As it so happens, my three groomsmen are all named Andrew. Actually, I take that back – I have a fourth groomsman, who is my sister. But my three dude groomsmen – dudesmen – are all named Andrew.
Thankfully, they all go by different names. One is Andrew, another is Drew, and the third is Andy. Confusing matters a bit is the fact that Drew’s parents call him Andrew, which was disorienting for Jessica when she met them the other day.
“Wait,” she said to me, “just which the heck Andrew IS Drew?”
“Oh, he’s straight-up Drew,” I said. “His parents like to bewilder his friends like that.”
Andrew and Drew knew each other independently of me, in fact, because they went to summer camp together as kids. Andrew and Drew had each met Andy separately, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that all three Andrews were physically in the same place. We were all standing in the hallway of the house that Drew, Andrew, and two other dudes were living in and renovating. The Three Andrews looked at each other cautiously.
“Well,” Andy said, “The universe did not implode upon itself.”
“Thank God,” we replied. Everyone relaxed a bit. We’ve all been a keeping a close watch on the Universe ever since, just to be cautious. Because as they say, “When you use caution, life feels like moshin‘.” This expression assumes you like moshing. I don’t. I never use that expression.
Andrew #1, aka Andrew, is #1 by virtue of the fact I knew him first. We met at age 4 or so in pre-Kindergarten at the East Bay French American School in Berkeley, just scared little boys in a frightening world of cubbies, playtime & circle time, and French-speaking ladies. I’m not sure at which point we became friends, but by middle school I was often walking over to his house to write ridiculous poems, compose ludicrous songs, and make relucrilous movies. I wrote the adapted screenplay – and starred as (I think) Pippin or maybe Guimli? – for Andrew’s legendarily famous The Fellowship Of The Ring book report film in 6th grade, which predates Peter Jackson’s film by 8 years and is considered by many top film critics to be the definitive version.
Seeing as I was about 12 at the time, and had little to no experience adapting epic novels into screenplays, the film was, shall we say… uneven. The entire first half of the film consists of Bilbo awkwardly explaining to Gandalf why he felt the need to leave the Shire, the two of them sitting across from each other and occasionally glancing down to their laps when they forgot their next line. Very boring. The film really came into its own during the special effects scenes; Frodo (played thoughtfully and with maturity by Andrew) disappearing after donning the ring; Gandalf proclaiming “lights!” and snapping his fingers and the candles magically lighting up. In the end it was a complex tale of brotherhood and power, and I think he got an A for it.
Andrew was a primary co-writer and producer for “Bret Turner Sings,” a CD we made towards the end of high school. Drew was also involved, providing background vocals and an impassioned off-key harmonica solo on our Bob Dylan knock-off tune Like A Woman In So Many Ways. Other tunes included Perfect Time To Take A Crap In The Sink, Naked Baker, Buckle Me Into Your Spacecar, and Raised By A Yeti. Also appearing on the album were Waverly Films co-founder Chris Ford (co-writer and guest singer), and son of famed photographer Richard Misrach (bass, production).
We’ve been involved in creative pursuits together our whole lives. Andrew founded East bay Pictures a couple years ago, whose primary project has been Edible City, a documentary that explores the food movement in the Bay Area. It’s getting closer to completion and will be scored by yours truly. Among side projects was a whole mess of fake Chipotle commercials for a contest they had; four of them won an $1,000 prize plus all sorts of free burrito bucks, many of which were sadly forgotten and expired.
In addition to being an excellent friend, Andrew is a supremely talented dudesman. His earliest skill was drawing – he draws both beautiful landscapes, as well as hilarious cartoons and caricatures. Jessica and I have already asked him if he’ll draw cartoons of us for either our save-the-dates or for our invitations, and he has gladly accepted. The plan is for him and Drew to work together on the drawing and design.
I have supreme confidence that Andrew will serve as a fine dudesman. Here’s to you, Andrew 1: Andrew.
Coming up soon: The Tale Of The Three Andrews, Part II: Drew.