NOLA 2014

Vacationed in New Orleans the first week of June ’14. Loved it. Want to move there some day.

In the meantime, I took copious pix which have been uploaded into two galleries (right-hand nav). Pix are typical vaca pix; things that I thought were interesting; tattoo process shots; cats of NOLA; and lots of food porn. Skip what’s uninteresting; enjoy that which is.

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I wasn’t sure whether to title this “gay” or “hate”… I decided to go with the more positive of the two.

I received the following message from Brian, an old friend from NYC. Kelsey is Brian’s wife’s God Daughter:
Kelsey came out of the closet today. First to her family, then on Facebook. She lives in Louisiana surrounded by a conservative Christian community. She is having a really hard time, online and off, and could use all the friends and support she can get.
Please friend Kelsey and show her your support. Pass this message along to anyone you think might appreciate it.

Thank you.

Go here to friend Kelsey on FaceBook.

I dutifully FaceBook friended Kelsey; she accepted. I then went to her page. There I found numerous posts and comments from her “christian” friends (I suppose “friends” deserves quotes as well). These were people, horrified; people who couldn’t believe that their friend had so betrayed them, and therefore their version of Christ, by coming out of the closet.

They tossed the usual judgements at her, damning her soul while claiming to care about it.

How could she?!

I passed Brian’s message on to a number of, as I called them, my gay, spiritual, or spiritually gay, friends.

If you are on FaceBook, I urge you to friend this young woman via the link above.

Let’s face it. I, and most of the gay (my thumbs keep typing fay: a term stereotypical, as well as mis-spelled) people I know, live in a bubble. We have it relatively easy to very easy. Most of us live in cities, or larger towns, on “coasts”. One forgets.

Even here, having moved back to Reading, PA, it is easy to forget the days of my youth when it wasn’t as… Oh, but really, compared to what someone living in a true religiously conservative area goes through, even back then, in my fraught teens, I had it easy. (Thank you, Genesius; the theatre, not the Saint.)

How many young people out there never make it out alive simply because they can’t be free to be who they really are? Or just as tragically mind-bending, stand up to the world, showing their true selves, only to be beaten, spiritually, emotionally, physically, or often, all three? How many? How fucking many?

I could spend paragraph after paragraph of discourse on the hypocracy, the dishonesty, of the fundamentalist “christian” hate mongers. That, however, has been done before, by people far more learned than I. The problem is, one cannot have reasonable discourse when one party is blinded by a fundamental sense of “right”.

I no longer have the energy, or will, for this type of discourse.

What I do have energy for, is living my life as the out gay person that I am, and supporting those who choose, no matter the oppression, or odds, to do the same.

Have strength when you need it, lend your strength when it is needed from you.

How odd that the choice that Kelsey made, the choice to live as the Universe made her, the choice to live honestly to herself, and the world, how odd that that should have to be so hard.

Now that’s, as the kids today say, gay.


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The man, not the toothpaste.

This story on my Yahoo page reminded me of a funny story.

Years ago, I was the box office manager at The Village Gate. The 25th anniversary production of “Jacques Brel…” was playing in the downstairs theatre. “Brel” was directed by Elly Stone, an original cast member and produced by Eric Blau, the original run’s producer.

The box office phone rings. I answer. And the following conversation ensues:

Me: Thanks for calling The Village Gate, may I help you.
Man with very strong Israeli accent: Hello. This is Topol. I would like. To make a reservation. For my wife. And my son.
Me: Certainly, sir. (Gathering of address and payment data.)
Me: And what name should we hold this reservation under?
Topol: Mrs. Topol.

Reading back over this, it doesn’t seem as funny as it did then. Perhaps it’s more about the oral tradition vs. the written tradition; it just sounds better than it reads.

Anyway, it’s still funny to me.

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One would think, leaving NYC after 21 years and moving back to the area where I grew up, Reading, PA, that I would indeed feel a sense of failure. Oddly, I don’t. Instead, I feel something that feels more like completion.

No, I’m not saying, “I’m home, dig a hole and throw me in; life it over.” Not that kind of completion; not an ending. Rather, more a sense that the adventure that I was on is now over and there is a new adventure to experience.

Lord knows, in my years in NY, I did more, experienced more, than I would have ever imagined, growing up outside of Reading as I did. It has been an amazing ride: wonderful people, amazing places; a fantastic ride.

Recently I uploaded a list of what I’ve been doing theatrically since 1974, here’s the link. It was wonderful to look back over the years to where I’ve been, where I came from.

And now, on to the next adventure. It’s very exciting. At the moment, it’s also very wacky; living in my childhood bedroom in my parent’s home. I’m here alone, as Jamie is finishing up his job in NY – he was “job eliminated”. He’ll be here next week. I’m going up to haul him and the cats and some luggage and, perhaps, a friend’s daughter home to PA.

We, Jamie & I, not our friend’s daughter, she’ll be staying with her parents, are staying with my parents until our place in NYC sells. Hopefully that will be soon; it’s a really wonderful co-op apartment in a great building. We put a lot of work into it. I’m especially sad to give up my fabulous kitchen that we designed and built, but hey, now we can do it all over again…

And, should you be in the market for an apartment in NYC, here’s a lovely one. I’m sure you’d be happy there, I know we were.

So it’s time to move on to the next adventure. That’s what the falling dominoes of the last six months or so are saying anyway.


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Some pix from the rehearsals and promo shoot of Sweeney Todd at Genesius Theatre have been added to the gallery. Look down on the right-hand side.


One universally consistent complaint about the iPhone is that it is not possible to cut and paste. Since I now tend to compose all my posts on my phone, this, given my feeble powers of memory, poses serious limitations on my inclusion of annotative links. I simply can’t remember extended URLs long enough to add them in.

That being said, Prop. (Well, it wasn’t an incredibly long URL.) Something that supports, the act of supporting, a physical, usually but not always, handheld item used on stage by an actor, and carrying the idea of “support” to its modern vernacular conversion, in the plural, “respect”.


So, the other day, I was called into duty raiding another theatre’s prop rooms. Raiding is, perhaps, the wrong terminology. “Borrowing from” is more correct, however, like long-time neighbors borrowing one another’s tools or garden implements, these “borrowings”, more often than not, are for a term longer than the item’s intended use.

Anyway, we filled a rowboat to the brim with small stools, think milkmaid, and rolled it (yes, it rolls) from one theatre’s warehouse across the street to our theatre. It’s nice that these two spaces are just across and down the street form one another: One, the sheer convenience is a joy, and: Two, the rolling rowboat doesn’t roll all that well.

On our short journey, we passed some local derelicts who offered, albeit in a somewhat slurred and incoherent fashion, stool-toting, boat-rolling tips. None of these were particularly helpful; the tip nor the derelicts.

And here I am, days later, on stage surrounded by our booty. Plus more acquired in the ensuing days.

Props: support; gratitude. Two sides, one coin.

I do love all the folks I’m working with and those who have made my participation in this project possible.

This was written piecemeal over a number of days. It might not make sense to you, but it makes sense to me. And now this has been brewing too long to not post immediately without further delay.


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That’s really all life is: building. Or tearing apart. Two sides of one coin, really. Or, well, life, birth, death; it’s all about building, growing into a state of completion, then the decay, the tearing down.

You would never guess that I’m sitting at a music rehearsal, would you?

Reminds me of a story, totally unrelated to anything. My dear, late friend, Jeffrey Mont Jeffreys, was very proud of his award winning definition of a kiss: “The meeting of the distal ends of two tubes of shit.”

I guess it is related.

I was at the theatre early yesterday (yesterday being Saturday) to help build the Sweeney set. With the stress carried over from earlier in the week ( unemployment) and lifting things in a fashion unfit for my history of back issues, I, of course, threw out my lower back.

Rehearsal then, yesterday after building, was an ordeal. Luckily, there were many kind folks with pain killers handy. Also fortunate, we didn’t have to be at the theater until five today, so I could spend the day in bed not moving. It was nice. The back feels, while not wonderful, through the magic of rest and chemicals, at least much better.

And now home, or at least, for the next four weeks or so, a version of home. I’m referring to my parent’s house. The house where I grew up, and strangely, wonderously, in this ever disposable age, where my parents still live.

So I’m here, back in my old room, in, not my old bed, that was left behind many years ago in one apartment move or another. No, I am in Jamie’s antique bed that he bought years before meeting me. Did it have some negative, or pre-me, association that we didn’t want it in our own bedroom? No, not at all (at least none of which I’ve been informed), no, the problem is one of size.
Did you know that standardization of bed sizes is a relatively modern thing? Until I met this bed, it had never occurred to me to even think about such a thing.

A quick-ish web search shines little light on just when, exactly, the standardization began, other than the vague, ‘with the advent of mass production’. But one assumes it was around the turn of the century.

Oh, that’s no longer a very specific statement, is it? Of course, anyone reading this now would know that I meant the 19th into the 20th; fifty years from now, who knows? Who knows what will be considered quaint, old-fashioned, that is so very “now”, now. Showing his age, he asks: How many cassettes do you still have hanging around? “I’m gonna burn them to CD,” you say. One guesses in 2050 or so, CDs will have become as antiquated as the album is today. Ah, vinyl… Still have so much of that around, too, waiting to be burned. Onto CD that is, not in a bonfire of protest.

Bonfires. Burning. Tearing down. Building. I have no idea where this was going… Except, I know I wanted to say how wonderful these music rehearsals sound; voices blending, rising and falling together. It is truly a spiritual experience. And i’m proud and honored to be a part of this wonderful group of people.

If you are in the Reading, PA area, or just in the mood for a roadtrip, come on down, ya won’t be disappointed.

Follow this link for more info and tix. And if you do stop in to see Sweeney Todd, say “hi”, it’d be nice to meet you.


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It’s really what rehearsals are about.

Clearly, though, there is activity, since, while there’s no way for you to know this, i’ve been working on this post for the last three days. Whenever I think to start writing again, I have to go up and do a scene.

It’s Monday night, 9:13 precisely. Tomorrow I grab the 5AM Bieber back to NYC, getting to work at about 8:30AM. Sheesh.

At least this way I have a night with Jamie before I head to Wisconsin Wednesday morning on a business trip.

Yes, some might argue that a trip to WI is never well timed, but this one certainly isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m anxious to meet the bunch of folks who I’ve become very close to via our daily emails and phone calls. I arranged an extra-curricular meeting with some friends from another nearby company, so it should be a fun, busy visit.

Anyway, this post seems to have become moorless. I’ll write from WI of I find the time and let you know how the cheese is! 😉


Oh, almost forgot, check out Jamie’s latest site: SEM poetry at it’s finest? That’s up to him & you. What’s SEM? Go over and find out.


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Sitting. “God, That’s Good” is being blocked – the 2nd Act opening. I’m waiting to be placed on top of my cube, which at the moment, is a tape mark on the floor.

Been there, done that. Waiting again; the nature of rehearsals. Mrs. Lovett & Toby are doing their thing in the bakehouse at the moment. Grinding meat.

Soon I’ll be going up to off The Beadle. Fascinating, isn’t it? It’s a process.

Saw a wonderful production of 12 Angry Men at Genesius last night. If you are in the Reading, PA area, I urge you to see it. It has one more weekend, 9/19 – 9/21.

I’ve killed The Beadle. Waiting to be blocked into the “searching” scene. Now they are blocking Fogg’s Aslyum and City on Fire.

Damn, this is a huge cast for such a small theatre. But this show will be wonderful. Oops, time to pay attention.

I was wrong. We never got to my scene before dinner break, which we are now back from. Still not doing anything, though. Looks like we are about to start. More later.

9:30PM – Rehearsal is over. We finished with the second act blocking and started running the first from the top of the show. Got to Ms. Lovett telling me about my Lucy’s fate and then we stopped for the night.

I decided I needed a burger, so here I sit at the Wyomissing Diner, one of the few places ’round these parts that’s open at this hour on a Sunday night. Very uncivilized, it’s not like I’m in the middle of Kansas… On the other hand, they do have a tasty burger and excellent fries.

And now home and ready for bed. Need my rest for my Monday 9 hours of telecommuting to my job in NYC. Fun. Well, more fun than actually being there, I suppose.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my day at rehearsal. LOL I know I certainly did.


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Or rather, “The” Bieber, as it is known to us locals and former locals. It’s the only bus line that goes directly between NYC and Reading, PA, where I grew up, Where my parents still live (well, In nearby West Lawn). Where I’m heading now. Quite frequently. Every weekend. I’m doing a show, Sweeney Todd, at the theatre where I grew up. Genesius Theater.

This theatre saved my life – more ’bout that in another post.

So, after an absense of nearly thirty years, I’m back on the old stage that made me into who I am today. Or rather, I will be back, once this 3 hour bus ride is over. Every week now for the last month. Up and down.

What we do for love? We do this.

And now, I’ve taxed my thumbs and iPhone enough for one day.

See you soon.

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