Jeffrey Essmann was a fixture on the New York downtown performance scene in the 80s/early 90s, known primarily as a character comedian whose work was compared to that of Lily Tomlin. His one-man show, "Artificial Reality," at New York Theatre Workshop was nominated for a Drama Desk Award, and his early work can be seen on the video New Wave Comedy and the alternative-comedy show The Talent Pool. His cult hit, "Triplets in Uniform," at La MaMa marked his transition to play writing and a decreasing focus on performance. In the throes of a premature midlife crisis, Essmann left New York in the early 90s for a 10-year stint in Chicago, where he focused on journalistic and literary journal work as well as play writing. His retirement from performance lasted a couple years, and then he began working on new material at local clubs and fringe theatre festivals. He was a featured performer in a performance series at Steppenwolf and became a regular contributor to the Chicago NPR affiliate. He returned to New York in 2005, the same year his short piece, "Johannes, Pyotr & Marge," was produced at the Humana Festival, where it also won the Heideman Prize. His one-man show, "Skin Deep," was commissioned by Dixon Place as part of its HOT! Festival in 2006, which, along with another one-man show a year later. "The Usual Freak Show" at La MaMa marked his return to the New York theatre scene. He did a new translation of Brecht’s "Life of Galileo" for Manhattan Theatre Club and is currently working on a new play, "The Indifferent Narrator." Life on the List is his first book.
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Life on the List: Assorted Sordid Tales and Unsavory Revelations
by Jeffrey Essmann
An episodic account of the author’s experience with online gay sex hookups. The heat of these stories is equaled by their humor. Aficionados of erotica will notice sly nods to Satyricon, Fanny Hill and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. But the references stay sly and never get in the way of the (very hot) sex. Like having a standup comic at a circle jerk.
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