Ed Novak’s Harrisburg

At the urging of my daughter Anna, I took a class in improvisational comedy at the Harrisburg Improv Theater earlier this year. That experience inspired me to think about creating another kind of performance: a one-man show in the style of the late Spalding Gray.

On December 2, 2018, I performed a one-time only monologue, “Ed Novak’s Harrisburg” at Harrisburg Improv Theater. Thank you to Anna Novak and another member of the audience who shared video evidence of this performance. However, no video exists of the first minute or so of the performance. Here is the transcript of the missing segment:

“My introduction to Harrisburg came at a grown-up cocktail party in Camp Hill during the Christmas season of 1983. I was living in New York at the time and had recently fallen in love with Guinevere. She’s from Harrisburg. I was from a place that was becoming Silicon Valley.

“In December of 1983, Guinevere brought me to her home in Harrisburg to introduce me to her parents as the shiny new toy, the boyfriend upgrade. One evening she and I tagged along with her parents to this Camp Hill cocktail party, where I met an older woman. This doyenne of the White Shore had lived just across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg her whole life. She provided me with a remarkable insight about Harrisburg that took me years to absorb and appreciate.

“So let’s fast forward to 2004 and Guinevere are married with kids and we had moved from New York to Harrisburg. I’m an office drone. As a point of reference, in my lifetime, I have functioned as a drone in 13 different offices, including one in my home. I would not recommend working at home because you don’t want to be an office drone in your own home. When you wake up in the morning, you’re already at work. At the end of the day, you don’t get to leave and go home.”

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