‘The Performers’ (Chuck Wood)

CHUCK. Oh boy, I promised Black Attack I wouldn’t cry, but . . . I was not expecting this. (Composing himself.) When I was a boy, I told my father that I was going to be the first Jew in the Basketball Hall of Fame, or a famous rock star, like Neil Diamond or Barry Manilow. My father looked at me and said, “Good for you, son, but some people don’t give a s— about basketball. Some people don’t even listen to music.” I know I don’t. Pointless. “But,” he said, “there’s one thing you can count on. One thing that unites every human being on this planet and it’s this: Everybody f—. So if you’re the best at f— … you’re the best human being.” (Beat.) I did not understand these words at the time —– I was only six — but when I made my first adult film in 1978, I thought of my father. Not at the time of shooting, of course, but in a general sense. The film was Bad News Boner. For my bone-tastic performance, I was awarded the Best New-Comer trophy, but sadly, my father died one week before the ceremony. I was devastated. I didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t understand that the answer was right in front of me. (Looking out.) It was you. My fellow performers. You’ve opened your hearts and your legs to me, and while I keep giving it to you, you keep giving everything to me. So Papa, if you can hear me up there, I want you to know this: I may be the best human being. I may be the best at f—. But I’d be nothing without all the people that I’ve f—. (Holds up his award.) Thank you, have a wonderful night!

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