The Den Pizzeria presents Jared McGrail in 'Patrick Possessed'

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WALLA WALLA -- At 27, Jared McGrail appears to have had more adventures than the average party of 10.

And on Nov. 2, people here will get a taste of what that means in McGrail's one-man show, "Patrick Possessed" at The Den Pizzeria, 119 W. Alder St.

Originally from New Hampshire, the actor-author-musician landed in Walla Walla earlier this fall for a two-week visit with his girlfriend, he said.

During that time, McGrail's camping backpack was, um, appropriated by an unauthorized person while he was procuring an apple-picking job, he said. Gone with the theft were most of his clothes, a real Irish tin whistle and his maybe-not-that-lucky Chinese cookie fortune, tucked into his hat.

"It said 'You will bring art and culture into your home.' I liked the way that sounded," the now fortune-less artist recalled.

Not that he'd ever picked apples in his life, by the way, but it seemed like a good job to try on for size when he saw a local orchard advertising for pickers.

That moment, however, meant McGrail was stuck here and it seemed a fine time to make lemonade from his situation.

As a guy who has polished his improv schtick, he already had the resume to do just that.

Take his self-published novel. Abandoned for most of his youth by his birth father, McGrail decided to write a fictionalized account of that relationship from the time he showed up on his father's porch at age 17.

"That is the format of the novel, the son writing a letter to his dad and catching him up on his life," he explained. "It's a vignette of short stories."

To make it happen, McGrail used money received through Kickstarter, started in 2009 as a funding platform for creative projects. He put the word out through YouTube videos, singing to potential donors and promising to, sort of, write songs about them if they would only donate.

He got the $2,000 needed to make the book, presently titled "Bio Dad," a reality. It is due to be released in early 2013.

Improvisational comedy, however, is his main platform, McGrail said. Starting at 18, he took his early efforts -- which he labeled "terrible" - and tweaked things through classes and experience, he said. "I'm very stubborn and I was determined to learn it."

Now McGrail is ready to show Walla Walla how that looks. The premise of the show, as conceived by McGrail, takes Patrick, a man of multiple possessions who has aged into his unique situation. "Patrick" will take commentary and questions from the audience and one of his "entities" will respond. "They aren't scary," McGrail said. "He's not possessed by demons."

The show begins at 9 p.m. and there is a $5 ticket charge. To pre-purchase tickets, go to www.patrickpossessed.com.

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