"It's kind of humorous sometimes," Tucker said. "There are some theater egos that get pretty wound up, but combat experiences are great perspective-shapers--very grounding about what's actually important."
As commander of the 315th Psychological Operations Company, Tucker went from marketing a theater to marketing America. The 315th arranged radio broadcasts and interviews, printed newspapers, posters, and handbills. "It was a lot like advertising a play."
Did any of his fellow soldiers share his interest in the theatrical arts?
"No," Tucker chuckled. "Most expected theater people to be leftist, effeminate. Both environments can be so insular, it's interesting to walk in both worlds--both think they're the most important and everybody should be paying attention to them."
Perhaps the Iraq war's first veteran playwright, Tucker is currently working on a script called Another Day in Baghdad. He let me take a peek, and it's pretty dang good.
* * *
In less deadly theater/violence news: full-contact musicians and avant performance loons Seattle School are currently seeking a nurse to attend all their live performances. Wait--a nurse?
Seattle School member Korby Sears explained that their performances often involve audience participation and "rampant physicality." Their first solo show featured a simultaneous three-way karaoke match with a judge firing paintballs at singers for breaking rules that the judge had determined privately but didn't explain. Sears won, singing Gene Pitney's "Town Without Pity." As his prize, he got to fire three rounds at the judge, School founder Mike Min. Min bared his chest. Sears fired. After two rounds "blood started to flow," Sears said. "An older woman in the audience grabbed my arm and begged me to stop. The show ended."
Luckily, Seattle School performances have only resulted in intentional, not accidental, injuries. "I am shocked at our good fortune," Sears said. "But you should never rely on good fortune. Our ducks need to be in a row, and fast."
The Seattle School is also looking for a janitor and a lawyer. See www.seattleschool.net for details.