Murder in the Evening

Two nights ago, I was chased down an icy dirt road outside a castle in 30 degree weather, then dragged down the same road by the feet, then hogtied on the frozen gravel and creepily petted by a stranger while six other people watched. In other words, it was just another night at my job.

I’ve done a few of these “reenactment” shows. They’re silly, non-union, and can be really bad, but they’re also pretty fun. It’s like all of the most fun stuff to act without the pressure to be “good,” because really, who cares.

So the last two days I shot an episode of “The Haunting Of,” which airs on Lifetime Movie Network. I played Judy Dull, a 1950s pinup model (obvi, haha) who was murdered by the serial killer Harvey Glatman. Not only did I get to do the fun murder-y stuff (most of which was shot in the freezing evening I described above (they padded me so the dragging didn’t hurt, but you can’t fake lying hogtied on the ground– it was fucking FREEZING, and anytime we weren’t doing a take they rolled me up like a burrito in a moving blanket), but I also got to be a ghost, which was a surprise.

So yesterday, I met the courtesy van in Union Square at 10am, and we drove to an obscenely enormous house in NJ (the “castle” we filmed at the night before was in Tarrytown, NY) where we were shown to actor holding and I was immediately ushered into HMU (I genuinely have no idea what that stands for, but it’s hair and makeup). I got all dolled up and pretty for my bondage scene (yep, 1950s lingerie and tied to a wooden cross– THIS IS WHAT I WENT TO COLLEGE FOR GUYS) and then got all scary for my ghost scenes. I mostly lurked around corners, did a whole lot of walking around crying, messing with wires, etc. etc. It was a blast.

It’s kinda hard to express exactly what it’s like to shoot something like that, but it can be really, really fun. You’ve got to have a sense of humor about the whole thing, because otherwise it would be pretty dark.

Here’s me in the makeup chair yesterday between bondage scene and ghosty makeup (pre-blood, strangulation marks, and sad makeup running down my face.)IMG_0422

Here’s what the back of me looked like after getting murdered in an episode of Redrum on Discovery ID (it was a great episode– lots of fight choreography. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZvatPDzuls&list=ELFhYgKowg8ek&index=11  )

IMG_2722

I love him.

From his blog:

Sometimes it’s just you and the cat.

photo

My girlfriend is away.

The talented thing she is, she’s off rehearsing a play, doing what she wants to do, living the dream, etc, etc.  The only unfortunate thing is, it is away.  Some 2,500 miles and two time zones away.  So it’s just me and the cat for about two months.

Sure, we talk on the phone, and we’re texting every day, but alas, her smiling visage no longer graces the capacious rooms of our castle home.

Therefore, I am getting A LOT of work done.

It’s not that I don’t get work done when she’s here, but when she’s not here, boy howdy!  From the time I wake up until my eyes close on my pillow at night, I’m doing something or other:  I’m writing, I’m transferring my writing from my notebook to my computer, I’m corresponding via email about my writing, I’m recording audiobooks, I’m editing audiobooks previously recorded, I’m working on the musical I’m writing, I’m corresponding with my writing partner about said musical, I’m traveling to my day job, or I’m working at my day job.

There are only MINUTES of my waking hours when I’m not doing one of these things, and I usually watch Doctor Who during that time.  I’m a very busy boy.

If Becca was here, there would be less of this, and more of canoodling and general nesting activities with my loved one.  More time spent on eating, sitting together, engaging in conversation, etc.

What’s been nice in this time of separation, however, is the Travel Notebook.

OH YES.  CAPITAL LETTERS.

The Travel Notebook was a BRILLIANT idea I had (thank you very much) the last time she was away.  I bought a small, pretty, hard-backed notebook for her to take with her on her travels.  For every day she was away, I wrote a prompt for her to complete.  “Describe where you are at this exact second.”  “What was the most interesting thing you saw today?”  “If our cat was there, what would she be doing?” and so on.

Since she had it the last time she was away, I was deemed the notebook-holder this time.  When I visit her in the middle of her time away, we’ll trade, and I’ll give her the notebook.

It’s nice, and it keeps us thinking about each other.  It also provides a fun diary on which we can look back once together and see what the heck we were up to.

Until then, though, it’s just me and the cat.

Stop getting married, good GOD.

Remember when I mentioned that A’s ex just got engaged? Haha, yeah, it was a LOT for me and I don’t know why. A didn’t seem to care.

Well, I did what I always encourage my mentees to do when they’re feeling strange. REACH OUT! And I got some amazing texts back from my amazing friends. Seriously, people, how great is support?

I still feel insane, but also, somehow, relieved? Freed? I dunno. 🙂

Here’s what they said:

photo 1 photo 2 photo

Vacation? What’s that?

VACATION!

What’s that, you may ask? "Vacation" is the English word for a time in which you leave work at work and spend leisure time with people you love in some place that isn’t your janky New York apartment.

Trust me, I wasn’t super familiar with the term either.

Here is what A and I did for our glorious few days "off the grid."

WEDNESDAY

Closing of my Fringe show (thank goodness!) The show was at 5:15pm. A had just come home from Army on Tuesday, so we did some crazy last minute planning and packing, and picked up our rental car around 2:30pm on the Upper East Side and headed downtown to the Lower East Side for my show. It was a strong finale to an okay production, but I was glad A got to see it and, you know, acting is always fun. We immediately took off from the parking garage on Essex for our little home in Fairfield, CT!

When we arrived, my lovely host’s son had left the key under the doormat. A scraggly, long-haired black cat mewed ferociously at the door, but we hadn’t heard anything about a cat, and it looked like a stray, so we had to use some leftover nacho cheese from dinner to try and lure it away from the door. Turns out, the cat sort of belongs there, but there was no way we could have been expected to know it, and as kitty lovers, it was a somewhat disturbing experience. We stumbled right into bed after doing a bit of exploring.

(the story of this house is that I’d posted on Facebook a few months ago that I was looking for an inexpensive place to vacation in CT on the coast. An aquaintance who I met last summer on the show in NJ, a teacher at Yale and a NYC script supervisor, messaged me that we were welcome to stay in her home. It was INSANELY generous).

THURSDAY

We woke early and A found somewhere we could grab breakfast. He found the most adorable little place called Home on the Range. We were the only people in there when we walked in, and glanced over the paper menu a friendly, white-haired, bespectacled woman hadned to us. I ordered an egg sandwich on whole wheat and coffee, and A got multigrain pancakes with turkey bacon and OJ. We sat in the corner in the window, and shortly were delivered clearly homemade, fresh, and prepared to order by the adorable woman who took our order. The food was exceptional– A’s pancakes melted in your mouth, and my sandwich was perfectly cooked. We came back again on Saturday.

From there, we took the short drive to the beach. We didn’t have a pass for our car to park (all beaches are private in CT) but we figured that we could find some nearby nook for the car. After trolling two beaches, we found a parking spot in front of a little shop, only about a five minute walk from Penfield Beach. We parked and headed to the water. It wasn’t particularly warm, and the sky was very threatening– rain was coming. Regardless, we stripped down to our suits and jumped in. The water was not particularly cold, probably only about ten degrees cooler than the air. We got out as the tide started in and the clouds began their approach. I made a little sandcastle, and just as the rain started, we boogied back to the car.

We rounded out our first day by seeing The Butler (perfect rain activity!) and then driving out to New Haven to have delicious pizza and wine at Pepe’s and wandering around the Yale campus before heading home. We talked a lot about just about everything, especially the favorite slightly wine-y (ha! and whiney! See what I did there?) topic of our careers. They’re just not off the ground yet. And, as Yale tends to do, I was wistful about the life I could have had if I hadn’t known beyond the shadow of a doubt that I wanted to be an actor and move to NYC. We make our choices, people. And I’m glad for mine.

FRIDAY

Another bright and early morning. We hopped in the car and headed up to the Haddam area to see Gillette Castle. It’s a strange old mansion built by turn-of-the-century actor William Gillette that has been turned into a state park and museum. There are over 45 engineered wooden doors in the castle, all of which Gillette designed. He also had a series of mirrors and secret passageways so he could make theatrical entrances and exits and avoid guests he didn’t want to see. I like that part of it. We spent the morning in the castle, then lunched on bread, cheese, apples, and trail mix while deciding what to do next.

We hopped in the car and headed towards West Hartford. On the way, we passed East Haddam, and figured we should stop over and see the Goodspeed Opera House, just ’cause we’d never been. We pulled up and walked to the box office. Turns out, there was an 8pm performance of Hello, Dolly! that very night, and there were two $29 seats available in the 2nd row mezz. We looked at each other, and the decision was made. We bought the tickets and, grinning, headed back to our car.

After a detour to Panera for iced tea, a cookie, and an outlet to charge my dying phone, we arrived at the Mark Twain House and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (they’re next door to each other!). We bought our tickets for the double tour– Stowe and then Twain– and wandered in the gift shop till our meeting time at 3pm. The tours were AMAZING. A and I are big nerds (and literature lovers!), and we love to learn peoples’ stories and see what they saw. It is no small thing to stand in the room where Twain wrote Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, and more. Very cool.

Afterwards, we navigated to dinner at a Mexican place nearby. We were going to meet up with my dear friend J, who is in rehearsal at Hartford Stage, but he had a company picnic he couldn’t miss. It was okay– we were in a time crunch anyway. We drove back to East Haddam with just enough time to get huge ice cream sundaes, which we devoured on a bench outside the theatre while we watched the "blue hairs" (what we, in the theatre, call "older" audience members) file in. We eventually took our seats to experience a classic American musical– just as cheesy and silly and delicious as expected. It was a glorious evening.

SATURDAY

We took it very easy, sleeping in a little long, suiting up, and heading back to breakfast at Home on the Range. From there, we pulled back into our little parking spot and walked to the beach, two chairs, an umbrella for my sweet white boy, towels, and another lunch of bread, cheese, bell pepper slices, veggie chips, and fizzy lemonade from Whole Foods.

We spent the whole day baking our bods, swimming in the sea, munching on snacks, reading, and collecting shells. It was exactly what vacation is supposed to be.

Once we’d had our fill of the beach, we hopped back into the car and headed to the house. We showered and hung out for a bit, and then headed out once more for a 4:10pm showing of Elysium. It was a bit disappointing, considering how much we’d both liked District 9, but hey, who cares.

From there, I found a nearby place where I could get a lobster roll and A could get a burger. We found a perfect little shack, and I devoured my roll and the delicious house-made coleslaw. I grew up a lobster lover (my dad’s first book was a collection of stories, essays, and research about lobsters– he’s pretty cool), so anytime I get a chance to have a real lobster, I do it.

We finished the evening in downtown Fairfield at 16 Handles for froyo. We considered going to another movie, but none of times were great, so we just walked around. We spent about an hour wandering in the bookstore for Fairfield University. We got home around 9:30pm so we could tuck in early.

SUNDAY

We attempted to get up on time so we could get an early start, but failed. We managed to rouse ourselves by 9 and stumbled into the shower. We left in the car shortly afterwards, along 95 up the coast towards Mystic, CT!

I haven’t been to Mystic since I was very, very young. My cousin (on my Mom’s side) lived there for a short time, as I recall, but she no longer does, and either way, very soon after she moved, we stopped talking to that side of the family (drugs and addiction will do that). On a much happier note, Mystic was basically all new and SO STUPID FUN.

Again, we’re nerds. Mystic Seaport is basically a transformed little area that is an outdoor/indoor museum. You can wander at your leisure into old buildings transformed into artifacts museums, old ships restored to their former glory with information guides and plaques, recreated shops and stores with volunteers who did the typesetting and cobbling and steel-working while they chatted with you. In other words, it was HEAVEN. Around 3pm, we realized we should skedaddle if we wanted to make the Aquarium too (we bought a "MysticPass" which allowed us, for $50 each, to visit the Seaport, Aquarium (plus a free soda), and the Planetarium). We scarfed some lunch in the car, then drove down the street.

The aquarium was crazy busy, but we managed to get our drinks and some ice cream and sat down to come up with a plan. We started in the Titanic exhibit, felt up some manta rays (I LOVE THAT), watched the belugas, then headed back inside to do the pretty cool live chat with the Nautilus ship in the Caribbean. From there we did the main aquarium, seeing penguins, sea lions, frogs, turtles, the most adorable recovering gray seal, then the whole inside portion, with fish, sharks, rays, turtles, lobsters, and many many more. We concluded with the sea lion show. All in all, we spent a glorious two hours and hopped back into the car right around closing time.

We spent some time wandering around the little nook of shops called Olde Mistick Village before heading to a local restaurant for our final vacation dinner (I got a little pissy about trying to choose somewhere, which A was very patient about, but eventually I just chose). I got two yummy fig cocktails, scallops, and we shared fried green beans and chocolate mousse. We got back on the road in time to stop in Westbrook to see Jobs, which kind of sucked, unfortunately. By the time we got home, we fell into bed, totally exhausted.

MONDAY

We started the day by putting in all our laundry, including all the sheets and towels we used. We wanted to grab breakfast at Home on the Range again while the laundry dried, but it was closed. Boo. Trusty Siri led us to a diner where we got an equivalent breakfast in type, but far inferior in atmosphere and quality. C’est la vie. 🙂 When we got back, I folded and cleaned and gave A 20 bucks to grab a bottle of wine to leave as a gift. We were finally out of the house just before 11 to head back for day two in Mystic! We’d extended our car rental to the last moment (the Alamo closed at 6:30pm) so we could fit in a bit more delightful time.

Once back in Mystic, we headed straight to the area we’d missed, particularly the LA Burton, a early 20th century fishing ship. We got on board and wandered around, disembarking just in time to watch the full hourlong demonstration of the anchor drop, the dory boat demonstration, and then finally, the anchor raise. At 2pm, we saw the planetarium show, which was super low tech and full of screaming children, but otherwise, lovely. We saw a few more exhibits, but quickly realized that we had to head home in order to make it to NYC by 6:30pm.With traffic and a stop for food in Milford, we pulled up in front of our door in Washington Heights just a touch after 6. I headed upstairs with the luggage while A dropped the car off.

I have been working on this entry for days! So I’m just gonna post it! More later. 🙂

xoxo

Tony Sunday

If there’s one night of the year when my Twitter and Facebook are unbearable, it’s Tony Sunday. In my field, everyone has seen the shows, everyone knows someone in them, and anyone can get a ticket to the show or find an afterparty to take them in. Six Degrees of Broadway here, y’all. I have friends who went because they intern with the producer of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, friends who star in Rock of Ages, friends that work front-of-house for Kinky Boots, and a friend who AD-ed The Assembled Parties and is the stalwart partner of the director of Who’s Afraid of Viginia Woolf.

Me? I stayed home with A and L and drank too much wine. My first Tonys will be for my first Broadway show. And who knows. I might pull a Cecily Tyson and win at age 88.

But it was a good Tonys with lovely company in the comfort of my living room In the Heights (get it?). Every time L says how much she loves the two of us and every time A and L have moments where they are like any old friends, not brought together by circumstance.

I really wish I felt inspired to write, but by the end of the night last night, I felt inspired to act. And that, after all, is why I do all this, you know? So I’ll share a little of where that inspiration came last night. I recommend checking the telecast clips on YouTube.

from NPH’s Opening Number

“Nothing is bigger and better than seeing a veteran get an ovation.

Or seeing a brilliant beginner freak out when they win on their first nomination.

There’s a kid in the middle of nowhere who’s sitting and living for Tony performances

singing and flipping along with the Pippins and Wiggits and Kinkys, Matildas and Mormons-es.

So we might reassure that kid
and do something to spur that kid,
cause I promise you all of us up here tonight,
we WERE that kid.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BraXq07kkM

Judith Light, Best Featured Actress in a Play

“And to all of you in this community for your discipline and your devotion and your dedication, you lift our culture with your artistry. You inspire me. And I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be a part of you and call you my family.”

“And to all of you in this community for your discipline and your devotion and your dedication, you lift our culture with your artistry. You inspire me. And I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be a part of you and call you my family.”

 

 

 

Gabriel Ebert, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (he’s 26, so.)
“They didn’t get the mic high enough, but just being in this room is just really incredible and to be in this category with these paragons of men. I am so honored and grateful and slightly freaked out. And lastly, to Scott and to my mom and my dad, I hope that I have done and shall continue to make you proud. This is incredible. Thank you so much. Let’s make really good plays.”

“They didn’t get the mic high enough, but just being in this room is just really incredible and to be in this category with these paragons of men. I am so honored and grateful and slightly freaked out. And lastly, to Scott and to my mom and my dad, I hope that I have done and shall continue to make you proud. This is incredible. Thank you so much. Let’s make really good plays.”

Cyndi Lauper, Best Original Score

“I want to thank Broadway for welcoming me. You know. This city it’s… I understand how hard you work and I’ve never been a stranger to hard work, but your hard work inspires me.”

“I want to thank Broadway for welcoming me. You know. This city it’s… I understand how hard you work and I’ve never been a stranger to hard work, but your hard work inspires me.”

 

 

Andrea Martin, Best Featured Actress in a Musical
“I ran up here like a longshoreman because I know we only have 75 seconds, I’m so sorry… I’m so nervous, and I’m gonna put this down. [puts her Tony on the ground.] …  Yannick Thomas, my partner in the sky. Je t’adore.  Do you know how wonderful it is for a woman my age to be held by a man like that and never be dropped. It’s unbelievable.”

“I ran up here like a longshoreman because I know we only have 75 seconds, I’m so sorry… I’m so nervous, and I’m gonna put this down. [puts her Tony on the ground.] …  Yannick Thomas, my partner in the sky. Je t’adore.  Do you know how wonderful it is for a woman my age to be held by a man like that and never be dropped. It’s unbelievable.”

 

Martha Lavey, Best Revival of a Play

“We salute our colleague theaters across the country whose commitment with their artists and their communities to telling the human story enlivens the poetry of our collective life. With a special nod to the Chicago community where Steppenwolf has had its home for 37 years. And whose artists, theaters, audience, critical community and civic leadership are committed to a rich cultural life and have made Chicago a great, great theatre town. We are so proud.”We salute our colleague theaters across the country whose commitment with their artists and their communities to telling the human story enlivens the poetry of our collective life. With a special nod to the Chicago community where Steppenwolf has had its home for 37 years. And whose artists, theaters, audience, critical community and civic leadership are committed to a rich cultural life and have made Chicago a great, great theatre town. We are so proud.”

Tracy Letts, Best Actor in a Play (full speech because it’s that good. Also this guy has two Tonys in acting and writing and a Pulitzer for writing)

It’s so overwhelming. This is for my mom and dad. They encouraged a love of the arts and an appreciation for the written word that have enriched my life beyond measure. Mr. Hanks, Mr. Lane, Mr. Pierce, Mr. Sturridge you are not my competition, you are my peers and I am proud to be in your company. I share this with Amy Morton, with Carrie Coon, with the criminally undersung Madison Dirks, with Pam McKinnon for her expert captaincy and with Edward Albee for his enduring work of art. And I share this, actually, with not only everybody in this room but all the actors in Chicago, and in storefronts, and everybody who does this crazy, insane, frustrating job, the greatest job on earth. We are the ones who say it to their faces and we have a unique responsibility. I will cherish this always, thank you.”

It’s so overwhelming. This is for my mom and dad. They encouraged a love of the arts and an appreciation for the written word that have enriched my life beyond measure. Mr. Hanks, Mr. Lane, Mr. Pierce, Mr. Sturridge you are not my competition, you are my peers and I am proud to be in your company. I share this with Amy Morton, with Carrie Coon, with the criminally undersung Madison Dirks, with Pam McKinnon for her expert captaincy and with Edward Albee for his enduring work of art. And I share this, actually, with not only everybody in this room but all the actors in Chicago, and in storefronts, and everybody who does this crazy, insane, frustrating job, the greatest job on earth. We are the ones who say it to their faces and we have a unique responsibility. I will cherish this always, thank you.”

Cicely Tyson, Best Actress in a Play (also in full)

“Thou ate the potter, I’m only the clay. When I think of the moment where I stand before, this moment, I cannot help but remember all of the thumbprints that have touched this being during the course of her career. My mother and father, my sister and brother, none of whom are here with me. I’m the sole surviving member of my immediate family and I’ve asked over and over again, why? I now know why. It’s been 30 years since I stood on this stage. I really didn’t think it would happen again in my lifetime and I was pretty comfortable with that. Except that I had this burning desire for just one more. One more great role, I said, I didn’t want to be greedy. I just wanted one more. And it came to me through no effort on my part. Ben Ramsey, Hallie Foote, Michael, Bill Haber and the entire Haber family who have nurtured me for the last 40 years, M.J. who has paid the greatest price for my success. The American Theatre Wing for welcoming me home. Please wrap it up, it says. Well that’s exactly what you did with me. You wrapped me up in your arms after 30 years. Now I can go home with a Tony. God Bless you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“Thou ate the potter, I’m only the clay. When I think of the moment where I stand before, this moment, I cannot help but remember all of the thumbprints that have touched this being during the course of her career. My mother and father, my sister and brother, none of whom are here with me. I’m the sole surviving member of my immediate family and I’ve asked over and over again, why? I now know why. It’s been 30 years since I stood on this stage. I really didn’t think it would happen again in my lifetime and I was pretty comfortable with that. Except that I had this burning desire for just one more. One more great role, I said, I didn’t want to be greedy. I just wanted one more. And it came to me through no effort on my part. Ben Ramsey, Hallie Foote, Michael, Bill Haber and the entire Haber family who have nurtured me for the last 40 years, M.J. who has paid the greatest price for my success. The American Theatre Wing for welcoming me home. Please wrap it up, it says. Well that’s exactly what you did with me. You wrapped me up in your arms after 30 years. Now I can go home with a Tony. God Bless you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Finally, somehow this didn’t win Best Musical but who the fuck cares because it is perhaps my favorite musical ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evj1z3l5hco

Powered by Qumana

Love.

I wish I had a hat saying: “THIS IS MY LOVE” which I would wear daily so that everyone on the planet would know and be jealous of me because how goddamn lucky is that.

I wish that I could koala into your chest, legs around stomach, arms around chest, head on shoulder, and you would just carry me through your day and I couldn’t be any closer.

I wish that I could suck your skin into my mouth when we kiss and touch and grab so that I could somehow absorb every cell of yours into my being.

I wish we lived in a small, round bubble and we traveled through the world together and free from harm, with only the prism of rainbows obscuring our clear view of the sky.

 

Valentine’s x2

I woke up on Valentine’s morning before the alarm. Thin morning light lit my gray sheets, and I futzed around on my phone for a while with A’s arms wrapped tightly around my middle. Once we’d officially risen, I told A to stay buried in the covers while I pulled my drawers apart looking for just the right shirt to wear for the shoot I’d go to that afternoon (a recording of 3 monologues and a song to use for a bit of a demo reel, per my agent’s request). One of my favorite A’s is the mussed-up A, face still a little crinkly from sleep, eyes bright when open, and lashes soft and calm when closed. I had a couple of choices I’d bring, but the shirt I decided on was a navy blue camisole, slightly wrinkly at the bottom, but cut well and flattering on top (where it counts on camera).

I rehearsed my pieces in the shower while A sipped his chocolate milk (his daily morning fortification), and then we rotated. I made eggs and sipped a glass of water, favorite jeans on and a lazy-day flannel tied above my stomach. We watched The Office and waited.

At 11, a friend arrived to do my hair and makeup. While she futzed with my hair, A sat nearby, working on his book. She moved onto my makeup, and while we chatted too-much, awkwardly, acquaintance-friendly, while A did the dishes dutifully behind me.

With only a few minutes before our scheduled departure, I packed up the backpack with a few shirts, makeup, and my checkbook. We left hand in hand and walked in the bright sunlight and wicked cold ten blocks up to the studio.

Long story short, in a little over an hour, I filmed four pieces– a contemporary monologue, a British monologue, a Shakespeare monologue, and a Joni Mitchell song. A sat beside me on the couch, graciously, quietly, not really watching but letting me feel he was there. Somehow he always knows what I need. He accompanied me on piano for the song, which was what I was most nervous about, but stayed with me, didn’t get excited, didn’t tell me what to do or what he thought, just let me decide when enough was enough, or if a mistake was visible, and then backed me up on it. It was one of the most perfect “he-did-what-he-was-supposed-to-do” situations in our entire relationship.

Afterwards, we walked home, bought some soda, ordered a pizza, and stayed in our pajamas on the couch for the rest of the day.
Happy Valentine’s, love of mine.

A week later…

We had our real Valentine’s scheduled. A picked me up in a rental car outside of therapy at noon, and we drove to New Jersey, to the town where I did the last real show of my career, to the town where I got my Equity card, to the town where I made some of the most amazing friends in my life, to the town where I realized that my life was something different than my other friends’, and the town where I realized that there is a LOT to come.

I had an audition at the theatre (the first time back since closing!) and did totally fine work. The only people in the room were the Artistic Director (who I’m close with) and the reader. The role was a sexy twenty-something, and I walked in in my skinny jeans, hair down, and a sexy tank and she says, ‘Wow, you don’t look like you’re fourteen this time.” “That’s the idea,” I responded with a smile.

From there, I had A drive us down the road past the Buffalo Bill House, where we lived, and pointed to the window of the Anne Frank Room, where much of our courtship began. (If you are confused about what the Buffalo Bill House and the Anne Frank Room are and why this janky town in NJ is special to me, click any of these hyperlinks).

Then we drove down to the beach. The air was freezing, and because it’s the ocean, the wind was violent. I’d forgotten a hair tie, so I let my nicely curled hair whip around my face. A pulled his fedora down over his ears, and we pushed against the wind as we made our way off the boardwalk, into the sand, and towards the surf. It was clear that the storm had done a number on this tiny town (in fact, the theatre was one of the hardest hit professional theatres in all of the Eastern seaboard). They were repairing the boardwalk and much was cordoned off. But it was enough just to see the ocean, and remember the moment we saw dolphins leaping from the surf, the burning run from the cool ocean across the sun-heated sand to relief on the grass, the feel of the ocean water as it hit my body, the conversations and quiet moments with my book, friends nearby and loving.

We had time to waste, so we drove to the mall, where we wandered and joked about middle America and Jersey. We stopped in the bookstore to use the last of my gift card, and then around 3:45, headed back to the car. The plan was to drive to Edgewater and have a nice steak dinner before coming back into the city. But Google Maps (and yours truly) royally fucked up and we ended up deep in traffic on the Lincoln Tunnel, headed INTO the city. Crap.

A talked me off the ledge and we made a new plan– drop off the car, check into our hotel (yes, that was the romantic part of this evening), order room service and drink champagne, and THEN go to the ballet (the other romantic portion). I agreed, and we were off. We stopped briefly to grab a bottle of champagne (good thing we did, since a bottle cost $75 at the hotel), and after a few turnarounds (when you’re a walker in NYC, you forget that all the streets are one-way), we dropped off the car and brought our stuff to the hotel.

On the way up the elevator, I realized I didn’t have my phone in my pocket.

Nor was it in my bag.

Nor was it in A’s backpack.

FUCK.

We got to the room and I stayed calm and rifled through everything– throwing books on the floor and clothes on the bed, spreading everything out on the white sheets– to no avail. THAT was when the tears came. I felt… mostly just angry at myself. Because now this was a “thing” that we had to deal with and the whole plan of the evening had now turned into “where is B’s phone.” Also, I can’t afford a replacement. I felt like an idiot and I just wanted to go back in time.

A was wonderfully patient with me, and tried to talk me down. Didn’t work. I ended up just being mean. Finally, after grumpily picking what to order for dinner, A placed the order and left for the garage to see if I’d left my phone in the rental car. “I love you, you know,” he said as he walked out the door.

I moped for another few minutes, then lay face down on the bed and breathed. I calmed, then rose and walked to the bathroom, where I wet a face towel with cool water and began to clean my face. As I reapplied my foundation, the door clicked open. There was A, my phone in his hand.

I gave him an huge, huge, too-long hug, apologizing profusely, thanking him up and down and around till Thursday. We popped the champagne, ate the dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt I had purchased, then when room service arrived, sat and devoured our burgers (his, beef, mine, crab cakes) and fries. At 7, we prepped our final touches for the ballet, at 7:08 we had quick sex (if you read deeply enough to catch this, you win!), and at 7:15, walked out of the front door of the hotel, crossed Columbus, and entered the Koch Theater at Lincoln Center to see NYCB’s Sleeping Beauty.

Our seats were great (third ring, first row, dead center), and we both really love watching dance. I’m not sure I’ve ever watched dance as comfortably with anyone else (a lot of people don’t really get it… actors think it’s overwrought and silly, plebes get bored, my mother wants to talk a lot about it after). Afterwards, we stopped at Duane Reade to get ice cream and breakfast foods (yogurt and granola for both, chocolate milk for him), and headed back to the hotel.

We finished the champagne and ate the ice cream, did some other stuff, watched some Netflix on his phone (seriously… what is live TV?), and then, around midnight, both of us realized that we’re actually 85 years old and were really, really sleepy. We both read a little bit, then I curled up under his arm, half my body on top of his, just like every night, and we went to sleep.

I’m a lucky girl.

We woke up this morning at our regular time, 8:30, and lazed around for a while. We ate breakfast, watched more Netflix, took a long shower, and packed. I grabbed coffee on the way to work, and he headed down to get a haircut for Army. He has two days of Army “drill” this weekend (I don’t really get it… but basically it means he has to go to the armory and “work” from like 7am-5pm Sat and Sun, one weekend every month). I hate it because he’s gone two days, but I hate it most because he hates it.

The moral of the story, though, is threefold:

1. I haven’t blogged in a while, and I really should.

2. I had two amazing Valentine’s Days.

3. I love A. I love A. I love A.

Hugs and kisses to all of you out there.

B.