When S*P first started in December of 2001 I was in a production of the play, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues by Jeff Goode. Of the shows I did,
it was one of the closest cats I remember. When I uploaded the first strip, I included everyone from the show on an email I set to people I knew saying, more
of less, "LOOK WHAT I DID!" To my surprise, almost everyone in the show wanted to appear in the comic. And, quite a few of them did.
The director, Josh, became Jason (I need to tell the story of why he's Jason sometime - it's not really long or interesting but makes me snicker). Claire and T-Bob
were also in the show. One actress, Sarah, I always wanted to put into the show but we all fell out of touch with her after the show so I never knew how she wanted to
be represented. And then there's the character in today's strip, Darrick.
Darrick's real inspiration was about the sweetest guy on earth. Very polite, always had a smile, clever. He was just fun to be around. I dunno if you've
been in theater or not, but here's a reality of it: while you're doing a show, that cast is the closest group of people in your life. They're your family and
friends. You learn pretty much everything about them. Then the show ends, and you hang out for a bit afterwards, but time goes by
and people start dropping off until you never hear from any of them unless you're in another show together. It was always weird to me and I never got used to it.
With The Eight, I actually stayed friends with Josh, Claire, and T-Bob, although admitted I don't talk to any of them as much as I should (distance and lives busy
beyond theater are the culprits now). Darrick, sadly, was one of those casualties.
I did see him again early in 2004. MIT was putting on a production of The Vagina Monologues and I designed the shirt. It featured PeeJee hugging
Choo-Choo Bear and said "Take Care of Your Pussy." I didn't charge them, my only requirement was it be sold online (the proceeds when to shelters to help people escape
domestic violence - it's still probably the BEST selling S*P shirt ever. I wish I knew the final totals). I attended almost every performance and, one night, ran into
Darrick! We talked a little bit and I told him I needed to put him back into the comic. Sure enough, he showed up briefly in the Shock Treatment
storyline. That was the last time he showed up, although he was discussed by the characters much later.
Because I sometimes fall into Google holes like everyone else, I did look him up not too long ago (well, like two days ago after I drew this comic). Apparently he's doing well,
which is good. I considered contacting him but it's been forever and I always feel uncomfortable about butting into someone's
life after being away for years. -R.