You may have noticed I’m a wee bit ADD. (Editor’s note: A clinician would probably judge D-day’s ADD as moderate, I'd call it mostly functional. It's a highly important part of our working dynamic. – Rex.) If I’m not deeply embroiled in a project that takes the entirety of my concentration, there’s a chance I’ll start a second project in the middle of my first project, or just wander away from it or whatever. I’ve been known to start working on my truck in the middle of preparing dinner. I’ve digressed into telling personal stories while giving safety instructions to my crew at Burning Man. Needless to say, I’ve wandered away from the stage during rehearsal.
If you’ve ever worked in a theater or done any live performance, you’ve probably noticed a fair amount of shouting. Performers are loud, theaters are big, and no one is where they’re supposed to be while they’re talking over whatever pertinent instructions are being given. So instructions are shouted, and the expectation is that you shout a thank you and repeat what you were told as a response. So, when it’s five minutes to curtain opening, the stage manager will shout, “Five minutes to curtain.” All actors and techs respond with a prompt, “Thank you, five.” It’s a great way to know what’s going on and to know who knows what you know.
You won’t be surprised to hear that during rehearsals, I wasn’t always where I was supposed to be. So, my director or cast mates would yell for me to get my lackadaisical ass on stage. My given name is three syllables, which isn’t that difficult to shout, but it ain’t as pithy as “Moses!” Which is what they called. And my response was always a bellowed, “MOSES!” Which was a really pleasing way to respond. But then when the cast was actually calling me Moses on stage (or just referring to Moses, without addressing me specifically,) I’d also reply with a loud MOSES! It went on like that for a couple weeks until my director got sick of my noisy shenanigans and inserted a singular joke into the script that accommodated my MOSES-y outbursts.
And then, a month or so later, the show ended. No one was calling me Moses anymore. I had no cause to MOSES back at anyone. There was a void in my life that could only be filled by finding another game to play at people who were trying to get my attention. After a few permutations of differing levels of annoyance, I settled on responding to my name with a swift rejoinder of “I’m [my name” (for the sake of argument let’s pretend my name is D-day.)] So when Rex asks Beth who’s editing the Buttercup interview, and she responds with “That audio was already cleaned up by D-day,” I’m always there, skulking in the shadows, just waiting to blurt out, “I’m d-day.”
Which is pretty obnoxious, but not as obnoxious as it is funny. To me. I’m D-day.