Meet James L. Menzies: ‘Go Get the Axe’ Writer Whose Inspiration for the Show Came While Lying on a Bathroom Floor in London
For as long as he can remember, James L. Menzies—a.k.a. Jamie to those who know him—has turned to storytelling as a creative outlet. While he’s logged some time as a journalist and screenwriter, he’s found the most satisfaction when writing for the stage. Over the years, he’s had more than 20 short plays produced and performed, but Go Get the Axe is his first feature-length play.
How did the idea for Go Get the Axe come to him? In a bit of a fever dream while spending the night on the floor of a London hotel room after eating a suspect plate of fish and chips. Yes, inspiration strikes at odd moments. Here are a few things you don’t know about James, in his own words.
1. HE CAN’T WATCH DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT ELEPHANTS WITHOUT CRYING.
In between bouts of sobbing I can often be heard muttering such nonsense as, “They got nobody, man” and other idiotic garbage.
2. A NEAR-20-YEAR-OLD MR. SHOW SKETCH IS STILL THE FUNNIEST THING HE’S EVER SEEN.
“The Story of Everest,” a sketch from season four of HBO’s Mr. Show, is the single funniest thing I have ever seen. I cannot watch it without becoming hysterical. (You can judge for yourself below.)
3. HE’S BEEN READING MOBY DICK FOR 20 YEARS.
I’m really liking where it’s going.
4. HE’S ADDICTED TO ASMR VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE.
I cannot fall asleep without the gentle sounds of someone eating Borscht or tapping their fingers on hard plastic.
5. HE IS A GENUINE STAR WARS NERD.
I once bought a ticket to a Harry Potter movie (don’t remember which one, or care) so I could watch the trailer for Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of The Clones. I left before the movie started.
6. HE’S A CHEERS EXPERT.
I have seen every episode of Cheers at least 25 times each (with the exception of the 100th episode clip show, which is crap), and can recite most dialogue on demand.
7. EVERYONE TELLS HIM HE LOOKS LIKE ALAN RUCK.
For 25 years I have been told I look like Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
8. THE IDEA FOR GO GET THE AXE CAME TO HIM ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR OF A LONDON HOTEL.
After being struck down with food poisoning from some bad fish and chips, the idea for Go Get The Axe came to me while delirious on the bathroom floor of a London hotel. (The photo above was taken two days after the event, which took a solid week to recover from.)