In light of my previous Let’s-Make-a-New-Model-for-Arts-Journalism post, how do I choose to follow that up for revolutionary masses? You guessed it, people: by responding to a meme. I never get to do these so I figured “What the hell?”
Thanks to both Matt Freeman and Zack Calhoon for tagging me on this. The point is to list seven strange things about oneself. I wouldn’t necessarily call any of these strange, but they are all singularly nytheatre mike-ish. Here goes…
1. I’m a native New Yorker.
That’s right. Born and raised on the Upper West Side. Which makes a lot of people look at me as if I’m some exotic endangered species. Hell, if I survived Amsterdam Avenue in the 1970s, then I ain’t gonna be extinct anytime soon.
2. I trained as a singer with the Boys Choir of Harlem.
For about a year or so during grade school, with Dr. Walter Turnbull himself. Finally decided to stop going because I was tired of commuting up to Harlem once or twice a week. The first of many foolish career decisions to come.
3. I auditioned for the lead role in the feature film Lost Angels.
Which I obviously didn’t get because it went to this guy. Not a cinematic classic, so I figure it all worked out.
4. I attended the Fame school.
Also known as LaGuardia Arts. When I went there it was simply known as the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts. Whew. There was no dancing on the lunchroom tables, but there were plenty of other shenanigans I probably shouldn’t tell you about. (I majored in Drama, by the way.)
5. I have never travelled out of the country.
Unless you count Tijuana. Which I don’t. It reminded me too much of Amsterdam Avenue in the 1970s.
6. I used to be a bar bouncer.
For about nine months in the early 1990s. Worked at a bar in the coastal North Carolina town of Wilmington. Which means that not only can I sing (see # 2 above), but I can kick your ass while doing it. In addition to the usual mix of locals, beachbums, and rednecks, we also had a surprisingly large military clientele. Talk about job training under fire.
7. I used to help Joseph Wiseman run his lines.
You might know Joe better as the infamous Dr. No. I was a member of the stage crew for a show Joe was in during Signature Theatre Company’s Arthur Miller season, and I got assigned to help him run lines before the show every night. His memory wasn’t what it used to be and he needed to practice before every show in order to stay sharp. It worked: he won an OBIE Award for his performance. (No need to thank me, Joe.)