What do I find?
The things I've got will keep me satisfied.
Checking up on what I have and what I haven't...
What do I find?
A healthy balance on the credit side.
Another birthday is here and I find myself in the midst of that awkward, silent time that precedes the start of a new gig. In less than a week, I will go to Vermont and spend the holidays playing wonderful Max Detweiler in "The Sound of Music." It's a return to a role I love; to New England, where I spent the first half of my life... and most importantly, it places me two hours' drive from my Mom--which means we get to do Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah, and Christmas together, and even see in 2020. Blessings.
I have been doing a look back over this 54th year of my life and it's been a time of some real struggle--financially, professionally, personally-- but also a period of growth and achievement, highlighted by a new trend of diversification in my work.
|Big Apple Film Festival Award|
Television and Commercials
Last fall, I made my primetime TV debut in a tiny part on "Law & Order: SVU." It felt like a huge achievement to finally join the "Law & Order" family--a rite of passage for a New York actor. Since then, I have appeared in an episode of the HBO blockbuster "Succession." Other interesting opportunities have come my way, including a super fun commercial shoot for the moonshine brand, Saint Luna--as the hipster bartender, I found myself featured as part of the branding for the company!
Coaching and Teaching
My private coaching business has been growing by leaps and bounds and in the best way possible: by word of mouth. My talented and successful clients have been very generous, sending referrals my way and helping to build my business. In the past year my clients have booked Broadway, national tours, television and film roles. I've had amazing opportunities to work with folks like Zachary James on his Metropolitan Opera debut in "Akhnaten" and Josh Raff on his one man show, "Love-Love."
|Coaching young stars at Goodspeed Musicals|
I also launched a new venture with my teaching partner, Andrew Parks--a professional intensive for musical theatre performers called Rep Book Excellence. This new approach to the selection and performance of audition repertoire had a great first round of classes and we are looking forward to bringing it back in 2020.
Returning to the world of cabaret as a director has been enormously gratifying and creatively exciting. Crafting and directing Sierra Rein's solo debut act, "Running in Place," in collaboration with musical director Bill Zeffiro was a joy, and Sierra swept the awards this past year, winning both the Bistro Award and the MAC Award. This spring, my dear friend Goldie Dver made her comeback after a ten year absence from cabaret with the show we created together, "Back in Mama's Arms." The piece, an inspiring story of survival and optimism, has been universally embraced by the cabaret community and press and Goldie has confidently reclaimed her place on the cabaret scene.
Readings and workshops of new plays and musicals are something I try to be a part of as often as I can--one never knows what piece will go on to have a life. I am fortunate that writers and directors have invited me to the party a few times this past year.
In January, Bill Zeffiro asked me to be in a reading of his musical "Houdini Among the Spirits," with stars Robert Cuccioli and Nick Wyman. This summer I had a great feature in the reading of the immersive speakeasy musical "Whisper Darkly," co-written and directed by talented DJ Salisbury; and wonderful playwright Gordon Penn invited me to read the bombastic comic lead of President Juraslob in his play "Black Garden" at the Roundabout.
Two wonderful regional theatre productions highlighted this 54th year of my life and my 29th year in show business. I escaped the winter and returned to one my favorite companies, Riverside Theatre, to play the delicious cameo of Hungarian charlatan Zoltan Karpathy in "My Fair Lady." Superb production directed by Jimmy Brennan and starring husband and wife Higgins and Eliza Jimmy and Kristin Beth Ludwig.
|Drag antics with Max Falls and Brandon Curry|
Looking back, it's been quite a year and I feel really grateful, even while I struggle to make the bills, and line up work in a business that is precarious even in its best moments. I've been pretty much single for 13 years and I wonder if love will ever find me again. Getting older makes one think about things like stability, savings, retirement... but in this business, to quote a song lyric by friend and collaborator Bill Zeffiro: "I'll retire when I'm dead." Welcome 55th year--let's see what you have in store...