Thursday, November 30, 2006

Shameless and Committed

Jaya called me today to say tell me that a review of UGLY BABY was in this week's TIME OUT CHICAGO. From doing two different weekend runs of this play before this official opening, I knew three things:

1) Critics wouldn't get it.

2) Theatre people, for the most part, would try so hard to dissect it that they would forget to ENJOY it.

3) Civilians (a.k.a. Those Who Are Neither Critics Nor Theatre People... a.k.a. Real People... a.k.a. The Ones Who Actually PURCHASE TICKETS And Therefore The Only Ones Who Really Matter) would love it, laugh the loudest with it, tell all their friends about it and come back again and again.

Working backwards...

Proof I Was Right About #3 - Cynthia's sister and her sister's friend came to see UGLY BABY last Friday night and loved it so much that they came back the VERY NEXT NIGHT. This happened again and again in our previous short weekend runs. People who never go to the theatre (pronounced "thee-uh-TUH" - - very Bette Davis) love the show so much that they bring back their friends to see it.

Its just like that commercial: "And she told two friends, and she told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on..." The viral marketing of hair care products from the 80's works as a perfect model for promoting late night Chicago comedy.

Shampoo / Theatre
Tomato / ToMAHto

Proof I Was Right About #2 - Well, this one I may be wrong about because all of my theatre friends who have seen the show have loved Philip's play, the cast, the direction and my performance. But I will leave this one as a tie, because actors (and I am DEFINITELY including myself in this description) never cease to live up to the old joke:

Q: How many actors does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: One to actually climb the ladder and DO IT! Ninety-nine to watch him and say, "I coulda done THAT!"

Proof I Was Right About #1 - The TIME OUT CHICAGO reviewer, Kay Daly, talks about stereotypes leading to the "thinnest kind of farce" and questions "what is being attacked" and in doing so, she plays directly into Philip's hands. Philip is truly the most intelligent man I have ever met and his writing has a complexity that is grounded in his own uniquely goofy humor, so that while you laugh at his broad strokes of comedy, you are shocked and stunned at the joke you are currently laughing at.

I have a string of great lines in a monologue near the end of the first act that ends with a word that sends Michael Richards-esque chills through the audience. Philip is writing above and beyond the I.Q. level of nearly every critic in this or any other town. And like all critics, one day they will look back on this play and praise him for being "ahead of his time." When they say that, I hope he tells them to fuck off.

People always tell me that I can't listen to a critic when they praise my work and then disagree with that same critic when they dislike my work, and my response is always, "Yes, I can!"

Its easy. When they like me or when they like what I like, then they are "right." And when they don't like me or when they don't like what I like or when the like what I don't like, then they are "wrong." See? Its simple.

I say that because while I disagree COMPLETELY with Kay Daly's thoughts about the play, I agree WHOLE-HEARTEDLY with her intelligent and wise comment when she writes...

"A standout is Stephen Rader, whose shtick alternating as the Jewish and Italian mommas at the BEDFELLAS wedding is shameless and committed."

Alanda emailed me to congratulate me on the review and I replied saying "'Shameless and committed.' That's me." I was belittling myself as I always do. She replied with a simple sentence. "That IS you," and I immediately understood the meaning of those two words.

Alanda helped me see that Shameless means "Full of Pride in Myself, My Work and the Work of Everyone Around Me" and Committed means "Fiercely Passionate About My Art, My Friends and My Beliefs."

"Shameless and committed." I relish the compliment.

P.S. When I got home, I opened up my hardcopy of TIME OUT CHICAGO and flipped through the Gay and Lesbian section on my way to the review. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I gasped when I found this picture of me in the upper righthand corner.

The caption reads: LADYKILLER Stephen Rader makes womanhood look frightening in UGLY BABY.

Open Note to the Caption Writer at TIME OUT CHICAGO regarding my "frightening" look:
A) My character is drunk.
B) I'm wearing no base, no blush, no eye makeup and only a simple lipstick.
C) Lick me where I can't reach!

Darth and Drunken Danny

A few months ago, Kathy Griffin said that all the crazy shit in the world was goin' down on OPRAH. Well folks, as my friends Mike and Andy can attest, for the last three months, the crazy shit has moved from OPRAH to THE VIEW.

Sorry Mr. Cruise, but you jumping up and down on a Oprah's couch yelling about how much you love Katie "My New Beard" Holmes is no longer interesting. Its just plain sad.

Unless of course, someone on YouTube takes a snipet of that OPRAH segment and turns a self-loathing, closeted ex-Paramount Studios megastar into the maniacal Darth Sidious...

Can we please have the sequel to BORAT revolve around Borat trying to meet Katie Holmes so that Tom will dump her as fast as Kid Rock dumped Pamela Anderson? We need to help this poor woman. Maybe we can hire the people who freed Patty Hearst to get to Katie before she drinks the strychnine-flavored Cool-Aid in the Cult of Cruise.

So Oprah, I'll see your couch-jumping Cruise and I'll raise you one Drunken Danny Devito after a sleepless night of drinking and carousing with George Clooney.

When celebrities stay out all night long and show up sloshed to the tits for a morning talk show, the 70's are truly back. Which means that a MATCH GAME reunion show can't be far behind.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Season of Concern's New Web Site

The new Season of Concern web site is up and running and I am so thrilled with it, happy about it and proud of it! Please visit the site, check out all the incredible new features, join our VIP site mailing list and pass on the new site link to your friends, family, co-workers and that hot guy from the gym.

You can even make a donation to Season of Concern online now via PayPal! Yep...we are definitely way ahead of our old rotary-dial, kitchen phone days.

Many of my theatre friends know Season of Concern, but I am proud to say that, while we remain committeed to providing direct-care support for people living with HIV/AIDS, Season of Concern recently announced an enhancement and expansion of our mission.

Season of Concern is the Chicagoland theatre community’s fundraising effort in providing compassionate care to those in our community who are experiencing the effects of catastrophic illness. This effort supports the fight against AIDS, contributing to programs that provide direct-care support (funded programs provide personal financial support, housing care, meals, medications, legal assistance and a variety of other services for people living with HIV and AIDS) to members of the theatre community and others in Chicago and the Midwest; and emergency needs expressed by theatre community members in their struggles against other life-threatening illnesses. Since 1988, funds have been raised through generous gifts from theatre artists, staffs, boards and audiences. Funds supported include The Actors’ Fund of America and the Biscotto-Miller Fund.

This Friday is World AIDS Day and already several theatres have begun collecting audience donations for Season of Concern. The Chicago cast of WICKED is 4 weeks into their Holiday Fund Drive. Their audience collections are going to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, Chicago House and Season of Concern. During their last Fund Drive over the Easter Holiday, Season of Concern received $20,000 from WICKED Chicago!!!

The Chicago cast of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE started collecting for Season of Concern just three days ago and have already collected $4,000 for our organization. Thank you, SPELLING BEE!!!

Also, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble had a benefit performance for Season of Concern during their production of YERMA and also donated a portion of the proceeds from their Actor's Nights to us. They are amazing!

And the incredible cast of The Goodman Theatre's A CHRISTMAS CAROL collect for Season of Concern after EACH AND EVERY PERFORMANCE!!! Over the past 15 years, A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Goodman Theatre has donated $282,038.70 to Season of Concern!!!

Last but not least, Steppenwolf Theatre is hosting a benefit performance of SONIA FLEW on World AIDS Day with half of the tickets going to Season of Concern.

We are blessed with so many people working so hard to help us provide care for others in our community. Check out our new web site for even more info about Season of Concern...

And if you need the most incredible web page marketing master builder in town, ask me how to get ahold our Ms. Jodi Kinsgley, the designer of our new site. She is THE best!

Kristie's Shat-stounding Video Find

After reading my Shat-riffic blog posting about the Shat-larious new gameshow entitled SHOW ME THE MONEY starring William "Oh Captain, My Captain" Shatner, my Shat-abulous cousin Kristie sent me this Shat-acular video montage over a Shat-sational STAR TREK parody song by Voltaire (no, not the French philosopher Voltaire... he's dead, Rose...).

Those of you who are STAR TREK fans will love this. And if you're not a STAR TREK fan, then you don't know shit... errr... shat...

The Best Christmas Carol Ever

Last night, this Grinch's heart grew three sizes.

Jaya and I attened the Opening Night performance of The Goodman Theatre's A CHRISTMAS CAROL and not only is this production the best I have ever seen of this classic Christmas story, it also filled me with such incredible joy for the season.

And ya'll know me, so you know that if I'm saying that - - me - - Mr. Bitter McJaded, son of Ms. Cynical Bitch, the Third - - that this show has a tremendous heart.

First, there is William Brown's direction which is superb. Then, there is a performance by Jonathan Weir as Scrooge which takes place on so many levels at once that it breaths full life into a character we all thought we knew backwards and forwards. I laughed out loud (ya'll know my gut laugh) when as he winced at the Christmas carollers outside his door and I cried as he watched his sister come to bring his younger self home for the holiday. Yeah...I cried...a lot...

Then, there is 1st grader Ryan Cowhey as Tiny Tim, who is quite possibly the cutest thing to ever grace the stage at the Goodman (and that INCLUDES me and my delightful turn as Flower Vendor in THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA). This little boy cracked Jaya and I up and then, when he walked across the Cratchit house to get to his chair, not a soul made a sound in the theatre. This little boy will steal your heart... no... you'll give it to him freely.

Of course, Jaya's heart was stolen by the Ghost of Christmas Past as played by Steve Haggard (hopefully, no relation to Ted Haggard, but I didn't meet him to actually ask...). His new take on this first of three spirits to visit Scrooge was modern and fun and a blast to watch.

But it is the delightful Sharon Sachs and Bradley Mott that steal the show - - especially as the Fezzywigs. Bradley Mott is charming in everything he does, all the time, period and I could watch Sharon Sachs read a transcript from BREAKING BONNADUCE and find her funny and sexy and glorious!

So, to steal a line from AUNTIE MAME (not that crappy Lucille Ball / Jerry Herman movie musical - - the REAL movie with Roz Russell...), if you need a little Christmas, watch a performance of The Goodman Theatre's A CHRISTMAS CAROL and this cast will fill you with holiday spirit.

And just in case the incredibly hot guy with the mohawk (not a "faux-hawk" which I can't stand... this boy had a real mohawk) and the black jacket dotted with safety pins who was sitting in the row behind Jaya and me (that would be row D, Seat 7 or 8 on House Right, I believe) for some reason stumbles onto this blog, please know that I am available and I would drink your bathwater like egg nog this holiday season. Get it? Got it? Good.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My New Favorite Thing

After the final MIDLER ON THE ROOF last night (thank you Mike & Andy, and Kent for seeing the show last night), the lovely Mark Repasky - - the member of the Fudge Pack voted Most Likely To Be Mistaken For A Kennedy (because he's so damned good looking, not because he drinks too much...) drove me up to the Shattered Globe to drink with the UGLY BABIES after their show.

From what I hear, Philip slayed them playing my roles last night... yes, I'm scared that I will be replaced... if I do get replaced, does that make me Dick Sergeant or Dick York?... I can never remember which Darren came first...

That aside, the best part of seeing the UGLY BABIES was that Jaya gave me this gift:

Yes, the Coal Miner's Daughter's cookbook entitled YOU'RE COOKIN' IT COUNTRY.

I know I'm a Kinsey 6, but I gotta tell you - - I could seriously marry me some Jaya. She's knock-down gorgeous, smart, funny, incredibly talented and on top of all that, she knows what every man wants and desires...


Saturday, November 25, 2006


There's STAR TREK the original series and all those STAR TREK movies...


There's the 80's cop-u-drama T.J. Hooker...

(Yes, Virginia, I intentionally chose a cast picture that did NOT include Adrian Zmed. For his Crimes Against Humanity - - I'm talking about GREASE 2 - - he deserves a severe Cock Punching. Adrian Zmed and Lorna Luft in the same movie?!!?!? What the fuck were those casting directors thinking?!?!?!)

There are new episodes of BOSTON LEGAL every week...


And there are snippits of songs from his first album, THE TRANSFORMED MAN...

"I'm a rock-IT man!"

...and his latest album with Ben Folds, HAS BEEN...

"I can't get behind that!!"

With all this Shat-Stew, my weekly cup of Shatner runneth over.

Ah, but Shatner on television is like Cher in concert - - less isn't more...MORE is more!

Just when I thought my Tivo couldn't pack any more into its weekly Little Billy Shatner WishList, ABC brings me this...

Item Number One on my New Christmas Wish List: A t-shirt that says...


Friday, November 24, 2006


I'm off to my 10:30 p.m. performance of UGLY BABY tonight. I haven't done the show in exactly one week, so we'll see just how many 36 year-old Senior Moments I can have in one hour.

And for the record, when I say "Senior Moment" I mean being forgetful - - not pissing myself like June Allyson: The Later Years.

And speaking of the UGLY BABY, Eric found a truly kick-ass piece of music for the end of our show, but when I mentioned that I believed the cheer/phrase came from the 1986 movie WILDCATS starring Goldie Hawn, the rest of the cast gave me that look...

...the same look that my father gave me when I came home after hearing WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? on the radio for the first time and telling him all about this great new singer named Tina Turner.

... the same look that Bea Arthur always gave in every episode of MAUDE right before she would say...

"God will get you for that, Walter."

At 36, I find profound truth in Joanne's line from the musical COMPANY:

"We're too old for the young people and too young for the old people. We ARE the generation gap."

Well, my fellow UGLY BABIES, here's a little piece of the 80's for you...

Last Call for Midler On The Roof

Well, its come to an end.

No, not the Republican strangle-hold on the U.S.

...not K-Fed's marriage, career and bloated ego...

...and no, not my hope that Rogaine and Chia will be combined to help me once again have some semblance of hair... even if it would be green and require watering 3 times a day...

I'm talking about the end of MIDLER ON THE ROOF.

Right before I started the two-month run of this cabaret show, I was depressed about a lot of different things. Philip asked me what would help me feel better and I said, "I need a microphone."

Now, that makes me sound like Neely O'Hara needing an electronics fix...

...but what I meant was that I needed to be in front of people with no script and sing and talk to them and try to create something funny and entertaining in the moment.

I love singing in my cabaret shows, but what I really love is the patter. I want to try to do stand-up comedy, because writing something, performing it and listening for when an audience laughs and when they don't, where they're with you and where they start shifting in their seats, is my favorite thing in the whole world. And just like singing a jazz standard, not knowing where you're going to go in the song or how it will end and playing off of the person playing piano, there is a give and take to an audience that is thrilling because sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fall flat.

In MIDLER ON THE ROOF, I get the best of both worlds - - I get to dabble in stand-up comedy in my patter AND with Jeff Roscoe on the piano, I get to riff with a musical partner who is a genius on the keys. His arrangements are superb and his ability to create in the moment and to challenge me as a singer and an artist thrills me to no end.

Working with Jeff on MOTR and with Eric, Philip, Jaya, Cynthia and Nick on UGLY BABY has renewed my confidence in my talent and my abilities. When you work with people who are as gifted as they are, you work even harder to match their level of skill. I can't wait to see what Jeff and I come up with next and just how incredible UGLY BABY is going to become.

But in the meantime, bitches, get over to Davenport's this Saturday and see MIDLER ON THE ROOF. Its the last day of the show, ya'll!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Paula Pearl of Wisdom for Thanksgiving

In Paula Deen's new book, PAULA DEEN CELEBRATES, each chapter tackles a different party or holiday gathering throughout the year. The first three of these are 1) "New Year's Eve Brunch", 2) "New Year's Day Good Luck Meal" and 3) "Elvis' Birthday."

You know its a Southern recipe and party planning book when one of the National Holidays listed alongside Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving and Easter is Elvis' Birthday!!!!

I love it. And you're guessed it - - one of the recipe's in the "Elvis' Birthday" chapter is...of course...The King's favorite...a Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich!! Yummmmmm!!!!

But believe it or not, that's not the best part!!! At the beginning of each chapter, there is a short quote from Paula that ties into that party's theme. These are joke...

Paula's Pearls of Wisdom


This past Monday as I was waiting for Paula to sign my copy of this new book, my line buddy and new Paula Pal Betsy was reading through the book and brought my attention to Paula's Pearl's of Wisdom for the chapter on Paula's Wedding Anniversary. Betsy said that there are several different meanings behind this particular pearl of wisdom... and nearly all of them are dirty in the very best of ways. The quote for the Wedding Anniversary reads:

"The only things you need to make for this celebration, girls, are your face, and reservations!"

Truer words have never been said.

Please note: this quote comes from the woman who has her own Butt Rub.

Paula, lovely Paula - - speaking for my people (The Gays) we love you, your food and your butt rub...and just like you, we strongly recommend reservations for our face if a man is looking for a Friday or Saturday night seating.

And ya'll, unless I miss my guess, the hottie in this picture wearing the jeans, the white v-neck t-shirt and the blue blazer is Paula's personal assistant, Brandon Branch - - the one who said, "Nice shirt" to me on Monday.

Tell me I wasn't in heaven having my book signed by Paula and my ass checked out by him!?!?!?!?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


When I first moved to Chicago (years ago..."Our boys were in Korea. Ike was in Mamie."), I let one of the best...if not THE best man slip through my fingers because I let my career (or lack thereof...) come before my relationship with him - - and my relationships with friends and family. After lots of soul-searching and 6 (count 'em 6!) years of therapy, I now work very hard to live by a new motto...

People before plays

To me, this means that dinner with my friends where we laugh and talk and create memories is infinitely more important than my next audition, the next song I sing or being featured on ACCESS HOLLYWOOD. This means that being at home for Christmas is more important than anything even remotely involved with the entertainment industry. As I said to a casting director last year who said I should stay in town to do a certain production and not go home for Christmas, "I don't know about you, but I genuinely LIKE my family and I want to be with them during the holidays!!!"

"People before plays" has served me well and enriched my life. I don't want people to stand over my casket and say, "Wow, he had a great resume, didn't he?" I want them to say that I was there for them when they needed me, that I was a loving friend, a loving son, a loving brother and that I made their lives happier because I was a part of it.

But more than that, I want those people to know that they brought happiness and love and warmth and laughter into my life day after day. To quote my favorite line from THE WIZARD OF OZ...

"The heart is not judged by how much you love,
but by how much you are loved by others."

Yeah...that's the gayest thing I've had in my blog so far and my Blog Fag Rating is currently somewhere between Clay Aiken and Charles Nelson Reilly. Oh well, this blog could be all about Bea Arthur...

To let them know that I am thankful for them and that I love them, here are, in no particular order, a few of the people who have made my life incredibly happy in the past year:

Alanda Coon - You have saved my life again and again. I love you and cherish your friendship more than words can say. Thank you for taking this stranded Southern boy in for the holidays when I can't make it back to Tennessee. As my mama said in a card I received today, "You have Yolanda give you a big hug from me and tell her I love her for taking care of my boy." Mama may have gotten the name wrong, but she loves Alanda so much and has never even met her. My mama has excellent taste.

Steve Hobson - Alanda's lovely husband who I thank for putting up with all of us crazy theatre people and for sharing my insane passion for comic books. I'm bringing you another stack of comics tomorrow to catch you up on 52! And thanks to Steve for sharing his lovely parents with all of us holiday orphans. I can't wait to see them tomorrow!!

Max Chung - Our other comic book buddy is an incredible friend and gave me the title for my latest cabaret show (MIDLER ON THE ROOF). Max kicked musical theatre ass in THOROUGLY MODERN MILLIE earlier this year. I can't wait to see your new cabaret show in its full form (I don't want to give away the title here because its too good and some asshole will steal it!)

Aaron Hunt - The man who has truly helped me become stronger than I ever thought I could possibly be and who has helped me find the strength to stand up for myself and for what I believe in, always and in all things. My life and my soul would be much poorer had I not met you, lived with you and been blessed with your friendship.

John Burton - Aaron's lovely boyfriend who brings so much joy with him everywhere he goes and who gives me hope that there is someone out there for me - - because he and Aaron have a relationship filled with laughter, communication, honesty, trust and intimacy like none other I have ever seen.

Eric Reda - My director for UGLY BABY and I'm proud to say, my good friend. Eric is not only a fantastic artist, he is also caring, loving, giving and full of boundless joy and life. Also, his preserves are out of this friggin' world!! And his boyfriend Dan is truly becoming one of my favorite people on the planet, not just because he's so damn cute, but because he always greets people with a beautiful smile, a heartfelt compliment and wisdom beyond his years. (I hate it when the young, cute ones are more put together than I am! Not that its hard to be more put together than I am, but still...)

Brooke Sherrod - I may be her gay husband but I am so happy that there is a new man in her life who gives her the love, respect and joy that she deserves each and every day. I can't wait to meet him!!!

Mike & Andy - My Liza buddies! I am SO HAPPY that Mike is blogging again. As a gift for Christmas a couple of years ago, Mike gave me a hardback copy of THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY and it is my favorite novel of all time. Thanks for giving me The Escapist's Key and thank you both so much for your incredible friendship.

Philip Dawkins - The way I met Philip is truly worth a blog entry in and of itself, but ever since that fateful night on stage at VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM, Philip's friendship has been a blessing in my life. I am honored to be act in his plays and even more honored to read his plays and realize that I know and am friends with this incredibly intelligent, talented, passionate, courageous man. Thank you for being there for me so much in the past year. I don't know what I would do without you in my life.

My Cousin Kristie Nelson - Who always visits me here in Chicago when she's in town making the Merchandise Mart 28 more shades of fabulous. She looks like a million bucks 24/7 and she gives so much of herself to her friendships, her family and her boyfriend. Thank you for keeping us connected all these years. I can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

My Father - Who I grow closer to every day and who gave me more than I ever knew - - my spirit, my humor, my sense of fairness and respect for others all come from my Dad and when I hug him, I feel safe and secure in the world.

My Brother - I am amazed by his tremendous heart, his love for other people, his endless compassion for those less fortunate and for his ability to always be his own person, no matter what anyone thinks. I am so proud of him.

My Mother - My hero. She has been beaten down more times than I can count and every single time she stands up and begins again. Her intense love of family, her empathy for others and her ability to give so much of her heart and soul freely after being hurt so often is a trait I admire and aspire to achieve. I am proud to say that my mother is my friend.

And to so many others - - Joe, Jaya, Jeff & Jamie, Jon, Karen, Doug, Keith, Michael K., Michael & Tim, Ted, Star & Josh, Ernie & Michael - - thank you so much for your friendship!

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm off to make Paula Deen's Corn Casserole (or as Clover calls it "Corn Pie") for Alanda's Turkey Day Party!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Ladies from St. Louis, Me and Paula D!

Well, ya'll. I met her. I met Ms. Paula Deen.

Now of course, The Borders Patrol were out in full force, so I was unable to actually get an upclose picture of her, let alone a picture of me WITH her, but my two hours waiting in line with some incredible Paula Deen fans more than made up for it.

First off, check out this gal with her chef's hat on who was waiting in line about 50 people behind me! She asked if this was going on my MySpace page, and I said, "Honey, do I look cool enough to have a MySpace page?!?!?" She had no comment. But she is wicked cute!

There were lines of people waiting all over the 3rd and 2nd floors of Borders and I was easily in the first group of 50. Well...I'm getting WAY ahead of myself!

First off, I went to Borders a little after 9:00 a.m. I bought two copies of PAULA DEEN CELEBRATES, was given a Purple wristband and was told to be back at Borders at 5:00 p.m. to start getting in line. The Borders Patrol would put us Paula fans into lines in five groups according to our wristband color, which corresponded with when we arrived at Borders to buy the book. The color order was Purple (The REAL Fans!), White (Fans Who Were Late), Blue (Semi-Fans With No Sense Of Priority In Their Life), Pink (Losers) and Yellow (MAJOR Losers).

So, me being within the first group of 50 people in the Purple group meant I was DEFINITELY in the upper echelon at Club Paula!

I sat down beside a cute woman named Betsy and we talked about a new Rule from the Reichstag which was handed out to us on a slip of paper with our wristband:

"The event is a signing; there will be no discussion."

Who the fuck do these Border Patrol Bitches think they are?!?!?! Jeez... Lighten the fuck UP!

Anyway, I noticed a group of women who were about 15 people ahead of me all wearing the same t-shirts. The front of each t-shirt said "Quotes By Paula" and each shirt had a different quote of Ms. Deen's from her tv show. This woman's was my favorite - - it says...

"I'm sweatin' like a fat girl writin' her first love letter!"

Are you beginning to understand my obsession with Miss Paula?!?!?

Ok, back to these women. They all traveled to Chicago from south of St. Louis just to meet Paula Deen. When I asked to take their picture, they wanted to know if I wanted the front of their t-shirts or the back and I said, "Can I get your fronts first?" The woman 4th from the right said, "I'm so happy to hear a man ask me that!!!"

The woman on the far left is very special. It was her birthday in September and her daughter (3rd from the left) gathered all her mom's friends together, planned this whole trip and made the t-shirts as a gift for her mother. They were wonderful to each other.

When the women saw my t-shirt from The Lady and Sons - - the one that says "Hey Ya'll!" on the back - - we were instant pals. I loved them. So, when Paula showed up these women all stood in front of her signing table and turned around in order so that the letters on the back of their t-shirts spelled out...

Paula was shocked and amazed and loved, Loved, LOVED IT!!! She said, "Ya'll, I've never seen anything like this in my life." I heard these women scream and I wasn't sure what Paula told them, so after my book was signed I raced down the escalator to find them. They told me that Paula invited them all to come on her Friday night show, Paula's Party! I was and am so thrilled for them! I can't wait to see them on the show.

Now, when I got up to the table...well, first Ms. Bitch Border Patrol said to me in that sing-songy-Sister-Bertha-Better-Than-You Tone, "No photos, pleeeaasseee." Lick my balls. But I did as I was told...

Standing to Paula's left was Brandon Branch, Paula's personal assistant who is cute, Cute, CUTE and gay, Gay, GAY!!! If I hadn't been so flustered with camera warnings from Miss Bitch and from being in the presence of The Queen of All Things Fried and Fatty, I would have shamelessly flirted with him when he looked at my Lady and Sons t-shirt and said, "Nice shirt." I should have said, "It looks better on the floor." Alas, I wasn't that quick...

But when Paula looked at me, I blurted out "Thank you" and she said, "You've got great taste in wardrobe."

I'm tellin' ya'll. I could have died right then and there and the smile on my face would have been eternal!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

24 Hours to Paula

It is less than 24 hours till I stand in line at the Border's on Michigan Avenue to meet The Lady herself, Ms. Paula Deen.

But the question is: Who will be in line with me? My guess is that the fans of Miss Stick of Butter will include (but shall not be limited to) rednecks, gay men, wannabe chefs and housewives...and its scary to think that, on some level, I fit into every one of those categories.

I was born a redneck...

I knew I was gay when my favorite childhood television show was FAMILY AFFAIR (you know...the show with characters named "Buffy, Jody and Cissy" and a butler named "Mr. French" who makes Richard Simmons look butch)...

I bring one or two Paula Deen dishes to every potluck or holiday party...


...well...does Tivo'ing DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES count?

And, just like the Liza Minnelli signing, the Border's Nazis are in full force. Check out this blurb about tomorrow's Rules and Regulations at the Reichstag:

Additional Information: To ensure that Ms. Deen is able to meet all of her fans at this event, no photography will be taken at the signing table. She will be unable to personalize her message when autographing books. No memorabilia will be signed.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 20 at 9 a.m., 500 wristbands will be given out to customers who have purchased a copy of the book "Paula Deen Celebrates!: Best Dishes and Best Wishes for the Best Times of Your LIfe." Wristbands will be given out on a first come, first served basis and will offer customers a place in line, but do not guarantee a chance to meet Ms. Deen. There is a limit of two books per person. Copies of the book are available for purchase at Borders stores.

Fuck, guys - - lighten up! Liza Minnelli had the time to write my first name AND her name on the DVD of LIZA WITH A Z that she signed for me...and SHE has an Oscar...Liza consumed more drugs in one evening at Studio 54 than Rush Limbaugh has taken in his entire life...Liza is Judy Garland's freakin' daughter, for cryin' out loud!!!! You Borders Buttfucks think that Liza can do something that the Queen of Collard Greens can't?!?!?!

Well, Liza has overcome two hip replacements, brain encephalitis, RENT-A-COP with Burt Reynolds and an album with the Pet Shop Boys. Maybe they're on to something.

Somehow though, I have a feeling that Paula is going to be a lot more easy going than The Borders Patrol is making this out to be.

I know she didn't create this image and she probably didn't approve of it, but I'm sure this little picture would make my girl Paula laugh her ass off!

Overheard at Davenport's

Tonight, the lovely Philip Dawkins went on for me in UGLY BABY because I had my second to last performance of MIDLER ON THE ROOF at Davenport's. Just knowing that Philip and I can fit into the same costumes makes this former Fat Fat Fatty happier than you could possibly imagine, but having the multi-talented Philip cover for me is truly a blessing. Thank you, Philip. I know you were amazing. I can't wait to hear all about it.

In the meantime, I give you this piece of comic gold that happened tonight at Davenport's:

Denise Tomasello performed her cabaret show at 8:00 p.m. tonight. For those that don't know her, this is Denise...

Denise had a large crowd of 69 people in the backroom (notice that sentence contains the following: "69" and "backroom" and "Denise"). When I arrived at Davenport's at 9:45 p.m. (note: Denise's show was STILL going on at 9:45 p.m. and continued for another 15 to 20 minutes after that!), there was a woman sitting at the bar with her husband. The woman walked to the back and looked through the window in the door to the backroom; she was looking at Denise and her large crowd.

The cute waiter that I have a major crush on, Tug, walked by. The woman turned to Tug and said the following:

"Boy, he really packs 'em in!"

You see, when a gay man thinks a woman is a drag queen, I believe that is a compliment...of some sort...since so many drag queens are hyper-glamorous and look like a SuperModel 24/7...but when a straight woman thinks that a woman is a drag

...that's comedy.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bond, Naked Bond

I just saw the new Bond movie, CASINO ROYALE and let me just say this...

Daniel Craig is completely naked in one incredibly hot scene...and its NOT a love scene with Vesper Lynd!

This picture is not from that scene - - the hottest friggin' scene in Bond Film history thankyouverymuch - - but it will give you the incentive to run to your nearest cineplex and buy a ticket to quite possibly the best James Bond we've seen yet.

And I say that not just because he's naked in that one scene...

And not just because he wears this square cut swimsuit so well...

He's gritty, he's athletic, he is raw sex in every moment and you believe that he can beat any man at any game and that every woman he meets is undressing him with their eyes.

Why wouldn't they want to undress him...just friggin' look at those abs and the gun show!

For Jaya

UGLY BABY had a wonderful opening (insert vagina joke here). Thank you to Mike, Andy, Brian and Jon for coming last night. We had a great time...

...and yes, I did screw up one of the costume changes, realized it on stage and said "Shit!" out of character...not like I HAD a character, but I still did it. And it was the biggest laugh I got all night.

Just like in life, its funnier when people fail. I guess Republicans must LOVE all the laughs they're getting these days.

For no reason other than I love her and this will hopefully make her day, this is for Jaya.

(Be sure to clap twice in the appropriate places in the song...just like the boys at Sidetrack.)

By the way, have we ever seen Cher and Mr. Ed in the same room? Just a question...

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's the Day of the Show, Ya'll

First off, if you don't know that the title of this blog entry is Parker Posey's classic line from WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, stop reading this right now, run to a video store (yes, they still have them!) and rent this movie RIGHT FUCKING NOW! Loving, adoring and quoting WAITING FOR GUFFMAN is to my friendships what Zoloft is to my relationship with my mother - - a necessity!

Now, to the business at hand...

Tonight is the birth of UGLY BABY!

To quote an old Joan Rivers' joke, "When my water broke, my dog drowned...and my dog lived in Jersey."

Tonight, after nearly two years from the first set of performances of the first act at Around the Coyote, we get to play in this incredibly fun world written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Eric Reda - - a world that's...well...let's just say that if Rip Taylor saw this show he would say, "Now, that's faggy!"

Last night after the run, Eric's lovely boyfriend Dan described my second act performance as the Jewish mother, Sophe, like this: "You're like Barbra Streisand on evil."

That is indeed the greatest compliment I have ever received - - much better than the woman who saw MIDLER ON THE ROOF a few week's ago and told me I remind her of Peter Allen. Not there's anything wrong with Peter Allen (I love me some "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage"), but it would be nice to be compared to someone A) with at least A LITTLE testosterone and B) who was never married to Liza Minnelli!!

Hold that thought...after one of the performances of the cabaret show tribute to the JUDY AT CARNEGIE album (big show where a bunch of cabaret singers do every number from that concert in order...I sang SWANEE and AFTER YOU'VE GONE...again, "Now, that's faggy"), one of the singers told me that her husband loved watching me perform because I reminded him of Joe Cocker.


That said, I'll take Peter Allen...and I'll raise you a Paul Lynde and a Jim J. Bullock.

At any rate, wish us well for a successful birth. Tonight is open comps for everyone (10:30 p.m. at the Strawdog Theatre on Broadway) and we have 2-for-1 tickets for the next few weeks.

As for baby gifts, we are registered at Sidetrack, Little Jim's and Steamworks.

I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Plagiarism 2: Electric Boogaloo

I just found this on

Broadway Team Accuses Two Regional Productions of Plagiarism

By Zachary Pincus-Roth
November 15, 2006

The creators and designers of the Broadway production of Urinetown, along with their unions, are accusing two 2006 regional productions of the show of plagiarizing their direction, choreography and design.

A lawyer for the Broadway team, Ronald H. Shechtman, sent a letter on Nov. 13 to representatives of the regional productions — one produced by Blue Dog Entertainment at the Mercury Theater in Chicago and the other at the Carousel Dinner Theatre in Akron, OH — stating that "significant aspects of the Broadway Team's original, creative work were used in your recent production of Urinetown."

The letter states that while the productions did license the musical, the license only entitles them to use the script and the music, and not the Broadway direction, choreography or design. A law suit has not yet been filed.

The Chicago production closed in May, and the Akron production closed Nov. 4. As of the posting time for this article, was not able to reach representatives from either production.

At a press conference held Nov. 15 at the offices of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC), Urinetown's Broadway choreographer John Carrafa said that he saw a picture of the Chicago production online, which prompted him to attend the production with the show's Broadway director, John Rando.

"It was replicated in great, phenomenal detail," said Rando, speaking at the press conference via phone, of the Chicago production.

Carrafa attended the Akron production, which was directed by Jennifer Cody, who was in Urinetown's original Broadway cast as Little Becky Two Shoes.

Brian Loeffler was the choreographer of both productions and won a Joseph Jefferson Award for Choreography for the Chicago production. That production also received Jefferson Award nominations for Production - Musical; Director - Musical for Tom Mullen; and three acting categories. Barbara Hauptman, the executive director of the SSDC, sent a letter to the Awards requesting that they conduct a formal investigation.

Though Broadway theatregoers are familiar with Urinetown's spare design elements and Brechtian milieu, Rando said that the show can be interpreted in different ways. "It is basically a playground for any director, choreographer or design team to use their creative imagination," he said.

The press conference also included representatives from the SSDC and the United Scenic Artists Local USA829, along with lighting designer Brian MacDevitt, set designer Scott Pask and costume designer Gregory Gale.

The letters give the recipients ten days to respond and submit "a detailed accounting of all revenues" from the productions so that an "appropriate license fee and damages" can be determined. The letter to the Chicago team called for Loeffler to decline his Jefferson Award.

The Broadway team is also seeking an apology. Hauptman noted that, primarily, "This is not an issue about money. It is about recognizing the creativity that originated with these members."

Hauptman said that in the future, she would like to create "a mechanism by which if people really want to do the Urinetown they saw on Broadway, they can, by licensing the work from the creators and giving them credit."

Similar past controversies involved a Florida production of Love! Valour! Compassion! and an Illinois production of The Most Happy Fella, both in the 1990s.

So, the Broadway choreographer saw a picture of the Chicago production online and was shocked by the blatant similarities. Maybe...just was this picture:




Geez, Stephen. What's so similar about that? I mean, the three characters on the upper level are CLEARLY closer together in the picture from the Broadway production. Sure, the group at bottom center looks like "URINETOWN: The Clone Wars," but keep looking at the upper level. The upper level cop is stage LEFT in the Broadway pic and stage RIGHT in the Chicago pic. Duh!

Yeah, yeah, yeah...the rest of the cast is in the same exact stage picture...blah, blah, blah...but when one cop is stage right and one cop is stage left, that clearly shows this wasn't just a carbon copy stolen from Broadway. This Chicago production was completely original.

Who directed Chicago's production of URINETOWN? James Frey?!?!?!?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


The other day in UGLY BABY rehearsal, I was in one of my rants - - one of several I seem to have every hour on the hour (Me? Need Zoloft? nah...) - - and I mentioned how disgusted I was with the fact that not only could a company come to Chicago and mount a production of URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL! that is an EXACT duplicate of the Broadway production, but that that production would then be AWARDED by the Jeff Committee and the like.

In any other art form, copying someone else's work would be called plagiarism. Plagiarism is definied as "the act of passing off as one's own the ideas or writings of another" or "the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work. " For some reason, certain theatre directors, choreographers and designers seem to think that blatantly stealing someone else's work is perfectly acceptable. Because it "gives the audience what they want."

Well guys, wake up and smell the lawsuit.

This is from today's Chicago Tribune:

Chicago copied `Urinetown,' N.Y. team says
Published November 15, 2006

In the latest salvo in the battle over the extent of copyright protection, five members of the creative team behind the 2002 Broadway hit "Urinetown: The Musical" are charging that productions of the show in Chicago and Akron, Ohio, have copied their work without permission.

The letters, drafted by a lawyer on behalf of the director, choreographer, and the set, lighting and costume designers of the Broadway production, were sent Monday to the team behind an award-winning production at the Mercury Theater in Chicago and to the team behind the Carousel Dinner Theatre production of the show in Akron.

The letters charge that in design and directorial aspects, the shows were replications of the Broadway production. The shows -- which have both closed -- had a license to use the script and music from "Urinetown," but, the letters assert, such permission did not extend to reproducing creative decisions from the Broadway production.

Karma DEFINITELY has her balls back...and I'm fucking LOVING IT!!!

Wishful Drinking

She is the author of the following quotes:

"Instant gratification takes too long."
“As you get older, the pickings get slimmer, but the people don't.”
“You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.”
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
"I'm having my DNA fumigated. "
"I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art. "

In movies, her characters have said:

“Will somebody get this giant walking carpet out of my way?”
"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope.”

And she has said this about one of her movie characters:

"Leia follows me like a vague smell. "

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one of my idols: Ms. Carrie Fisher!

Tonight, she opens her new one-woman show at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The title of the show is WISHFUL DRINKING. (<----- Check out the icon on the Geffen Playhouse link - - its a martini glass filled with liquid and inside the glass is a toothpick skewering an olive AND the head of Princess Leia- - hy-larious!) The description of the show, obviously written by Ms. Fisher herself, reads as follows: "Like her own life, with no intermission, Ms. Fisher finally comes clean about Star Relations, 'Star Wars' and other Celestial Bodies" in WISHFUL DRINKING.

The show offers Fisher's insights and experiences that she has accumulated in her life and career. Along the way, she'll touch on her unusual childhood as the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, the rise to movie icon as Princess Leia, her marriage to Paul Simon, the release of her hit movie 'Postcards From the Edge' starring Meryl Streep, as well as drug addiction, bipolar disorder, motherhood, having a child with a man who forgot to tell her he was gay, waking up next to a man who died not only in his sleep . . . but in mine, and her ultimate triumph over adversity."

In her latest novel, THE BEST AWFUL, the first chapter begins just after Suzanne Vale's husband has told her he is gay and has left her for his new boyfriend. The name of the chapter tells you EXACTLY why I am in love with Carrie Fisher.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Liza with...uh...Steve

My friends Mike and Andy helped me get my lazy ass out of bed at 6:00 a.m. this past April 15th so we could travel downtown and get in line at the Border's on Michigan Avenue to meet Judy's daughter...Lorna's big sister's...the woman who started the trend of marrying gay men (See? Star Jones wasn't the first to do this - - she's just the only one in complete denial about it)...I'm talking Liza!

She was in town signing copies of the newly released dvd version of LIZA WITH A Z, and Andy, Mike and I waited diligently outside of the Border's for a little less than an hour. Then, we were given a wristband with a number on it and told to be back on the top floor of the Border's no later than 12:30 p.m. to get back into line in the order which we were in. If we were later than 12:30 p.m., we would lose our place in line. If we lost our wristband, we would lose our place in line. Also, we had to have a receipt from Border's proving we had purchased the dvd from their store or Liza would not sign our dvd. Ever wonder what happened to all the fascists after the fall of Nazi Germany? They are discreetly running the Border's on Michigan Avenue.

Hanging out with Mike and Andy was, of course, loads of fun. We were quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, talking about and criticizing the wardrobe choices and the hairstyles of the myriad of homosexuals and women-of-a-certain-age from Schaumberg who were waiting in line with us. Don't get the wrong idea - - we would never judge others. Judgement is only for the Lord, but as my Mama says, "I'm just doing the Lord's work!"

When Liza came into the room where we were all waiting, my excitement to meet her changed almost instantly. I had my digital camera snapping picture after picture as she walked past me to make her way to the table where she would be sitting for the next few hours, and as I shot this picture, I felt tremendous sadness for her.

It hit me that Liza Minnelli really has never had a choice about what her life would become. Her life was mapped out from before she was born because of who her parents were and what they did for a living. She's never really been able to be a "real person."

A real person - - where you experience you own personal heartaches not publicly, but alone or with friends, giving you time to heal...where you can walk down the street in sweatpants and a torn Quiet Riot t-shirt looking like Hell and smelling like Ann Coulter's vagina because you just came from the gym and it was cardio day...where you can run to the Piggly Wiggly for a birthday cake and a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby not because its someone's birthday but only because there's an SONNY & CHER SHOW marathon on TV Land and you are gonna be in for the night!

Liza - - from birth to now - - has always had a press following. Worse than that, she's always had to wake up and BE Liza. And when you've been up and down the show business ladder like Liza has, where sometimes you're on top but sometimes you're the butt of every late night comedy show's joke-meister, BEING Liza must be a job that even Job would say, "Boy, this friggin' sucks." Yet, even in the worst of times, Liza gets out of bed, puts herself together and walks into the screaming crowd with her head held high. I don't know if there are many people on the planet who can truly understand what that must be like.

When it came my time to speak to her, she was full of life and smiling and said hello and I said, "You've got a long, hard day ahead of you." She looked up and said, "Oh no, not at all. I love it. I really love it."

I thought to myself, "Yeah...don't bullshit a bullshitter."

Monday, November 13, 2006


Tonight, I had a music rehearsal for SEUSSICAL at the Athenaeum Theatre. Elisa worked us through a huge amount of music - - she's amazing. The score is really fun and ideas for bits are already forming in my head. This role asks for me - - no it DEMANDS for me to be so crazy that I make Robin Williams look like Strom Thurmond. Be very afraid...

My favorite moment tonight came when I was being measured for my costume. The costume designer;s first words to me were, "How do you feel about wearing platform shoes?"

My answer:

Jesus: The Musical!

Its starting. Every shop, mall and store has already decked their halls, spiked their egg nog and trimmed their trees and its driving me insane. Yes, I know that the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest holiday shopping day of the year, but many Chicago stores were decorated for Christmas nearly a week BEFORE HALLOWEEN. Apparently, The Almighty American Dollar is urging us to celebrate the holidays two months out of there year instead of one puny day. "Just one day to celebrate the birth of Christ? That's SO pagan."

Don't get all Cindy Lou Who on me. I'm not a Grinch. I just think the rules for visiting someone's home should apply to holidays: Don't arrive early and Don't overstay your welcome.

Next year, I'm going to start a grass roots movement - - maybe I'll call it Christmas Blackout. Any store that has holiday decorations up or that plays Christmas carols prior to the third week in November will be put on a Blackout List, and members of my movement will not buy any holiday items from those stores - - not cards or decorations or presents or even a discount Andy Williams Christmas cd! Those stores who don't inundate us with sleigh bells ringing when we're in our Halloween costumes will get all our money! As my Dad says, "Money talks and bullshit walks."

Since this year's craze has already begun, so have commercials for the movie that all Christians have been waiting for - - the prequel to THE PASSION. Yes, here comes THE NATIVITY MOVIE.

When I saw SUPERMAN RETURNS this past summer, there was a trailer for THE NATIVITY MOVIE in the previews and it drove home all the Christ imagery in the Superman mythos. But that didn't keep me from lusting after Brandon Routh's monster of a package in his supersuit. "I Spent the Night with Superman," indeed.

Since movies lead to stage musicals and then those stage musicals develop into screen musicals - - all with the same name - - here's a sneak peak at the upcoming musical based on THE NATIVITY MOVIE. I smell an Oscar...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Father

I was searching through my computer trying to find a picture of myself to add to my Blogger Profile that I actually liked. Its not as easy as you would think. I am not one of those actors who enjoys looking at pictures of himself...

"Hey guys, check out these pictures of me that I took!"

...or watching himself on film or videotape...

"I brought over a videotape for us to watch at your party...its me in The Greensboro Tri-County Area Playhouse production of A CHORUS LINE adapted as a children's show...I play Sheila!!!"

...or listening to recordings of me singing...

"I'll email you an mp3 of me singing MEADOWLARK - - its THE definitive version of the song...I repeat every verse three times to really drive home Stephen Schwartz's message!"

...but when I saw this picture in my laptop, I knew this had to be the picture of me for my blog least until I join the Hair Club for Men and can take a current picture that doesn't make me look like Daddy Warbucks, Yul Brenner or that woman from STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE...although Yul and ST:TMP girl are some sexy mofo's...

This is me and my father in the pool at the Maverick Motel in Daytona Beach, Florida sometime in the mid-70's.

I love this picture because...

A) I have hair...and its blonde!!!

B) This is probably the best smile of mine that has ever been captured on film. Of course, this was my first set of teeth...

C) I look thin in this can't see my ass...

D) Its a picture of me and my father. The best.

Years after this picture was taken, my father divorced my mother. My parents gave my younger brother, Jeff, and I the option of choosing who we wanted to live with. Jeff and I had been spending every other weekend with my father and he was trying to shove two weeks of being a loving parent into two days. So my 13 year old brain decided that I would try to split the time equally between my parents. The schedule was: two weeks living with my Dad, then two weeks living with my Mom. Repeat.

Living out of a suitcase got very old very fast and I soon chose to live full-time with my Dad and see my mother every other weekend. I didn't realize it then, but looking back I can see that this left my brother with no real choice but to live full-time with my mother. And because I was the one who made the decision to stay with Dad, I lived with the pain and guilt of believing that I was the one who split my family apart - - my Dad may have left my mom, but I was the one who divided our family completely.

A few years ago, I told my father that I felt this way and he calmly said to me, "Stephen, you saved my life. If it wasn't for you, I don't think I could have made it through those years after the divorce." I love him so much for saying that to me. Its incredible how two little sentences can release years of pain and hurt.

It happens so much now, its a TV cliche, but when I moved in full-time with my father, I became more his friend than his son. And I loved it. During those years when we lived together, just the two of us - - struggling with no money at all - - my father had one phrase that he repeated over and over again, "You and me against the world."

To all those jaded cynics thinking, "That's a damn Helen Reddy song!" or chuckling because my father's words were trite and cliched and too Hallmark for your taste, that's ok. My father and I believed that little phrase with all our hearts. And even though the picture above was taken years before my father became my friend, that phrase is the first thing to come into my mind when I look at it.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Windy City Times' NIGHTSPOTS MAGAZINE recently invited me to be their guest in a section of their weekly gay reader where 5 random questions are asked to 5 different people (4 of their regular staff plus me, the Special Guest Star...sort of like being Ann B. Davis on THE BRADY BUNCH...for the week). We don't see each others' responses until they're printed and the random answers are fun.

The week I was Ann B. Davis, one of the questions was, "Are you mechanically inclined?" My response was, "I got it in there, didn't I?"

You should know that, even at the bottom rung of local celebrity where I currently find myself - - and I got here by fucking my way to the bottom rung thankyouverymuch - - I consulted my friend Philip and he was my joke writer for the response above. Although, the line originated from an old HOLLYWOOD SQUARES answer from Paul Lynde...

Peter Marshall: "Paul, can you get a pound of feathers out of a chicken?"
Paul Lynde: "I got 'em in there, didn't I?"

Long story short (too late), I am not mechanically nor am I technically inclined. Thank God for Mike or I would still be on dial-up...with a rotary dial kitchen phone with a 25 foot cord!!!!

That said, I'm not sure how we got around to it, but Philip and I were one day playing around with the "image" button on Google and found that if did a search for our name, not only did we have pictures of us come up, but we also had pictures of other people with our names!!! There people don't look like us, so they're not dopplegangers - - this isn't some Samantha / Serena BEWITCHED thing going on - - but they do have our exact names, so Philip named them Googlegangers!!!

Here is a sampling of my personal googlegangers (It starts off very well):

Steve Rader, Hot College Athlete

Swim Team...sometimes shaves his head...wears speedos well...

Is it wrong to want to date your googleganger?
Before you answer that, check out my other options:

Steven Rader, Real Estate Agent

Steve Rader, High School Principle

Steven Rader, Certified Public Accountant

There's even another friggin' theatre person...

Stephen Rader, Professor of Theatre

Not fair! I have a B.A. and he has a Ph. friggin' D!
And more hair than I do!!!

Not only is there another theatre person with my name,
there's also another white trash redneck with my name!

Steven Rader, Deerhunter

My googleganger is so proud of the buck he killed. What an accomplishment! He used a rifle that could probably take down a rhinoceros to shoot an animal with the greatest defense mechanism in the wild kingdom: when they get scared, they stand still! Really hard to kill an animal that stands perfectly still when you scare it.

And yet, of all my googlegangers, I would probably date him. Or Speedo Boy. Hmmm...white trash or swim team? There are pros and cons...