Well, dear readers, part one of The Great Garage Adventure is done. We spent three long hours and at the end of it I’d trashed about twenty boxes of stuff I didn’t need. I saved what I did need and all of that fit in just one or two nice boxes. We have about ten or fifteen more to do and that should go relatively quickly. There are also two other sections of the garage that we have to organize and clean up – once that’s done I can get all of the art that I found in one place to decide if I want to get rid of any of it (or even perhaps use one painting for the Indiegogo campaign). I found some fairly amazing things buried in these boxes I hadn’t really gone through since moving in here fourteen years ago. I’m scanning things slowly into the computer so I can share them with you – still quite a bit to do – it’s time consuming, all that scanning. It was very productive and to have whittled down so far so fast is very pleasing to me and I already feel lightened of all that stuff.
So, what did I find? How about this here telegram sent to me by our very own dear reader Jeanne a mere fifty-two YEARS ago. I was in my final semester of high school and also opening in The Unsinkable Molly Brown at Bluth Brothers Theater – this here telegram was of the break-a-leg variety – but I find it astonishing that I still have it. Here it is.
Even more astonishing, I found my first professional photographs, taken in Hollywood by ace photographer John E. Reed, whose studio was on La Brea, I believe, just north of Carolina Pines Coffee Shop on Sunset. If I had to hazard a guess I would say these were taken sometime in very early 1962, which would have put me at just having turned 14. That sounds right to me because it’s when I was in an acting class, my first and only acting class (that wasn’t in school). Here’s one of me in a leather jacket – not mine, by the way – I would have never worn such a thing back then and I have no idea what the photographer was attempting here. I can see that I had not yet begun to shave as there’s peach fuzz on my face – funny, huh? And I’m also not sure why my hair is tall like that, since I literally can never remember having it that way, unless I was in my West Side Story phase, which is probably it – or the photographer wanted it that way. Odd.
Isn’t that wild. Now, here’s one of me more casual and smiling. There are two interesting things about this photograph, the first being my front teeth – you’ll notice there is no gap between the two front teeth. That is because I’d been wearing my retainer for a year. I stopped wearing it around this time and I’d say within three years the gap was back – and you know what – I like it. The second interesting thing is get a load of that horrifying Jew ring on my finger with my initials looking like the logo for Ben-Hur. Yes, that was my Bar Mitzvah present from my parents. I wore it for a few years then mercifully stopped. At the time of this photograph I would have only had it a few months.
Funnily, I still wear those polo shirts. Next up we jump back to September of 1965. I was a brand new student at LACC, as was my friend Alan Abelew (who would go on to co-star as George Brenner in The First Nudie Musical), and our chum Barbara Lightstone. The theater building, which would be over to the left if we could pan, was brand new and we were moving them in there from their old space. I’d say we look rather impossibly young, wouldn’t you? I was seventeen.
Now here’s a real curio – I’d say we’re back in thirteen or fourteen land and this was obviously taken in one of those quarter photo booths in a penny arcade at POP, which is the only place I ever used such things. I look like I’ve not had any sleep for three days and again with the high hair, so I must have been thirteen or just turned fourteen. I have no idea why I would still have this but here it is for your mental delectation.
There’s more fun stuff to come.
Yesterday was an okay day. I only got about three hours of sleep – to much going on in the brain right now. I was up at eight-thirty and out of the house an hour later. I went and had an omelet and a bagel, picked up one package, and then began part one of The Great Garage Adventure. By the time that was done it was a little after two and I was exhausted – not from lifting, which I did none of, but from standing and going through box after box after box. I cannot tell you how many Beta and VHS tapes we tossed. I refused to even see what they were, and I also tossed a ton of cassettes. So, I came in and sat at the computer like so much fish and entered a lot more perks and also the URL for the Indiegogo video, which we finalized – short and sweet and under ninety seconds. So, that was good and productive. Then I sat on my couch like so much fish and listened to an RCA Living Stereo SACD of the Brahms Piano Concerto. It sounded great, but it’s not my favorite piano concerto.
Then it was back to the computer for more Indiegogo work and a Freshly meal that wasn’t so hot. I think the perks here are really fun and the biggest of the two big-boy perks, which I’m sure we won’t sell, you get everything the perk under it has PLUS a full-length Kritzerland show with five great singers and an MD at your own home (guess I’d better specify Los Angeles) for as many guests as you’d like. I thought that was a fun thing to do. Then I showered and relaxed, but took a break from any further music listening.
Today, I will hopefully arise after a good night’s beauty sleep. I’ll try to write the entire commentary for the October Kritzerland, and then I’ll put the finishing touches on the Indiegogo campaign and get it ready to launch.
Tomorrow I’ll launch the Indiegogo campaign. I gently remind everyone that the first two days set the pace and tone of the campaign and if we do really well, as we did with L.A. Now and Then, then it will bode well that we’ll end well. So do check out them perks and hopefully you’ll want something or find something of interest. And I’ll be adding perks as we go and then if we’re lucky enough to hit our goal early, as we did with L.A. Now and Then, then I’ll put us in stretch goal mode because if we were to raise an additional decent amount of money, we might just be able to record a cast album. Then we have our first Kritzerland rehearsal. The rest of the week is meetings and meals, the second Kritzerland rehearsal, our stumble-through, then sound check and show.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, get a good night’s beauty sleep, I must write commentary, I must eat something light but amusing, I must finish up the perks and get the Indiegogo campaign ready to launch, and I must relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to be done with part one of The Great Garage Adventure.