I’m in Atlanta, reconnecting with old friends and staying with my sister Laine. I lived here from 1978 to 1989. It was here that I confirmed my life in show business. I moved here from Albuquerque after doing my first show with Will B. Able, vaudevillian of the first order. I was an utter novice, a talented and quirky silversmith turned topless dancer (money was in short supply as the Indian jewelry market crashed). After I auditioned for the show (an audacious move for someone with no head shot or resume) I was cast in my first show in dinner theater as a comic, singer, dancer. In Atlanta I became a mime, studying with Tim Settimi and performing with Eddy Cole. My comedy chops came through in my mime work, and when standup comedy took off in 1982 I did a set at the local club and was working as a comic about a month later. Thirteen years of working full time as a road comic ensued, and I was only rarely in my Atlanta home.
I moved to NYC in 1989 to write and perform a solo show. I entered the world of theater and knew I was home. Twenty-six years later, I am in Atlanta again, preparing to take a gap year, during which I will write, perform and direct theater across the country. I’m visiting with family and friends, learning what’s going on in Atlanta, and what has transpired since I left. At my sister’s house I work with her and her husband in the basement, going through boxes of her grown kids’ stuff – forgotten in the years since they dropped them into the dusty corners. We sprinkle baking soda on the musty letters and discarded ballet slippers and wrestling shoes, marveling at how old we have become, while growing no older in our hearts and heads. (Inside I still feel like the glamorous icons of 1950’s films)
I knew I would be taking stock during this year on the road, a year I have entitled the loveandworktour. My work is not only in current projects, but in making my way through the thoughts and feelings that emerge as I reconnect with my old life, my old friends, and retrace the roads I traveled as a stand up comic. I’m 65 now – a fitting time to assess values. So far, I’m feeling grateful, loved and so very passionately alive.