But you might not be aware that he’s got a history in Chicago theater; before moving to Los Angeles, Neff performed at Steppenwolf Theatre and Collaboraction, among many others. He also opened his play The Last Duck earlier this year at the Viaduct Theatre.
Neff returned to his hometown (he grew up in Andersonville) with this unique essay about a basketball who is feeling particularly down about this NBA season. “What you were made for and what you end up doing are two very different things,” says the basketball. Read an excerpt below or listen above:
What you’re about to hear is a section excerpted from a transcript of a conversation that I had with a basketball. His name is Spalding. Our dialog, here excerpted, was conducted on the 14th floor of a Manhattan high rise at 97th street and Columbus. For most of our discussion, Spalding occupied a broad windowsill overlooking several high rises, P.S. 163, and the burnt rubble of a public library. (I don’t remember the name of the library.)
In the background, if you listen, you can hear the rain.
The first voice you hear is that of Spalding:
“It doesn’t matter. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care who you are, f*** you, I do not care, and yeah, man, I get I know I get it I know I do. And that’s not to say that I do know, that I do know exactly when, because that’s empathy and look, I’m not a mind reader. Do you think anybody actually understands anybody?
I’m not saying that but what I’m saying is what we’re doing is we’re talking about expectation. And what does that mean? And this is the thing right, like, you should know the difference between indoor and outdoor. Indoor and outdoor. You know what I mean, there’s a difference? Things like that can make a difference, have an impact. Read the f***ing side of the box.
That’s it. You get my drift.”
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