It's easy to forget we are real people, those of us who play ourselves. Stepping on stage, be it sound stage, live theater or theater of the mind, we present an impression of self. Exaggerating certain aspects, downplaying others, we toy with various versions. As with all crafts, you begin as apprentice, advance to journeyman, and if you work hard enough, and are blessed by inspiration, this craft becomes occasional art. Be it craft or art, I never gave an artsy-fart about the craft of Andy Dick. The more messed up he became, the less my interest.
And then, along came a certain reality show in which Andy Dick appeared as Andy Dick. I've appeared as Burl Barer in a reality show, and I know that no matter how real the events, how true the situation, a camera is no less an active influential observer than an anthropologist. The mere presence of either alters the documented environment and participants. The truth is in there, it is simply modified and formatted to fit your screen. Andy Dick's "reality" is intrinsically lovable. Suddenly, I cared. I wanted the best for him, and the best of him.
Requested to write something for a recovery facility a few years back, I recycled a paragraph from an unfinished novel, making slight modifications. They framed it, and placed it on the wall. Here is the unmodified original, recycled once again, and dedicated to Andy Dick:
People such as we seek insights from the outside. We look for linkages, but guard against bonding. Constantly defining our illusive boundaries of self, we adopt diverse roles of social identity. Desiring safety,and longing for vulnerability,
we practice warmth and empathy, good humor and camaraderie, while simultaneously rebuilding our fragile veils of emotional distance.
I follow Andy Dick on Twitter. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you followed him too.