Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just A Little Burning

A front page story in today's WSJ on how Actors Are Taking Dramatic Roles at Hospitals:

In the current economy, both Dr. Kang in New York and Dr. May in L.A. say they've seen an uptick in actors wanting patient roles.

"At least you're acting on some level," says Denise Lock, an actress and opera singer who is part of Weill Cornell's ensemble cast. Ms. Lock, who has appeared in overseas productions of Porgy and Bess, is a veteran at playing patients at medical school.

"I have done heart attacks, lupus, diabetes, Parkinson's, hot flashes," she says.

Which brings to mind the Seinfeld episode The Burning:

Jerry: No, no. He's pretending he's got gonorrhea so med students can diagnose

Kramer: And it's a waste of my talent. It's just a little burning. Mickey, he
got bacterial meningitis.

George: I guess there are no small diseases, only small actors.

The other three start laughing.

George (leaving): Alright that's it for me. Good night everybody.

Elaine: What was that?

Jerry: Showmanship, George is trying to get out on a high note.

Kramer: See, showmanship. Maybe that's what my gonorrhea is missing.

Jerry: Yes! Step into that spotlight and belt that gonorrhea out to the back

Kramer: Yes, yes I will! I'm gonna make people feel my gonorrhea, and feel the
gonorrhea themselves.

New scene.
Mt. Sanai Hospital. Kramer is on the table surrounded by med students.

Student #1: And are you experiencing any discomfort?

Kramer: Just a little burning during urination.

Student #1: Okay, any other pain?

Kramer: The haunting memories of lost love. May I? (signals to Mickey)
Lights? (Mickey turns down the lights and Kramer lights a cigar) Our eyes met
across the crowded hat store. I, a customer, and she a coquettish haberdasher.
Oh, I pursued and she withdrew, then she pursued and I withdrew, and so we
danced. I burned for her, much like the burning during urination that I would
experience soon afterwards.

Student #1: Gonorrhea?!

Kramer: Gonorrhea!

The lab breaks out in spontaneous applause as Mickey turns up the lights and
Kramer takes a bow.