It’s been a year (whaaaat?!) since I started writing comedy profe$$ionally. Since then, I’ve been asked to punch up stand-up sets, speeches, and presentations, write video scripts, radio spots, and TV commercials, compose parody song lyrics, conjure up greeting cards, rewrite cartoons, and yeah, write funny.
My day to day has changed in all sorts of ways, including, but not limited to, the addition of coffee and sweatpants. All of this (including the sweatpants) is still sinking in. The internet turned out to be an ice cream counter after all, but only when I stopped asking it to be. There’s some sort of wisdom in there but… wait, there’s ice cream?
I was just offered a spot as a pro writer on Comedywire! This is particularly delightful as I just began exploring this style of writing (jokes, late night comedy, etc.) this year. It’s exciting to see how things ebb and flow, and in what direction this development may take me.
Jack Freimann (John Freimann) – my teacher, my mentor, my friend – wrapped his whirlwind tour of this life last afternoon.
Jack and I didn’t have the sort of relationship where we talked about “feelings”- we always talked about The Work. He took me seriously as an artist in a way that no one in my life ever had before, expected my complete authenticity and full presence in return, and would tolerate no bullshit, no matter what was going on with me at the time with my health, or anything else.
His belief and faith in me was a first, his support was real, unwavering and endless, and his high expectations were my benchmarks: he was the one I wanted to do my best for, he was the one I wanted to be proud of me. He still is. He had me mining for every ounce of life from depths I didn’t know I had, didn’t think I had, for every scene, every role, every production – I was terrified to let him down.
The pics are from Henry VI, The Plantagenets. Joan la Pucelle (of Arc), a part I wanted desperately, terrified me on so many levels – with its acting challenges (monologues and fiery death scene), and physical requirements (fencing and broad sword fights) – at a time when I couldn’t hold a pen in my hand or move an inch without pain. I auditioned, and Jack cast me, and never once asked me if I could do it, let on if he had any doubts that I could, or let me think I couldn’t. We just did it.
He is an indelible part of who I am as an actor, a singer, an artist, and a person. I am shattered, but I count myself extremely blessed to be part of the HJT that Jack Built.
Yesterday was the first post-breakup former-anniversary of an 11 year relationship, and it was darker than I’d imagined it would be, with all the trimmings of despair, self-recrimination, guilt and shame that one knows are likely to come with the divorce of one’s life, but hopes just the same one will bypass because certainly, undoubtedly, this is the Best Thing.
Holding onto the thought that ‘this too, shall pass’ and (thank you, Scarlett) ‘Tomorrow is another day’ (along with, admittedly, a pint of chocolate mint and a glass of Dark Horse), the night changes to morning and I begin my daily walk with Grace. This time we go right, and then an unexpected sudden left and straight on till…
Ah! There’s something we’ve never seen before, didn’t know was even there, just out of view yet so close to us in our new world, nestled behind valiant trees and vintage 1940s castles – a bridge! A footbridge, gallantly crossing a river! An invitation!
Come along! it says, See where we go! There are new adventures to be had, new mysteries to unfold! Come along!
Death is a loyal suitor, patiently waiting to embrace us all. Still, when his caress reaches for someone dear, I feel a jealous lover, hopelessly, selfishly yearning to come between their embrace; to distract from his loving advances that seem to steal yet another cherished piece of my heart, though soon enough, will come again to woo me.
I love this painting. I’ve loved it since I first saw it at LACMA in 2001. I went to the LACMA shop ready to fork over cash to buy a copy, but they didn’t sell any prints of it. This astonished me – no reprints available of a painting they had in their collection! – so little did I (do I) know about the art world. After a few emails, a patient staffer at the museum invited me to their offices and, after my signature and $1, printed me a laser copy of the painting, which hangs above my computer.
LACMA has been publishing some of their collection online, and hopefully, soon this will be one of them. I hope to buy a properly framed copy one day, but I’ll hang on to the one I have, hanging over my computer, too. It speaks to me about the nature of art, and artists, the strangers it can bring together, and the kindnesses that can result.