In Second Grade, my best friend San Lewis, and me – Margaret Diaz-Padilla (yep – that’s who I am too) , and Myrtle, put on a play. Myrtle was the rag doll San’s Grandma from Jamaica had sewn to be the exact height as San . And I was one inch shorter than San, so well all three were the pretty much the same height. We rehearsed in the playground, changed the play five million times. Allowed no one else to take part, no matter how much they begged to be in it. (I was quite the despot actually) ..but they could watch rehearsals. I wrote it, songs and all. Yes it was a musical. What else do you right in second grade? The hit duet song being “In a palace Ball”, I was the main voice, and San was the echo. And I actually remember the thing.
“When I was a baby
echo – when I was a baby
My mother said to me
my mother said to me
You will be a queen
you will be a queen
In a palace ball
(big dramatic final line sung together)
In a paaaalaaaaace baaaaaaaall!
When I went to England….lalala
You get it. There were three more verses.
Myrtle ended up stealing the show.
And…..well – not much has changed to be honest. I think I’m still out in the playground hoping Mrs. Schofield will say yes to letting me put on a show. Which, due to poplar demand, we continued to do once a year for the next three years at St. Mary’s of The Lake School in Gary Indiana. So yeah – it shaped me….for better or worse. I’m still here. Pretty much doing the same thing. Feeling lucky. And blessed…..Most days…..Oh, and San and I are still best friends…and Myrtles threadbare and bald, but loved and living with San and her family in New Jersey.
2. You have a great ironic sense of humor in your writing and a marvelous comedic timing as an actress! Everyone says it’s harder to do comedy, would you agree with that?
Yes. And thank you.
3. It feels like there is a tidal wave of change happening in the world right now socially, politically and economically, how do you feel like this is manifesting itself in the world of theatre?
One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the past years, is how humor become so much darker and wry than it used to be. Primarily after 9/11….. Most immediately evident on TV – Like Six Feet Under, Dexter…Weeds. The recession didn’t lighten the mood there any. But it did sharpen the humour even more in my opinion……and there’s amazing writing going on in T.V man. Really….and in the theater – I saw the recent opening of The Lady From Debuche, at the signature. It was written in the eighties, but I have to say – he was ahead of his time. The humor was so dark – and seemed really modern….made me think about how odd the play must have seemed then. Made me think….Albee. Damn, right?
Also everyone has a voice through the internet now. That is the global tidal wave. That will bring a whole lot more of Streetcars like the one going on right now – which I saw last night – and loved – bust those old casting notions wide open, cause there’s too many people in the world to limit a good story that can easily stand the test of a myriad of skin colors. No reason to limit ourselves as humans on this gigantic multi everything mundo. There’s too many great stories, and great actors for us NOT to be casting every which way as much as we want. Without it drawing so much attention. And that’s just one little facet in this internet ripple crytal thing…
The internet lets everyone catch the wave. And I say we open our arms wide and surf it on in as the revolution it is.
4. What’s coming up next for you?
I’m wearing my acting hat right now. I with an amazing group of artists, working on my favorite, a new piece – being dine at EST. The Unusual Life of Bed Bugs and Other Creatures, by Cori Thomas. Writing takes a bit of a nap when I’m acting in a show. The last role I had needed a Russian accent, and getting that accent took focus. I was driven by terror. . As I often am – writing too. But come one, you knooooow….. I mean a bad Russina accent is….OMG – just really bad ….
So no…. nothing official writing wise in the works, but I am working on a new piece…and..thats all I’ll say about that.