Friday, July 30, 2010


Ya know, I was about to regale you with the lyrics to the Go-Go's anthem, VACATION, but realized it had absofreakinlutely nothing to do with my life.


"Still haven't gotten over you yet?"

Pshaw. I'm over EVERYone.

It's been 16 months since I had a break. Please consult VACAY IN THE CITAY for a rehashing of the vacation in my apartment.

And for you weenies out there, no, I don't count my recent 165 day weekend in any way, shape or forum as a vacation, because...well...sistah here was looking for the work. Looking hard. Looking everywhere.

And I found it. And just worked 15 weeks straight and if you've been following the Travels and Travails of TiZ, you know I NEED A FUCKING VACATION...if only to let my body heal.

It started at 2:04 this afternoon when I finished off a previously opened bottle of wine and jumped in the pool. My brother's pool. He and his wife (officially, as of last year, my sister) graciously lent me their house for nine days as an artist's retreat. Here I will read, float in the pool, tend to R-Leigh the WonderDog, spend a birthday weekend with the Nana and hopefully write.

And as you've perhaps noticed...drink.

The vacay was supposed to start when I awakened. However, that's not what the universe had in store pour pauvre petit moi. Niggly little things cropped up and crept out and made me absofreakinlutely bonkers. A huge business mailing, emails to be returned (and returned... again), Workers' Comp crap, jewelry to be fixed, TaB to be found (I'm enjoying a frosty Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper. Quite good.), Fairfield county to be driven through (which has the worst drivers per capita in, I believe, the entire universe), travel to be arranged for my next job (Why, sweet Jesus, does management insist we get up and out there at the crack of AsS? Don't they realize we're gonna get bored, get drunk and be a mess for the first day of rehearsal? Get us there late and we'll just pass out, awakening sans hangovers. Oh, WHEN I RULE THE WORLD!)...

Wait, where was I?

Oh yes, complaining.

At 2:04 pm, I finally changed the outgoing message on my mobile, shut off the ringer, downed the wine and float (floated? floatededed?) in the pool.

And I believe Michael Chabon is a fabulous writer.

And Happy Birthday to me. Tomorrow I am old.

Hopefully I will write. I do not wish to retreat from that anymore.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It Was Just a River

He came. Sondheim came. He saw. He whatever-ed.

And it wasn't denial on my part. By the time he came, I couldn't have cared less.

I WANTED TO CARE. It's Stephen Sondheim, the man who had made my career infinitely more interesting, for feck's sake.

I had had a few hits of bourbon* in the cube after my last chute shit, sharing a sweet moment with friends who were so happy and relieved that I survived.

As I lie there dead, I felt the bourbon like a lovely drip i.v. taking away my foot, finger and back pain along with psychic sorrow...and some cognitive function. I got through my one solo line, sang a wicked gorgeous high d and c# at the end (at least to my sauced ear), and downstairs I went.

And I met a nice man with a beard who seemed happy with what we had done.

And that was the extent of it for me. All I wanted to do was scrub off my make-up.


Next time I'll care. I promise.

*This is not my usual m.o. Like NEVER. But just this once, it was good. Honestly, if you knew how bad it had gotten, you would have done the same.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Denial is not just a river in Africa.

Stephen Sondheim is coming to see our little skit tonight. And I would like to say I'm a little daunted.

But I'm not.

Maybe I will be when all is said and done. Maybe I'm in denial. Maybe the footlights will flame and I will freak.

But I doubt it.

I'm tired and my body hurts in so many different places. I can take it when it's one or two. I can even go about my merry way and push the pain away successfully (often too successfully) when it's just one or two.

But it's more than one or two.

And I'm ready to go home.

I would just like to honor Da Man, go looking for Lucy once more and then jiggety jig all the way back to my mountain aerie.

Alms, alms, for a mis'rable woman...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

There is Very Little...

...that a hot bath, a familiar bed and familiar touch can't cure.

That's why I'm saying.

Sometimes I'm cryptic.

And I don't mind.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Re-Post

In celebration of Andrew Solomon's beautiful memorial in this month's Yale Alumni Magazine...



in the grand tradition of poppy tiz and inappropriate email can stop here if you wish.

my beloved terry %^&*&*(%^%%))*&&$@late last week. i don't know when. i don't know how. i don't know why. i do know where...the hills of abruzzo. 'cause that's terry.i am beyond bereft and doubt i will ever want to talk about it. a very bright light (we're talking a super trooper) is gone from my life. just wanted to let you know so that in a couple months you don't go "how IS that terry" and i have to say, "dead."

ok. love you. don't try this at home.



Above is the email I sent to my siblings Wednesday last. To say the least, I did not meet the writing deadlines I had set for myself. I couldn’t cross the line of death. And before you ask, yes, I webding redacted the particulars of his passing. T’ain’t none of your business. Read
Il Tempo and translate if you're curious. As I correctly projected, I don’t wish to talk about it. And I’m not going to make it easy for you.

Because it hasn’t been easy for me. (I love to share the wealth. Really…no thanks necessary.)

I will not write of his wraith, but I will of Terry’s wrought i knew it. Glorious Terry whom I met almost 28 years ago. Snapshots of Terry—in no particular order other than what my pan-fried brain proffers
…(and if you click on the links, you'll know just how pan-fried it is)


My first dance party at Yale with the cast of Grease. I was Patty Simcox (aka, Patty Sucks Cocks) and Terry was Doodie. Terry, Penny, Scott, Tom, Tommy, Eddy, Rox, Charlie, et al and I had such fun moving generously through space to the Jackson 5 that it became a nightly post-rehearsal event. We could take over any party. And we did. Eventually Terry and I went rogue, a virtual Wang Chung Fred and Ginger. We did flips, we did splits, we climbed tables and walls. We were so outrageous, an entire dining hall full of Yalies broke into applause when Terry dropped me on my head. Terry hates that I tell that story. But I hate that Terry is dead, so we’re even.


Late night port and Chopin nocturne dates. This was quite a novelty for someone raised on
Velveeta (and that someone was NOT Terry).

Napping. Terry was a great napper. As was I. (As AM I since I heard of his passing. I’ve slept 48 hours in four days. Epic.) Together, we were unstoppable. Similarly sized, we could
spoonboth ways. I have never met a comparable nap master and doubt I ever will.

Deerstalker cloak and cap. Oh damn, he was eccentric and adorable. Yale’s own Sherlock Holmes.

Terry grinning, “Coming to my party?” as he pulled a flier from his
cape. Everyone remembers this, yet I have no recollection. I never got a flier. He just assumed I’d be there. I love that assumption.

Terry writing, “Starring %&*)&%#)_&%$” on every
Choruses of the World poster on the Yale campus.

Terry swapping underwear with me at Avery Fisher Hall for the
Choruses of the World concert to help alleviate my juvey jitters. It was a little daunting to make my AFH debut at 19. He understood. Lucky we were similarly sized. ( butt was bigger even then. Shut up.)

Terry treating me to the
Empire Diner post AFH so I could see the drag queens. And have a Windex cocktail. All to alleviate my post-show jitters.

Terry dressing me in his clothes so I wouldn’t have to walk the walk of shame the morning after his
toga party. Does anyone have the flier I never received? I’ll pay a pretty penny.

Terry making his own holiday cards, loaded with shiny shit that would shoot out of them, along with three dimensional boingy shards and antennae.
Design marvels.

Terry sending postcards of Michelangelo’s
David to my parents’ house just to test Poppy’s love for him. I got in trouble. Terry got love. (This was especially funny as I had an ex named David who Poppy hated and called "David Who?")

Terry watching in disgust as I piled a piece of
pound cake with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry on top.

Terry asking, “Why don’t you just manually apply it to your
thighs? That’s where it’s going anyway.”

Terry manually applying said pound cake to my left thigh. Guess where the
cherry went?

Terry and I

Terry explaining to me in depth that although most people attend Yale to learn and some go for life experience, I was there to give pleasure to others. (This could have confused Velveeta girl.)

Terry and I attending the Branford Ball in matching tails. We were

Terry residing in a
different college at Yale every year. This was virtually impossible to accomplish and only his vast charm could have cooed this coup.

Terry and I in the chorus of the Yale School of Music’s production of
Die Fledermaus. Our onstage romance was so dear, famedMaestro John Mauceri asked us to tone it down as we were upstaging the principals. Our executive decision? We were doin' just fine and we should keep up our dear work, all the while waving to the Maestro.

Terry, BLONDE, as the Emcee in Cabaret. Funny, heartbreaking and apocalyptic all rolled into one.

Terry and I finding one another backstage in the Provincetown Playhouse by singing the Papageno Papagena duet.

Terry and I drinking cappuccino at his home away from home,
Café Dante.

Terry putting up with caffeinated me.

Terry saying
"wach auf" to me in the antique featherbed in his parents flat in Geneva’s Alte Stadt. You haven’t lived ‘til you’ve been awakened by that joyous, open face so full of possibilities for the day.

Terry and I swing dancing at Lincoln Center Midsummer Night Swing. We had such fun
behind the barricade, they let us in for free.

Terry and I diving into one another in our
manic monkey ways.

Terry welling up when he discovered we’d been in London concurrently and he’d missed seeing me

Terry and I speaking our strange mix of German, English and Italian—

Terry declaring,
“I don’t remember Yale. I remember you.”

handwriting—his script an art form in and of itself.

Terry visiting me my last trip to London.*

Terry’s origami lecture notebooks. Oh, I’d give my left arm…

Terry lecturing at NYU on homo-eroticism in Mussolini era architecture. He rocked. I titled it “Balls to the Walls.” Terry kissed me.

Terry kissing me goodbye—always in the


This is what I have. When all is said and done, I guess it’s a lot. But it was supposed to be more. Terry lived life fully, whimsically and eloquently. And I believe he made everyone feel as I did…like the only person in his world.

This is what I have.

Mein Liebling Terry,

Mi sento la mancanza di te più di posso immaginare. I am sad and so sorry. Finché ti vedo, spero dass Sie die beste dance party ever mit Lynette haben.

I love you, my Papageno.

The measure of this loss is love.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


(from an upcoming tome, me hopes)

You’re not always a star. When you are, your private dressing room is your castle…you are the queen of your domain and most anything goes…including sex. But when you have to share with numerous lassies…

#1 Don’t have sex in the communal dressing room. Not even with yourself.

#2 Like Vegas, what happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. I think there should be a secret handshake of confidentiality (perhaps involving some blood) to seal the deal. It can be a confessional, group therapy and a 12-step program (“Hello, my name is Myrtle and I’m an actor.”) all rolled into one ginormous neurotic cosmos. It should all stay in there.

#3 That being said, try to leave some of your troubles at home. I don’t always want to hear the dirty details. We’re colleagues. We may be friends but that’s not a given. And don’t ask me about my troubles. Don’t ask me how my mother is after the show goes up when you know damn well she’s had a stroke and lost twenty pounds. It’s especially rude of you when I have to go on and make people laugh. Because what you may not know is that I just learned my mother had another stroke, has lost her power of speech again and I would rather open my wrists in a warm bath than talk about it.

#4 That question being asked, please don’t be offended when I respond, “I don’t want to talk about it” and flee for my life.

#5 Entire conversations held in hushed tones with heads ducked? Rude. Take it onstage where it belongs.

#6 Don’t smirk about a comment your dressing roommate has made believing she can’t see you. THERE ARE MIRRORS, PEOPLE! I don’t think you want to hear me (or anyone) say, “Do you care to repeat that to my face?” Or do you? Hmmmmm.

#7 If someone says to you, “Have a good show!” as they leave for their entrance, don’t ignore them. Definitely don’t smirk. Because when they reach deck they mutter the “C” word under their breath…and they mean you.

#8 Cameras in the dressing room? Tricky. THERE ARE MIRRORS, PEOPLE! And inevitably someone is reflected buck naked strapping on some tights. Ask DLC.

#8 Try not to use the dressing room toilet to drop the kids off at the pool. If it’s the only one, go ahead but bring matches…and air-fresheners…and a sheepish grin. I, personally, have perfected the sheepish grin. So I’ve got a nervous stomach. Sue me.

#9 Do not ask your colleagues if they are interested in watching you model the bikinis you just bought for your romantic vacay with your married lover. They’re probably not interested. They may throw shit at you.

#10 Technology is great. but if you’re going to play on your computer or your game boy or your iPhone or other fancy-shmancy gadget, bring earbuds or turn the sound off completely. Since I’m sitting three feet away and can’t see the particular YouTube video with cute fuzzy animals you’re cackling over, I sure as shit don’t want to listen to it.

#11 Phone on silent please. If it rings I will answer it . Ask Betty Buckley. Vibrate isn’t good enough…unless you want me to do something kinky with it (and that’s the one instance where rule #1 doesn’t apply).

#12 Phone conversations during a show? COME ON. Be ecstatic you’re working. Be involved in the experience. Do you really need to learn that your grandmother died in the middle of a show? I think it can wait twenty minutes, don’t you? She is dead after all.

#13 Singing after half hour will get you slapped every which way to Sunday. Warm up at home or somewhere else in the theater before half hour. We all know you’re talented—shut the fuck up. And coming from the girl with cords of steel…if you’ve done all that and STILL need to warm up after half hour, yous got a problem with your technique. Take some lessons.

#14 No one else wants to hear how well your career is going. We’re all jealous. Okay…maybe not always. Maybe mention it once so we can congratulate you through gritted grins and then drop it. Don’t worry. The good things are still happening to you and you are still the center of your universe. You’re just not the center of our respective universes.

#15 Try to keep your stuff in your designated area and not spill over into other people’s space. It’s especially helpful during quick changes since some people (me) are Porky Pig and have a hard enough time finding the necklace that goes with the earrings that go with the bracelet…that is always at large.

#16 Try not to complain about your scene partner to everyone. There’s something truly unsightly about that. Yes, I know once I kept score on my mirror how many times my scene partner got the show right, but eight of the nine other women in the room had no idea what those dastardly hash marks were about.

#17 Cleanliness is next to godliness.

#18 No perfume please.

#19 Discussing reviews is uncool. There is always someone who chooses not to read them. Be respectful.

And remember...

#20 You’re never fully dressed without a smile.

Follow most of these rules and most anyone will love to share a dressing room with you. And that makes for a happy carny trash family.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Here I Sit...

Here I sit so happily on a day off. It's my second day off in a row and I'm in piggy pig pig heaven. I haven't really gotten out of the bed other than to grab food and TaB. I think my house is concerned...they knock, they check, they're sweet. And here is sit...or lounge...or lie.

The only thing that could possibly have improved today was if it had taken place in its entirety in a hammock. But since I hogged a hammock for three hours yesterday, inviting a few special people to become enveloped in my web, I really can't complain.

Or can I?

Tomorrow I will return to the land of the able-bodied and scatter-brained. To the emotionally generous and the stupidly petulant. To the control freaks and the free-spirits.

But today I sit with me.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Quote of the Week

If this is going to be a pissing contest then you better bring an umbrella.--NCIS

Friday, July 2, 2010

It Makes My Heart Hurt

I’m in the Berkshires doing a production of SWEENEY TODD, playing the Beggar Woman. It’s getting a lot of press.

Which I’m staying away from.

I’m supposedly getting WILDLY varying reviews, many supposedly stating “facts” that conflict from publication to publication.

Which I’m staying away from.

I wouldn’t even know what is involved in the above two paragraphs but people insist on telling me.

T’ain’t none of my business what you think of me .*

Especially with this show. This is my fourth time inhabiting this specific universe, my second time living in this particular skin. And I have worked painstakingly, passionately and joyfully to illuminate the human spirit in 72 measures and 6 spoken lines. But who’s counting?

Not everyone is ready to be illuminated…or do the illuminating. Aww, fuck it. I'm just trying to do my best. Everyone is...I guess. Maybe I wish some people aimed their best a wee bit higher.

This is where my heart breaks.

A very important reviewer attended last night. REALLY important. Some TURDbucket told me on the street an hour before.

Really? REALLY?

Would I like this V.I.R. (very important reviewer) to appreciate my little light? Yup.

But today, there are 100 senior citizens here. I am blinded by the reflection of their spectacles. An audience of 100, on limited income, who paid money to sit in a darkened room and perhaps have their lives change. They are here for us.

And they are who I’m here for…bitch. (Remember, never end a sentence with a preposition…bitch. (Okay, that one was just for fun.))

I actually burst into tears over this. Full-on fuck-all tears. To the lovely sound girl. She just checked to make sure I was okay. Three scenes later, she’s still worried. I repeat, she’s lovely.

I think I’m getting my period.

I had a colleague on this show recently drunkenly tell me that people find me intense and that I take on too much.

Yup. And that’s okay. I work. More than most. And I have a 75% re-hire rate. The people I dig honor the way I loom and illume.

If you’re here just to read your reviews or collect a paycheck or suck-up, I am pretty much not interested. And I may mock you. Behind your back of course. And in the most joyful manner.


That’s all. My heart hurts. In the best of all ways. Learning, learning good things.

*Of COURSE I read my reviews when a show closes. Have to sell myself, right? A girl’s just got to sell herself. The opinions of others just hold no place in my world until the sell-by date.

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