Asher and I went to the same high school, three grades apart. The Park School of Baltimore was a progressive, private place tucked verdantly into a wealthy suburb of Charm City, not far from rolling horse country, with a once very helpful and liberal scholarship policy. All seniors were required to do a final project during their last semester—an internship at a hospital, say. Filing for a law firm.
My brother went a different way. Over the spring semester of his senior year in 1986, Asher made a short film designed largely to eviscerate our headmaster, whose real name was Dr. F. Parvin Sharpless. Asher considered him a buffoon, a blowhard, and possibly actually evil. Somehow, overachieving with his casting, my brother convinced a popular history teacher to play Sharpless in the movie. The character’s name was—in case there was any doubt what Asher was up to—Dr. Bluntmore.
Asher cast me as the lead. He and his cinematographer, a theater-school refugee and transfer student named Jeremy (who remains a close friend), shot straight to VHS. They edited by cutting and splicing strips of magnetic tape. They videotaped my character scoring with hot New Wave girls and prep-school field hockey stars alike; working out shirtless on a Soloflex, 7 Seconds hardcore on the soundtrack; showering behind frosted glass in the bathroom in the Pikesville house mom shared with her New Age friends. They filmed me organizing the scheme that would bring Sharpless/ Bluntmore down. (It involved several boomboxes and blasted bad classical music.)