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Showing posts from November, 2019

To Tina Turner on Her 80th Birthday

I arrived at the Tina Turner party way too late.

The year was 1996, and her Wildest Dreams album had just come out, complete with a cover of John Waite's "Missing You" that I listened to so many times, you would have thought I was a forty-three year-old divorcee instead of a twelve-year-old little gay boy who had just found his musical idol.

All I knew about Tina before then was that her life was so scandalous there was a rated-R movie about it.  In passing, I would hear people mention her and some of the horrors she endured.  Now I realize that domestic violence at that level and at that time were so confounding to most people that it would be enough to get you talked about in hushed whispers.

But Tina Turner refused to live in the whispers.

Instead, she came back more times than Columbo, in nearly every decade, until achieving her greatest success as one of the indisputable best live acts of all time, selling out stadiums at a time when most people are retiring.

When s…

Theater and Gratitude

In honor of Thanksgiving, I reached out to subjects from past interviews, some colleagues, friends, and a few total strangers, to compile a list of theater memories that make them feel grateful.

Here's what they said:

"I'm grateful that my mother still comes to see all my shows. Every one. She used to come to every performance, but I begged her to stop, because she was going to go bankrupt paying for all those tickets and I couldn't ask to comp her every time. This last show I was in, she went to the box office and told them whose mother she was, and that she would be there every night if she could. They made a little sign for her and reserved a seat right in the front row--free of charge. She was on cloud nine. So I'm grateful for the box office staff at that theater for making my mother so happy as well."

"I'm doing a Shakespeare right now and we were going to have a dog in the show, but we couldn't find one.  I volunteered my cat.  Nobody believ…

Hosting

Originally performed at Stranger Stories on Thursday, November 21st.
The theme was "Hosting."
When you’re affiliated with theater, people ask you to do all sorts of things you have no business doing.
I’ve been an actor since I was eight-years-old, a writer since I was twenty-four, and a bigmouth since birth.
Somehow, in the eyes of others, this has qualified me over the years to serve as an auctioneer, a dog show commentator, a spokesperson for a chain of bakeries, and--more times than I can count--a host.
I love hosting.  What I lack as an actor, writer, and overall artist, I make up for in semi-false cheeriness and the pure adrenaline that comes from driving an evening forward, knowing I’m the only thing standing between the Annual Save the Giant Starfish gala going smoothly or descending into oceanic-themed chaos.
And my favorite kind of event to host is--without a doubt--talent shows.
I love talent shows.
A few years ago, a woman in the audience at one