what-if-someone-told-you-to-jump-off-a-cliff

I was one of those kids in school whose hand always shot up with answers. Well, to clarify, that was in history and English — and probably not ever in math or science.

All through college, in almost all of my classes, I always had plenty to say.

When I went into the work world, I was confident and ambitious and quickly found that my talents lay more in writing. It became easier for me not to speak, but to convey thoughts and ideas on the page. I began to shift into the introverted side of my personality, raising my hand less and less often, enjoying the safety and comfort of the world of my own thoughts. And in the male-dominated work world, it felt like a brilliant refuge — easier, less of a stretch.

Years ago, when I was between writing jobs, I went to a career coach and he asked me about my life. As I was telling him my story, he began laughing. Read More →

Last week, starting on Sunday when I went up to Great Barrington for the first read through (although actually, recalling that – it was very difficult.) The first read through didn’t go so well and the lead actor, Amy, came up to my room and we went through the whole script, so actually the week was a roller coaster, or as my friend Jodi says, it was like surfing.

The reading of the show on Wednesday night was great – I really enjoyed watching the amazing actors work. And they inspired me for my own show, although I have to say Thursday night was easy and fun (although….terrifying) and Saturday was pretty good and tonight was hard. I felt like I didn’t do well at all, but you know it’s not really about me. That’s what I try to remember. If one person in the audience got something good out of it, that’s all that matters.

I’ll write more soon, I just want to say that I am so grateful for now remembering that this week was fantastic and not easy.

I don’t feel like writing much tonight – but it’s been ages since I wrote anything. For two days I was in Great Barrington at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, working with actors and a director on a play I co-wrote called “Scrambled Eggs” (crazy title, thought up by Eric Bogosian, so you can’t turn that down.)

It was very challenging. The night of the table read, Matt Penn, the director, said the ending isn’t quite there yet, so just re-write. The actor who’s playing the lead, a lovely woman named Amy Von Nostrand, came to my room at the inn and we talked through the play until midnight. And then the following day I sat at the computer and worked on a new ending. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s getting closer. One of the best things about theater is that the play can keep on evolving.

Then I raced home last night in time to be here today for the tech rehearsal of my solo show and I got to see my dear friend, Jake Lipman’s show tonight too. “Up a River and Down the Aisle.” She was fantastic.

Tomorrow I go back up to Great Barrington (which is quite gorgeous, by the way) for the reading. I am prepared for a talk back afterward which will probably be difficult – it usually is. People like to put in their two cents and it’s not always flattering. But I feel that I have to be there, not only because I have a chance to see the play in front of an audience, but because I really like the actors and want to be there to support them. I know we’ll get laughs and I hope it works as a staged reading. I cringe a lot at things I would like to completely re-write, but at this point, I don’t have the chance.

Zoe’s flying in tonight from San Francisco and we will probably just miss each other tomorrow morning as I race to Grand Central. I have to say this is very very stressful, but in a good way. It’s amazing that it’s all happening in one week.

The interesting thing about pain is that one day you can be feeling awful and sad and then within 24 hours, you can have a better day and feel good. That’s the kind of day I had today.

I picked up the postcards for my solo show at the Midtown International Theatre Festival and here is the link to buy tickets:

https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/671035

And I went to see someone to help me re-write my resume and she was great. She talked even faster than I do and the place I went to is called Fegs, which is an agency that helps people with all kinds of services, including career questions. I was floored by how many ideas she had for me and how she started re-writing my resume and I realized that I had many more skills that I hadn’t even thought were marketable.

We set up another session for next week (did I say this was all free?) And as I left the building I checked my messages and found that I had a voice message from a producer who is doing a workshop of my play “Scrambled Eggs” up in the Berkshires. I wish I could go, but unfortunately it’s exactly the same time as the solo show, the day before. I don’t think I could handle seeing the workshop and then rushing back to town for the performance. That’s disappointing, but great that it’s happening.

One piece of sad news – I just read that Walter Cronkite died today. One of my friends recently told me that she went to his office for a meeting to talk about a project that he was interested in. I was surprised that he was still working, but I remember seeing him a few years ago at a restaurant on Madison Avenue and he looked very strong and alive. He lived to be ninety-two years old – another good long run. Most of us who are over forty or so will remember him as being such an important voice at CBS for so many years.

Anyway – life goes on and it’s always bumpy, occasionally horrible, frequently exciting and totally unpredictable.

I just have to share that despite a really difficult day, filled with many emotions – I just got word that my solo show was accepted into the Midtown International Theater Festival! And that terrifies me and also excites me.

I don’t know the date yet, but I’ll post it as soon as I know.

Sarah, You have no idea how many people are grateful for your nomination. Let’s start with Katie Couric. I have never heard her name mentioned as many times as I have in the last week. Everyone is talking about her – Katie’s interview, Katie Couric’s gotcha moments, she is probably beside herself with joy that she got those interviews.

And given how tired Bush jokes are, I’m sure that every comedian in this entire universe is grateful to have someone new to kick around. What about Tina Fey? Could her career get any hotter? When I watch you now, I think you are doing a Tina Fey imitation. Even I enjoy being you, answering questions like you, you are just so darn cute and folksy.

You know, if our futures and the futures’ of generations after us and the entire planet wasn’t at stake, I would say: thank you for being such a good sport. When people praised your mediocre performance last night in the debate I couldn’t help but think that a really smart and articulate fifth grader could have done just as well.

But what we need to remember is that today there are more important things to focus on (the economy, the House’s vote) and last night is over.

For me personally, we are starting to rehearse our solo shows and that is challenging and fun.

And I believe in my heart that the Democrats will prevail on November 4th.

Remember that song from “Dirty Dancing?” (Which reminds me that Patrick Swayze, who had pancreatic cancer, is in complete remission! Which is great!)

Anyway, I did truly have the time of my life last night, the night of our monologue show. It felt like that jump off the stage that Baby (Jennifer Grey) made right into Patrick Swayze’s arms. My jump felt like it went right into the arms of the audience. It only took me fifty plus years to find the thing that I love to do more than anything, stand up in front of an audience and act and do accents (not so well), and play different characters and most of all, make people laugh. That was….beyond awesome.

It wasn’t even scary. I just got up there and looked at the front row, which was filled with my daughter and my friends and I was off to the races (as Matt, my fantastic teacher, would say.)

I am so grateful to the people who came and I’m glad that some people couldn’t come because there will be another show. Soon! I promise. I’m not giving this up so fast. This is what I want to do and I will somehow figure out a way to accomplish it. And earn a good living. And travel. From my lips…

I was thrilled that my daughter Zoe was there. To see her laughing and really enjoying herself — that was the coup de grace. (sp?) As Jake’s mom used to say, “Love you madly, Zoe!”

I have to thank Matt Hoverman, for his incredible workshop. He is truly a gifted teacher, director and human being and he deserves to have all his shows produced all over the world.