Friday, July 30, 2004

Talk to a local, they know what you need.

Hampton Inn: Bow (outside Concord), New Hampshire

Toni and I have a rule on road trips - no chains. We cannot eat in a franchised establishment without first making a legitimate attempt to find something home-grown. It's has always been very tempting, first leaving the Interstate, to pull into the nearest B*b E***s - D***'s - A****bee's or what have you, especially when your butt is tired and your feet are cramped. Even more so when you have an anxious toddler (who turned 18 months today, if you can believe that.)

Normally, we press on into whatever city is nearby, sometimes five miles up the road, some little burg, forgotten as a result of the big, nasty National Highway System. Thank you, Eisenhower. And we meet friendly people, the food is better, and cheaper. And it makes you feel like you've actually gone somwehere, and didn't just take a turn at Westlake.

Case in point - we load up from Syracuse around 9:30, with a resolution to go an hour before breakfast (it was a late night, we fell asleep watching Kerry's speech, and if that doesn't suggest we are all doomed, don't say I didn't warn you) and got off the turnpike at Hermiker, NY and decided to ask the Toll Booth Guy for advice. He was corpulent and had poor teeth.

"Can you recommend somewhere for breakfast?" I ask, handing him our ticket and cash.

"Okay," he says with a sigh, as though he knew I was going to ask that before we pulled up, "I can give you D***y's or a diner."

"Diner," Toni and I said, simultaneously.

He rattles off easy directions, and says the place is called "Chet's." And he was right, that place was great. Pretty homely, with lots of photographs of kids on the noteboard next to the bathrooms. The portions were not obscene and the price was right.

There was a McD*****'s up the street, the aforementioned D***y's we had passed, and a K** ... I wonder how much early morning business Chet's used to get, when it was "The Diner."

Holiday Inn: Syracuse, New York

Road Trip! We are headed for Friendship, Maine for a week with the extended family - mine and Toni's. Should be quite enjoyable - and make for a lame blog. Who knows. I have wondered whether taking a ten day vacation shortly before embarking on this NY Fringe gig would be an exercise in relaxation or futility. Will I succeed in taking an hour a day to rehearse my show, maybe out in the woods somewhere (or maybe in the outhouse, in order to approximate the size of our West Village venue) or will I merely whine about the fact that I am not rehearsing?

Yes. Interesting reading, indeed.

Anyway, Friendship is not so far afield I won't be able to check in on the company nor give regular reports on this thing. At least, I don't think so. And maybe there will be pretty pictures of puffins.

Oh, and we have indoor plumbing there. Not an outhouse. I just said that to be smart.

Next up: nagging Brian to pick up the postcards and posters to send to Harris and Liz in advance of our arrival, and then nagging them to distribute them around Downtown Manhattan (or, as they say, "Downtown.")

Nag, nag, nag.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

First Views of "The Next Stage"

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


It’s too early to get paranoid, it really is. has put up their Fringe 2004 page – and we weren’t featured. They were holding out for payment, and who could blame them. Only we sent a check last week. I don’t know what is up with that, but we took care of it early today … and I look to see if our show is listed and it isn’t and I send this short email to them asking where is it … and then I see it and send an equally brief, contrite (is that a word?) message … but when I check the page the graphic (you know, the one with the blackmail font) is missing – it’s just not there, and I refresh and it’s still not there, and then I fear I have offended someone, so I called them.

I am such a little weenie.

However, it has been a big day for promotional doubt. I printed the Fringe Guide – it’s got the entire schedule, you can get your as a PDF file from the FringeNYC site – and, man, a whole lot of people bought ads, and they really do sell the show. I was looking at all the ads and none of the listings. We bought a big ad when ANGST:84 went to New York three years ago, but when I took one out for the Fringe guide in Minnesota, I found I was one of maybe a half-dozen shows that bothered to.

When I was beginning college, I got an advertisement in the mail for a "Freshmen 1986" guide or something like that, it looked official, like it came from the university, and I thought it might be nice to have a year-booky, orientation, memory-type thing with the pictures of the Class of 1990 or whenever we thought we might graduate. And, of course, it was some stupid, cheap thing, that not very many people fell for.

Okay, I didn’t feel that stupid about buying an ad in the Minnesota guide, and it probably helped. But I am looking at this year’s FringeNYC guide and thinking "oops."

The Next Stage

Harris attended the meeting at The Next Stage yesterday, and now we have a much better idea of where I will be performing.

My living room. That’s what he said, start rehearsing in my living room. There’s even a fireplace. The air conditioner? It’s going to be behind me. It’s a small room, the stage is 12’ x 12’. There’s a piano in the room that cannot be moved. The idea of projecting slides has to be reworked. And, as he puts it, the sound operator will have to sit on the light operator’s shoulders.

Some of the other companies were miffed at what they found. Not me. I am looking forward to it. The last performance I had (okay, not counting the Rock Hall at 5 in the morning) we had no light cues, only sound and slides. It felt a lot more intimate, even though it was in a lecture hall, there was less artifice. That worked extremely well.

As for the slides, I have suggested getting a monitor, and using that, off to the side of the stage. The place is small enough, I think that would do just fine.

And of course, they were extremely helpful when it came to rescheduling our technical rehearsal. We will be putting the show together in two hours on Aug. 17, our opening date.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

What's On David's iPod?

Zelda is.
(Thanks for asking.)

Local Media

Sarah Morton and I had a joint interview with Linda Eisenstein for the Cleveland Plain Dealer this afternoon. Even though our shows don’t open for several weeks, this story will run in time to get the word out for the Dobama performance on the 12th.

Linda is a playwright in her own right (write?) and asked a lot of really good questions about how artists influence other artists – the conversation just naturally flowed in that direction, I guess, because of the extent to which Sarah and my works have influenced each other’s. That surprises me, actually, I still think of myself as a novice writer or playwright, and I see Sarah as this genius, the idea of my having an effect on her work is flattering.

But the facts remain – I directed her first one-woman show, The Eighth Wonder of the World in 1998. That was the same year I also acted in her Love In Pieces and Eight Impressions of a Lunatic, the year Sarah told Linda she called the "David Hansen" year, though I referred to it as the "Sarah Morton" year.

Now, in spite of my being a great admirer of her work, I would have found it difficult to write my own one-person show without going to the 2001 Fringe and seeing the variety of solo shows I did. Sarah is an amazingly poetic writer, and she has a much broader vocabulary than I do. It was hard to think of writing for myself without thinking my work had to be 'heightened' in some way. However, I decided to just be myself with this story, tell it, use my journals, why not? It works for Trent Reznor.

Meanwhile, having broached such an intensely personal subject, Sarah says seeing IHT made it possible for her to feel comfortable (if that is the right word) tackling her own demons with 4 Minutes to Happy.


"We just had our first line of urban apparel? Do you mean FUBAR?" - Brian

I might have meant FUBAR, but I think I really meant BUFU which means something similar, but a lot less passive.


Harris is our man in New York (we have a woman in New York, too – Hi, Liz!) and he is acting as ACR at a technical meeting this afternoon. We will be asking the important questions, checking with other companies about getting a screen, or using our projector, or whatever deals he can carve. And he will have a camera, so we will have photos of the space tonight.

And then I will have a much better idea of where I will be, literally, on the 17th.

I pressed Harris for a bio earlier for the program and he asked what his title was and I said "Technical Operator" unless there was something else he preferred. He told me … and I suggested instead we call him "General Operations Director" so we don’t offend anyone.

Monday, July 26, 2004


Yes, it is a lot of fun to open an email from your Authorized Company Representative that begins:


We have had our first major fubu. Every show gets one tech rehearsal, the duration is dictated by the length of your show. Our show opens Tuesday, Aug. 17. Our technical rehearsal has been scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 10.

A full week before our show opens. And four days before we can leave for New York. Suddenly the fact that the space we are booked for - the space a number of the shows we are sharing it with will also find surprising – which was touted for it’s a/v capabilities, has neither a projector nor a screen.

We have our own projector. The screen is a minor inconvenience. The tech rehearsal hurts.

Anyway, Brian is working on it, and Grundik will hopefully be able to work something out with the space. Hopefully. I am not sure what comes next if he can’t, but we are a small show, with very limited tech. Actually, I think all the shows in that space are, but hey, uh … we’re from Cleveland.

That’s the bad news. The good news? AIR CONDITIONING!

That’s going on the website. AIR CONDITIONING!

Happy birthday to me.

New developments: Harris has found a rocking chair in NYC. I always need a new rocking chair, it’s like the drummer in Spinal Tap. I had one in Cleveland, it split. Denny found one in Minnesota; I bought it, brought it home, it split.

Harris’ rocking chair is metal. Take that.

You can now download the haunting opening melody from the show, composed by the incomparable Dennis Yurich.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Calliope Katherine Koesters!

Nick and Carolyn had a baby!

Calliope was born Thursday, July 22 at 8:16 am at Lakewood Hospital. She weighed 7 pounds and was 20 and 1/4 inches long. Meg Chamberlain performed as doula. Everyone is "happy and healthy."

Gen X. Our kids' names rock.
What’s On David’s iPod?
Slow (Chemical Brothers Mix)
Kylie Minogue
Music from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
(Metrosexual? Please, we prefer ‘fey’.)

Lush Life

When Toni and I were honeymooning we came across this fabulous skin product shop in Vancouver called LUSH. Their entire deal is that their stuff is "handmade" and contains "natural" ingredients. Whatever. We just love what they make and it’s a real guilty pleasure.

One a year or so we get a box of happy things from them, and as time goes by I think I get more stuff for me than Toni does for herself.

I have developed an unhappy T-zone which is delighted by the exfoliating effects of my new bar of Fresh Farmacy as well as a post-shower treatment of Imperialis (contents include lavender, mullein leaf, orange blossom water and olive oil, among a number of lovely butters.) I also have a new shaving mucilage, as well as a body bar that fairly reeks of patchouli.

I like being a girl.

Hair Loss

Next question: How in the hell did a local "hair restoration" business get their hands on 1) my parents address in Lakewood attached to 2) my birth name, which I have not used since 1986, replete with the information that 3) I have male pattern baldness?

These places infuriate me. They begin by stating "hair loss has plagued mankind for centuries," and reassure me that "with the advances of medical technology, there is no reason to suffer from hair loss."

F*** you very much, is all I can say, I am not plagued, and neither do I suffer. You know, I got a hairpiece once, for a show. Never used it again, I think it looks ridiculous. I named it Hell Toupee.

I never had a nice time with my hair, I could never do anything with it. I have to conduct a poll among my friends who go back that far – which, admittedly, number about two – and ask whether I looked better then or now.

What really irks me is how neurotic guys are about hair loss. I think I was better off losing so much so fast when I was young. I started thinning when I was 22 or 23 and was pretty much where I am now in about six years. Any social adjustment I needed to make took place a long time ago, and the only people I know who make jokes … well, okay, the only person who makes jokes is Nick. What a surprise.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

What’s On David’s iPod?
Nine Inch Nails
The Downward Spiral
(Old school. This is old school.)

Bizarre Milestone

Ten years ago this Friday, I committed adultery. This, in and of itself, was not unusual. My wife and I had both gotten into the habit. I was about to turn 26. She was about to turn 24. It is, I imagine, something a lot of young couples do, or at least more than you might imagine.

What makes this date worth noting is that unlike previous dalliances (I would never have used the word ‘dalliance’ when I was 26, it would have made me feel old) was that the woman to whom I made what an entirely successful pass was an old high school friend of my wife.

That friend is named Toni.

It became, you can safely assume, a horrible, wonderful mess. And in hindsight you can speculate on the correctness of Toni’s and my decisions, but I wouldn’t give us that much credit. We were not clairvoyant, but we did fall in love, and there was little else we could do about that.

The wife (now the ex-wife) and I had been married for a few days shy of eighteen months at that point. Zelda will be a few days shy of eighteen months on Friday. I used to think my ex-wife and I hadn’t been married very long when Toni and I started fooling around, but when I put it that way I am not so sure.

In any event, I was listening to an awful lot of Nine Inch Nails back then.

Ten years is a very long time. I assume my ex-wife still despises me, she attempted to be in touch with me in 1999, five years ago (five years was also the amount of time between when she and I began dating and when we decided to get divorced: 1989 to 1994) but that turned out to be a mistake, she seemed to think I was still cheating on her or that I cared what she thought of that. I admit, I can use all the friends I can get, but it’s been a long time since I thought I needed forgiveness for what turned out to be the right decision.

Man. Toni and I were together for seven years before we lost Calvin. And it’s been only three years since then. And soon I turn 36. On my eighteenth birthday (1986) I changed my name to David. That means David is turning eighteen.

I thought of emailing my ex-wife this year. Another five years, why not? But I couldn’t figure out why, either, so I haven't. Recently she had her first child, a son. He lives. His name has the same number of letters as Calvin’s, has four out of six of the same letters as Calvin’s, and sounds like Calvin, if you say it while holding your own tongue. Don’t blame me if I thought that was really weird. Though probably not nearly as weird as your imagining me worrying all that through.

Or any of the rest of it.

Monday, July 19, 2004

What’s In David’s iPod?
All Night
Sam Phillips
A Boot & A Shoe
(Christians need to get laid, too.)

Describe Your Art, Please. Do Not Panic.

More free publicity – check out’s FringeNYC exclusive previews. It’s great, you only have to answer these three questions:

1. What is your show about?
2. Why should audiences see your show?
3. What can audiences expect when they see your show?

Toni and I fretted over the text for our preview piece (oh ... uhm, I mean Tommy did) for some time on Saturday. It’s not as easy as you might think.

But the results are very good - people get to go into some detail about their show in a way their one line on the FringeNYC site can’t. Suddenly I have a desire to see THE BICYCLE MEN or BROWNTOWN where I may not have considered them before.

And then there are those whose previews do not help at all, I am sorry to say. YOU WILL LAUGH!!! (they desperately wail) YOU WILL LAUGH AND LAUGH – OH GOD THIS WILL BE THE FUNNIEST THING YOU WILL EVER SEE !!!!!!!!! JESUS CHRIST THIS IS FUNNY, PLEASE, PLEASE BELIEVE ME!!!!!! AAAAUUUGGGGHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s only July, and I smell flop sweat.

As for me, us, our show … well, how is this; "You can expect to see a man talking about his dead child for an hour and ten minutes." Yes, I should have written that. Or how about, "You will not see him cry, he will never scream, you will not be made to feel uncomfortable, we really, really, really promise."

One of the things Toni (I mean Tom) really dislikes about what … our company submitted is the use of the word "acceptance." It suggests we are all right with Calvin’s death, or that we are "over it." I suggested other words and phrases like "acquiesce" or "surrender" or "give in."

Other words … Tom avoided using in the preview (and would have recommended to others, had they asked) were poignant, uplifting, heal and laugh.

Oh and "resigned," that was another good one we threw out. We also made sure we did not suggest our play is a musical.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

THE FUTURE ... and the past

Toni went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 last night. She was impressed by a number of things - and by impressed I mean it left an emotional impression on her – but the one which is most relevant in this context was his handling of the attack in New York itself. This is probably old news by now, but he leaves the screen black, with just the sound of the planes striking the Towers.

Seeing the image of that horrible occurrence – again – is unnecessary to revisit the horror, the grief, the sadness, the helplessness, all of it.

I have a scene in my play called THE FUTURE, which details my reaction to those events. September 11 was almost six months after we lost Calvin. We were going through our own grief process, and suddenly, so was absolutely everyone else. And new trauma, even entirely unrelated trauma, can rip open old wounds. I tried to write about that in a way that made sense to my audience.

That worked in Cleveland. And Minneapolis. But I didn't think it would work in New York. Not the way I had written it. I invite the audience in; yes, we were all on the same page for a moment, you were with me then. Because my audiences to date weren’t there, they were watching it on t.v or listening on the radio, as I was.

So I have rewritten it. And rewritten it. I have been trying to make it work. Without sounding apologetic. Without sounding provincial. Without sounding petty, or insensitive or super-self-absorbed. I lost a child. I do not know if I will be addressing someone who lost a brother or a parent – or a child – in those attacks.

And I hate that. I hate defining this part of my play by what I do not want it to be.

This is where Toni’s experience with Michael Moore’s film comes in. She says it’s best to be honest. Just tell my audience what’s happened, what I meant to say, and say that.

I am strongly considering doing that. Just throwing the thing out, turning up the house lights, explaining the situation and moving on.

This is a shame, because as it is THE FUTURE has one of the biggest laughs in the show. And as a performer, I am trying to figure out how to keep as much funny as I can. But as the playwright, I need to figure out how best to serve the story.

Amazing how controversial this one scene is. I guess that makes sense. Some find its inclusion a distraction from Calvin’s story, but it isn’t his fault he had to die in 2001.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

What’s In David’s iPod?
A Little Less Conversation
Elvis Presley (JXL Radio Edit Remix)
Elvis 30 #1 Hits
(Yes. Cheese. I know.)

Road Trips

Toni and I love road trips. It is a little stunning to me to learn that the loss of Flight 800 was eight years ago today. On July 18, 1996 we took off for Maine via Canada – with stops in Niagara Falls, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City and onto Friendship, MA – and our first meal on the road was at this great bar and grill in western New York, by the Canadian border. The crash was all over the t.v.

This time four years ago we were in the middle of our first (and to date, only) drive into the South. Not the Deep South, but we drove down to Memphis, east to the Outer Banks, and back home via Monticello and Athens. It was a big, three-week trip. It was supposed to be our last great voyage before our first child was born. But things rarely turn out how you plan.

Memphis was a real shock. I never understood Elvis until I got to Graceland. No, I’m being serious. You would think someone who never really enjoyed old-time rock and roll would find the place overdone and tacky, some small-time hick’s idea of opulence. And I guess some of that racist b.s. still clanks around in the back of my head or I wouldn’t have been able to write that. But I found the place charming, innocent; a boy’s idea of what a mansion should be like. Folks mock the Jungle Room, but I think it’s hysterical – as in, I get the joke, Elvis, you’re all right. I wish I had a waterfall in my living room.

This Fringe is going to be different. One thing I am not looking forward to is all the time I will be spending away from Toni, that will be a first. She is going to stay home with Zelda, and fly in for the weekend. I will be entirely on my own in New York, which – apart from one weekend in October, 2001 – is something new. At least by staying at Erin’s I will be familiar with the neighborhood, it’s close to where Harris lives. I will know where to get coffee … well, hell, you can get coffee anywhere. But I won’t feel entirely like a rube.

I am hoping I will be so busy I won’t notice their absence. But even spending a few hours away from Zelda when directing AM REV drove me a little despondent. Hopefully it will keep me on the street, handing out flyers, talking up the show.

Friday, July 16, 2004


I spent last night designing the program in an attempt to take care of last-minute things first.

Our page is up. There was a bit of "controversy" (the quotes are to suggest there wasn’t really that much controversy) regarding the "logo" (those quotes denote a certain confusion regarding the word logo – I think quotation marks are used far too "much" for too many "stupid" reasons.)

Warning:piddling details ahead.

I was asked for a 100x150 image to use as a graphic. I gave them a shot of me holding the empty shoes. But it was vertical and not horizontal, they wanted horizontal. But I have no shots that work horizontally – square, perhaps, but not horizontal. So I gave them the Big Shoes/Little Shoes shot, extracted from the larger, sitting portrait.

The editor at, Melissa McNall, said she could work with it. Her use of the word "work" (here I used quotes where I might otherwise italicize) suggested she wasn’t entirely happy with it.

When I opened the page last night, I discovered they had added text to the photo – "I Hate This" in some kind of ransom-note font. I felt sort of foolish, I didn’t know she meant they wanted text, I could have provided the "Chinese Rocks" font I use for all the other promotions, but I didn’t get it.

But you know, I don’t care. I like the graphic they came up with.

Thursday, July 15, 2004


Tech News

Just heard from Grundik Kasyansky, our Venue Director for the Next Stage.

Grundik! That totally rocks!

The other shows at the Next Stage during the Fringe are:

The End of the Line
Le Fromage de Mon Oncle
Gork! The Retard Always Wins
Tinh Ruot Thit
Scarlet Sees the Light
Show Ho
Two Johns
Black Martian
Common Knowledge
Haole (Pronounced How-Lee)

Haven: A New Play with Music about Refugees and America

Twelve shows. One venue. A delightful recipe for chaos.

What’s In David’s iPod?
Clark Gable
The Postal Service
"Give Up"
(Thanks for asking.)


Question now is whether or not I can get an audience for the free performance of I Hate This on August 12. A happy send-off would be appreciated. A lot of folks have seen the show – and a lot have not. Yes, I discourage pregnant women and the husbands of same from attending (my show is like a roller-coaster in that way, among others) and I have known people who have experienced dicey situations with the births of their living children who simply do not want to see this, and I respect that, too.

But how do I reach those who I have met in my travels the past two years who have not had the opportunity or weren’t paying attention? Getting in touch with them has been occupying a great deal of my attention the past few days.

We went to "Zoo Parents’ Night" last night, because we are the adoptive parents of an Asian small-clawed otter at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Usually it’s a thrill visiting the zoo after hours (the times are 6-9 pm – they do this once a year around Bastille Day) and we did have fun but it was odd because it was so dark, overcast and rainy. The girl had a ball.

This morning I cut my run short to scavenge a Little Tykes bike from someone’s trash and schlep it home – a bike just like the one at Turtle Park that she loves me to push her around on so much. It cleaned up very well.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

What’s In David’s iPod?
Fit But Don’t You Know It
The Streets
A Grand Don't Come For Free
(Thanks for asking.)


So yes, physical fitness is part of the game. I am an intermittent runner. Shame, I did not participate in the July 4th five-mile in Bay Village this year, AM REV had kept me from taking care of myself in any manner, whatsoever.

I have a dream that involves jogging every morning I am in NYC in Central Park. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Always wanted to do that. At Fringe ’01 two of us promised to do that together and neither of us ever did. Just too much staying up late, getting up late, and too many hot days.

The good people at Great Lakes Theater Festival have seen clear to rendering me unemployed for July and August, which is a blessing, as it means Toni can make up lost time at her job and I have been spending a great deal of extra time with Zelda.

And snacking. I need to be sure I can fit in my jeans for the show. Also, I don’t want to be caught off-guard when the time comes to do all the requisite walking that comes with spending time in a real city.

A few days ago Sarah asked for the notes from the Linklater vocal warm-up I used to lead people in during the Night Kitchen days. Damn. I wish I was that responsible ... I have resumed running, I will begin re-pounding the lines into my head today, do I have to care for my voice, too?

Friday, July 09, 2004


For two years, I have feared Julie.

As a subject in my play, Julie’s reaction has always been the one I have been most concerned about – more than I was of Henrik’s. This is because there is more of Julie than Henrik in I HATE THIS … but that, it would appear upon further reflection, probably has something to do with it. But I digress.

When I originally wrote the play, in mid-2002, I knew I would need to let her know she would be included, and by name, and perhaps in a not-too flattering manner.

When did I let her know? On August 26, 2002, the day of the very first staged reading.

It should be noted, more to my shame, that I was so concerned about how she would react to this news that I was blithely ignorant of the fact that the day before her daughter Alexandra had had her first birthday. And I plainly state the date of her birth in the play.

Julie took it in stride. She is used to being the subject of my writing. I neglected, however, to actually share the script with her.

Now, as a matter of great coincidence, Nick was at a New Year’s party thrown by a mutual friend of theirs – Nick and Julie’s. When they met, and he figured out who she was, in typical Nick fashion, his head exploded. Nick now has the unique experience of having met pretty much everyone in the play. After meeting Julie, Nick admonished me for not having shown her the play yet, and instructing me to do as soon as possible.

I waited until May.

And now she has read the script. I phoned her a short while ago. She praised the play, and was not offended. When I said I was performing it in Cleveland in August, she immediately started thinking of how she could bring the kids and manage to see it.

In college I wrote a comic strip. Julie says that while we were dating, she learned more about our relationship through that than from talking to me.

Along those lines, she was flattered at how much attention I had given her in what is such an important story to me.
First Production Meeting

Our first production meeting was last night. One of the great reliefs of this run is that so much of what is normally uncertain when undertaking a theatrical endeavor … isn’t. We can spend more time discussing parking, load-in and other technical concerns, rather than exactly what the rehearsal schedule is. That part’s easy – one rehearsal on Wednesday, Aug. 10, before the free preview performance at Dobama on Thursday. I just need to be sure I have the show worked back into my head before then, with all the little changes I have made since October.

One major topic last night was how to get the word to health care professionals in the NYC area. I used to concentrate on people who have coped with neo-natal demise, and I would still like them to come and hear the story, but the response I got at the Walker center last October from midwives, doctors and nurses was pretty amazing. They took it as a real education.

Fringe Shows

And I have already begun creating a list of shows I will want to see in New York. I wondered weeks ago if we would venture uptown to catch something on Broadway or elsewhere but given our schedule, I know I will be sticking to the Fringe. Still, there’s only one show, so far, I know I will be seeing:

Writer:Michael Minn
Director: Michael Minn
In 1953, Iran had a democratically elected government. This is how the C.I.A. solved that problem. Driven by a power-pop score performed by a four-piece band, Mossadegh brings to life a pivotal moment in America foreign policy. Historical. Relevant. Loud.
0h 45m Local Drama Musical

Yes, yes, yes, campers! Now that’s fringey goodness. Check out the website for MP3s of the songs. Rock on, Mossadegh!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

And now for my next mood swing …

Lucky me.

SpinCycle is the marketing firm (is that what you call it?) that works with FringeNYC to get the word out about the shows. There are 220 shows this year. They no doubt send a great deal of time deciding which shows they feel afford more attention and which less

Ron Lasko is the main contact person for SC, and months ago he asked me to send a copy of the script. At the time I hoped that might be auspicious, but it was so long ago to me that I had forgotten. And then I did that girly-spaz thing two weeks ago where I panicked and sent some kind of pathetic email about "oh dear me, I missed a deadline, what do I DO?" He was very kind, he must get 100 of those a day.

What has happened, so far, is that he shared my show with the folks at, a prominent New York theater website, and one of their guys, Dan Bacalzo, was in touch with me today.

We had what I thought was one of my better interviews. He was asking me questions about how I came up with this, and what it is like to perform it, say, in front of relatives (more on that later) but also questions that were less weighted, like ‘why the New York Fringe?’ which I was only to thrilled to go on at length about – seeing as how that has so much to do with Toni and my relationship and how we started dating when she still lived there, and all kinds of sweet thoughts like that.

What I managed to avoid in this interview, which has proved very difficult, was defining the show in any way by what it is not. "It’s not depressing," I have said, or "I don’t cry or scream in it." These facts are true, but hardly selling points.

If it makes it in, Dan’s article will appear in their print version, which is dropped at locations all over Manhattan.

We are doing a lot of sweating over how we will rise above the hurly and get people in to see our show – I will no doubt bore any blog-followers with the finer points of promotion, but hey, that’s what I do – and this is going to be a great help.

Meanwhile …

Here is a public declaration of love to my brother Henrik, whom I worshipped as a child, and who has been a model of fatherhood to me. I would not be who I am without your strong, unwavering example, nor your wit, nor your faith.

If this play I have written has revealed anything to me, it is that people can change, life continues, and anything can be forgiven, if forgiveness is called for.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Workin' It
I am helping Sarah Morton promote her show in NYC. It is a shame we are going to entirely miss each other, our run will be through before hers even begins. Man, the New York Fringe is long. I will be designing her postcards and poster, and will help get the word out in advance of her arrival.

The show is 4 Minutes to Happy. See it.

Learned today that the folks from Inverse Theater will be on retreat the weekend of my performance, another drag. They came to catch AM REV in Cleveland a few weeks back and I was really looking forward to their checking this show out.

We have a space in Cleveland for a free, brush-up performance – Thursday, August 12 at Dobama. Thank heavens for Dobama, thank heavens for Joyce Casey.

Now, if we could only afford to get to New York …

Friday, July 02, 2004

The Schedule!
Great news – just got my schedule for NYC. Having worked on two Fringes already, I am wondering if this isn’t a superior schedule to those. My first performance isn’t until a Tuesday, but I learned in 2001 that opening the NYC Fringe is not auspicious. Not every one knows it’s happening yet, or has got it together to go. The opening shows act as promotion for those that follow.

So I have a solid second weekend run, with performances Thursday, Friday (late!), Saturday (prime time!) and Sunday (matinee!) It looks and sounds ideal. And with that Tuesday performance stands the only chance I have of getting a review of prominence. Not that I have much chance, not against Jonestown: The Musical or John Walker: The Musical or An Evening of Semi-Autobiographical, Highly Self-Indulgent Theater.

Actually, I made up one of those titles. Guess which one? Okay, no, I didn’t make up any of those titles.

And we are performing at THE NEXT STAGE which is in the Village, a million miles from Fringe Central. Actually, it’s only three—quarters of a mile, but it will feel like forever. Except – hey! We’re in the Village!