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Drafted by Happenstance Into the Family Business

Discussing family biz with brother Mark Jaster and sister-in-law Sabrina Mandell. My older brother, the actor Mark Jaster, has specialized in physical comedy since his senior year in high school, when he first went to Paris to study with Etienne Decroux, Marcel Marceau’s teacher. For a while, I too seemed headed in the direction of a life in theater like him. After all, I was Toad of Toad Hall in a third grade production of The Wind in the Willows at my school in London (best friend Kenan Nashat was Mole). I also had a bit part in a French language one-act play that year; and, (along with every student in the school, including Mark), I sang in the first ever performance of Andrew Lloyd Webbe

Last Night at the Stadtgarten

Stadtgarten, Köln. Kyle Crane, a drummer I once worked with, is on tour with Neko Case and kindly got us comps for tonight’s concert. We walk up the stairs and I give the ticket taker my name. He barely glances at his list. “That’s downstairs,” he says. Okay. Back down and around the corner to the cellar entrance. There’s a line. We shuffle forward. I give ticket taker number two my name. He goes through his list. Shrug. "Sorry." I explain myself: the comps, Kyle, Neko Case... “Oh, that’s upstairs. This is the jazz concert.” “Funny,” I say, “The guy upstairs told us to come here.” A woman in line cheerfully interrupts. “You should stay! This will be better. It’s Martin Sasse!” Back upstairs

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