First, some business: If you're either a drag queen or a straight guy who plays in a rock 'n roll band -- or know someone who is -- I need your help filling out a brief survey. The questions are general and designed to find out your likes and dislikes. Answers will be kept completely anonymous, and the entire thing shouldn't take you more than five minutes. Please contact me here if you can help.
Note: I am looking for drag queens OR rockers.
I am not looking for drag queens who ARE rockers.
And a bit of self promotion:
I've got some cool shows coming up that you should check out if you're in the area.
On Thursday, Sept. 23, I will be making my off-Broadway debut (of sorts). I am hosting a musical theatre scene competition called "Scene It!" at the Jerry Orbach Theater. Playbill did a really nice write-up about it here. I'm extremely proud to have been asked to be a part of this, and I am way psyched!
The following Thursday, Sept. 30, I'll be telling my coming-out story at Shawn Hollenbach's fabulous "Closet Cases" show at The Tank.
And on Sunday, Oct. 24, I'll be doing my first ever Connecticut show, "Homos Without Borders," in New Haven, along with the aforementioned Hollenbach and fellow whores Paul Case, Danny Leary and Chris Doucette. It'll be a hoot.
Bonus points for anyone who can guess what we're actually drinking.
But before any of that happens, I'll be appearing at the GNI group's annual retreat this Friday. GNI stands for Gay Naturists International. And by "naturists," they mean nudists. Yes, I will be performing in front of hundreds of naked men. And for once, it'll be comedy. (Ba-dum-bum.) Butt seriously, I am kind of nervous about this, y'all. Will my comedy go over in a room full of nakedness? And will I myself be naked on-stage? Stay tuned...
On to the today's actual blog theme: Time.
Lately my life has been in a perpetual state of rewind. It's like my brain has its own private YouTube library, and I can't find the "stop" button. It's freaking me out.
Sunday night, before I guest-hosted at Therapy, I watched "South Pacific" on PBS's "Live from Lincoln Center" Series. Deeply, deeply moving. First of all, it's the greatest musical of all time, in my opinion. (And fuck you, anyone who prefers "Gypsy" with its tedious storyline and largely forgettable melodies Maybe if Sondheim had done the music instead of just the lyrics... but as it is, feh.) Secondly, the Lincoln Center production, which I got to see live before moving to San Diego, is as perfect a Broadway production as you'll ever encounter. Kelli O'Hara and Paulo Szot are the ideal Nellie and Emile. (I never bought Mary Martin, who looked to me like a grizzled old dyke, as the gorgeous but ignorant southern belle.)
The entire supporting cast and ensemble are also splendid. And more than anything, the mood -- that incredibly somber, romantic, haunted, tropical mood -- was flawlessly effected. Watching it alone in my apartment, I wept. I wept when Bloody Mary sang "Bali Hai." I wept when Cable met and made love to Liat. I wept when Nellie told Liat that Cable had been killed. And when Emile returns at the end to find Nellie serving dinner to his kids, Ngana and Jerome... well, I dissolved into a puddle on the floor.
Here's a clip they showed on "The View."
But fabulous production values aside, there's another reason watching "South Pacific" affected me so. It's because when I was eight years old, I played Jerome in Summit High School's production of the show. It was my first musical. And though it's a tiny role -- Jerome and Ngana don't do much other than sing "Dites-Mois" at the top of act one -- it began for me a lifelong love affair with Broadway musicals and with performing itself.
I remember having a crush on the 18-year-old girl who played Nellie -- whose name I can no longer recall. I remember Tom Conway, who played my father, always being so sweet and gentle with me and Stephanie Hodde, who played Ngana. And I remember every night the exhilaration of hearing the overture begin and knowing I was about to perform in front of (what felt like) throngs of people.
And as I was reliving this experience in front of my television set, it hit me: That was more than 30 years ago. Almost half a lifetime ago.
For some reason, that made me start thinking about my 30th birthday, in 2001. My parents threw a big party for me at their home on Ridge Road in Summit. All my closest NYC friends were there, along with my sisters, one married, the other single. Also attending were a contingent of coworkers from Fox News Channel. My boyfriend of one year, with whom I would spend another three years, got up and sang a song he had written for me -- shocking me and absolutely everyone else.(He was usually very shy in public.) I had never performed a comedy set, nor had I ever dreamed of doing such a thing.
Soon it'll be 2011. My parents no longer live at the home on Ridge Road. I am no longer in contact with most of those people I once regarded as my closest friends. My ex-boyfriend and I have been broken up for seven years and have both started and ended long-term relationships with others since then. I don't work at Fox News Channel and haven't produced TV news of any kind since 2003. My once-single sister is married with two sons and two step-daughters. I'm a comedian.
All of this -- this ridiculously fast, never-ending passage of time -- would be easier to accept if it were only a matter of decades or years. But lately I can't fathom where the months and days are going, either. It seems like just yesterday I was driving my Toyota Yaris across the country, stopping in places like Albuquerque and Little Rock to perform comedy. But that was seven months ago. Now that car is sold, and I work at a staffing agency. Next month, my father will be 75. In February, I'll be 40.
In "Six Degrees of Separation," Ouisa asks:
How do we keep what happens to us? How do we fit it into life without turning it into an anecdote?
Or in my case, a joke?
That's what I'm trying to figure out.
Homo reflective. ♥