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A Chorus Line Transcript

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Tape 1 Side A Michael My name is Michael Bennett DeFiglia. I was born in Buffalo, New York.....in Niagra Hospital, which is on the Niagra River, which feeds into Niagra Falls. April 8, 1943...which means I am thirty. Jackie My name is Jackie Garland. My real name is Judy Garland. Voice But you couldn’t get into equity..right? Micon My name is Micon Peacock, it always was. It’s not a fake name. I was born on August 9, 1946 in Pensacola, Florida. Patricia My name is Patricia Garland. Sometimes known as Pat, Trish, Patty...all of the above. I was born on July 21, 1948 and my mother doesn’t remember the time so I always think I was adopted. I was born in Michigan. And Jackie Grolan is my sister. Nick My name is Nick Dante, it’s not real, my real name I wish were my real name now, but I can’t change it because I’m now known as Nick Dante. My real name is ___. I’m a Scorpio, And I started dancing because I used to pretend I was Cyd Charisse. Rene I’m Rene Bauman and I was born in St. Louis. My birthday is July 27, 1948 and I’m a Leo. Wayne My name is Wayne Cilento, Louis Wayne Cilento and I was born August 28, 1939 in the Bronx. Sam My name is Sammy Williams, and I don’t tell too many people this but my real name is Guiliamo. Steve My name is Steve Anthony, really Steve Louis Anthony Mossaro – which is Hungarian. I was born October 15, 1941 in Akron, Ohio, which makes me twenty years old, and a Libra. Voice OUT...OUT! Kelly My name is Kelly Bishop, it’s really Kelly Jane Bishop – which I really hate. I was born February 28,1944 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. And I’m going to be thirty...real soon. Tom I’m Thomas Robert Joseph Walsh III, I was born in upstate New York near Syracuse in 1950, March 15 – the ides of March. I think I’m a Pices, a real strong Pices. Andy Andy G. Bew, San Mateo California. The G. is for Gordon, October 20, 1949. Candy Candy Brown. My real name is Candy Anne Brown. I was born in California, on a Thursday evening at 10:40, on August 19,19...hmmm. It was ’55...no, 1948. Chris My real name is Kenneth Allen Brown. My jewish name is Yackova Abrahm. My professional name is Christopher Chadman, very East-Side and I don’t deny it. I was born August 3, 1948. I’m a Leo...and I love it. Steve My name is Steve Buchbaum and I was born on November 18, 1942 and I’m a scorpio born in the Bronx. Denise I’m Carla Denise. My Hebrew name is Deena, my married name is Buchbaum, my birthdate is March 3, 1949, I’ a Pices, but I have a lot of Aires, which helps me, and I come from, well I grew up in El Paso Texas. Voice ...and you married a bum! Priscilla My name is Priscilla Lopez...but my real name is Tracy Cartright....when I went show bizzy I figured I get in with the ethnic. I was born in a Hollywood bed on Simpson Street, in the Bronx. Donna Donna McKechnie...my middle name is Ruth but please don’t tell anybody that. Anyway, I was born in Pontiac Michigan, November 16, 1942, I’m a scorpio with Sagitarius rising. Micon My parents were both in the Navy. My father was in the Navy for 14 years. He loved to work on airplanes, he was an airplanemechanic....I never saw him around much when I was younger. HE didn’t know what else to do, so when they let him off he became an alcoholic. Because he couldn’t face the world of a white collar job. So I didn’t get to know him very much until I left home. I was a tom-boy. I loved to jump off garage roofs. I always had a bloody nose I would always land on my head. I started dancing when I was about 11 1/2 , I was 5’2” and weighed 85 pounds, was stoop-shouldered and swayback. MY parents thought I needed a little bit of help. The first year I took class, I really, I fell in love with it and couldn’t get out of the studio. My sister was going there with me- we were just about a year apart; she was the blond bombshell – I was the adopted one! Maybe because they could never figure out who belonged there and who didn’t. She was always the favorite one as a child too. So when I started taking dance class it really meant a tremendous amount to me because it was a connection to something. My sister and I started at the same time and she, just like everything else, she would start something and quit it, start something and quit it. Patricia MY father was from a very large family and from a farm, so even though we lived near a city we had chickens and cow, a goat. We delivered milk to the neighbors. Yet I took dance classes from Maxine Lindley, she knew I didn’t like acrobatics, I wasn’t ready to do a backflip, but she said ‘yes you are’ – and she put her hand there, and I fell on my head. And that’s when I fell in love with ballet. Nick My mother came over from Puerto Rico when she was 24, and my father was already over here. HE was working for the transit authority for which he worked his whole life. And he went to visit some friends of his one night, and he was really having a hard time being alone, I guess is what it was, and so he went to visit these people and they told him about a lovely young woman who came from Puerto Rico with her family. She was working near there making lamps, and they described her to him and he said ‘well that’s the girl I’m going to marry.’ Six months later they got married. First of all my mother made all these plans. She got married to get away from dishes. Because her 2 sisters were more open, they learned English and they went out to work and she took care of her mother, and so she did all of the housework and they kind of took advantage of her. Anyway she married my father to get out of the house, and he married her, it was a business proposition, he needed somebody to cook and sew and do that number. So she got a dress and got a ring, and then her sister decided to elope the week before her and they took everything from my mother and gave it to her sister. But on their wedding night my mother was really frightened, and she wet her pants laughing because she found out my father was a virgin...I was born when she was forty, I was a latecomer. I had a sister who was 14 years older than me. I used to want to write more than anything, I think. I was very feminine as a child. Somebody asked me once what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to be an actor and my cousin said, ‘you’ll never be an actor’ and I knew it was because I was a sissy. Rene I started dancing when I was seven, and as it happened it was one of those guys who comes around to your house ...you know, “ Don’t you want to send your little girl to...” And my brothers were there and they thought it was wonderful, and one was going to pay for the lessons and one was going to take me to class each week. Well we all know how long that lasted/ But my brother used to take me when I first started on his motorcycle, and I’d only been studying for about six months and he took me on a rainy day on the motorcycle and I had one of those little hats, you know – and the hat started to fly off and I was going to grab it – anyway we had an accident, and I never could understand why I landed on top of him, and broke my shoulder bone. Anyway I loved it, I loved tap dancing, ballet class was real hard. I had a lot of trouble in dancing schools...I was asked to leave...(starts crying). I...my best friend..(crying) umm...some of the mothers I suppose they decided they didn’t like me, I got to do too many things around the studio, But I left and got into another class. The teacher was Eddie Gromecky...among other things he used to announce the wrestling matches. Wayne I was an accident. My father was going through a lot of changes when I was a baby – he was a taxi cab driver, bus driver, and a whole bunch of jobs. We lived in a typical Italian building with 34 families and we used to live on the top floor, my mother’s mother and her husband lived across the hall, so while I was a kid I used to run across the hall constantly. Sam I come from a very poor and very good Italian family. You know those Italians. I have an older sister and an older brother. The neighborhood that we lived in when I was very young was awful, and I remember it being awful at the time, it was so dirty and the houses were shabby. I had this friend, his name was Jimmy Boy, he was a little black boy and I can remember we would play act. We would get dressed up in these costumes and we would play with swords and things. And then we moved and I kind of missed Kimmy Boy because there was nobody to do that with in my neighborhood, I didn’t know anybody. My brother was getting into sports and my father was really digging on that because he was my older brother, and my sister was taking the dancing lessons. I used to play blocks! I would sit around and do all these nice things! Play with my sister’s dolls. Really get off on it. My father used to take my brother to all these great places, and never asked me if I wanted to go, I guess he would, I don’t really remember but I would never go with my brother and father so I went with my mother and sister. And my mother took my sister to dancing school, and I would sit and watch class. I would sit all perky and I was really getting into the whole thing but I didn’t know it. My sister would go home and practice her routines in the basement and I’d go down and say ‘I could do that, ah, I could do it’ and she would be working real hard and I would say “I could do that”. And I’d get up there and do it. She’d get freaked she’d be so mad at me. But my mother caught onto this thing and I remember the first day I ever got up and danced, my dance teacher was named John Tucci, he said to me “do you think you could do that” and I said no. He said he was talking to my mother and she said I could do it. Well he coaxed me into it after a half hour. I realized, well I guess I was okay, but it was a lot of fun and it was something I had never experienced before, so I started taking class and got into recitals and things, and I really liked it. But then I became the neighborhood sissy because I was a dancer. And I didn’t play sports with the other guys. But for some reason I didn’t care I didn’t want to have anything to do with those people, I was having too much fun dancing. Steve My father was a singer. He met my mother who was a cowgirl until she was 23 years old. She used to play the guitar and yoddle all the time. Six years later they had me and I was born dead. Which cause my mother to never have any more children. When I was 5 years old I was watching the Mickey Mouse Club show and I didn’t even know what it was called, I just thought it was people on the screen. And I said, oh I want to do that. So my mother and father said well it can’t hurt him! And look at me today! And they took me to my first dance lesson and a fall Saturday morning and I saw all these gorgeous ladies walking around with long legs and tights. I said get me out of here. But my father said no, you dragged me this far your going to have one lesson if you never have another. And so I started and have been at it ever since. My relatives grew to hate me because I was an only child and they would say ‘why are you wasting your money on him, he’s just a Mossaro.’ My family name. I mean we had prostitutes and alcoholics and my cousin got pregnant twice by her sister’s husband. So I decided I was going to be better than any of them, so I got into dancing and by the time I was 12 years old I really had a well known reputations around Akron, everyone knew my name. So my relatives were jealous – but I proved my point to them. Kelly I am a dancer because my mother wanted me to be a dancer. She was fabulous the way she did it. First she took me to all the ballets, then she gave me her old toe shoes which I used to run down the sidewalk with – on my toes. I was really sick when they wore out on the pavement. The satin was shredded. But I just had to do it. And then when she saw that I really wanted to do it, she said ‘you can’t do it until you’re eight!’ By then I was five and said “But I’ve got to DANCE!” So finally she gave in very reluctantly at seven, and taught me for two years. I was the monster of the class because I got everything right away. And I was bored, and my mother was teaching. I got into trouble and was thrown out. Then a ballet school began to develop in Denver, and I was really lucky because ballet theater took it over. It was one of those ballet schools where you wore pink tights and black leotards, and you don’t talk and you don’t lean on the barre. I had to pretend I wasn’t smoking – I smoked when I was 14, but I was really glad I had that, because I was a perfect child for ballet. I was timid and insecure so I was very disciplined in class and they loved me. All the way through. My father worked in the airlines, and he used to mess around a lot...right in front of my mother. I remember helping her dig earring out of the car that I knew at five were not my mother’s. And I understood all that. And I understood the fights that my parents had. I used to stand there and I remember really looking up and saying ”wow, they really shouldn’t be together.” Tom Probably the first thing I can remember is that things were not working out around my house. We had money..not a lot of money – we were kind of upper middle class – real boring. I remember all of a sudden my mother storing all of her furniture. I was just going out and playing in the fresh air and all of a sudden these vans were coming up – and I knew my father was out. The next thing I knew I was in a Pontiac going to Florida when I was five years old. I lived in Miami for about a year and a half – where I burned down a theater! And was...caught. I was really caught! I was always that kind of child – always setting fire to things, breaking into houses and re-arranging furniture. Then my mother bought a stained glass wndow for the church or something. So we went back. I think I started dancing befoe I moved to Florida – it was Irma Baker dance studio, Beverly Baker’s mother, I’m just dropping some names. So when we came back I knew it still wasn’t together – so my mother spent a lot of time with me and my sister was coming along pretty good. She didn’t have any hair, but she was okay! I used to take a lot of dancing lessons, but I primarily took tap. The rest of it, I took everything but acrobatics. You would spend the whole hour changing shoes, because I was taking everything – it was really strange. My mother would never watch my classes, she would be more excited to wait until the end and see my recital. I always did like a lot of numbers because there were only two good boys in the school. I was one of them, and I would always dance with the dancing teacher’s daughter. My sister was always like the bridesmaid , or something. I was the bridegroom. I always wore pink costumes. I got through grammer school pretty good. I was always very religious, I thought I always should have been a priest – until they let me down. And they let me down at an early age. I used to give garage recitals. I used to get so freaked out I’d spray paint people’s hands for something. I spray painted one boy silver! So I didn’t play with the boys on the street too much because the parents thought I was real strange. I was always going to be sent away: “We’re going to send you away!” ---I was setting off firecrackers when I was about 8. So I was always being sent away. I knew there was something...that I was not ordinary...and so it was not until 16 that I really got into it, that clergy was out, and being a dentist was out. Andy My father was with the airlines. I have four brothers and my mother was a dance teacher. She taught the four of us, she started with my older brother and worked her way down to me. I started at five, and didn’t like it because the kids at school – like everybody else – thought I was a sissy. I quit immediately and came home. I didn’t like taking class, practicing – my mother made me practice. So I quit. The next year the girl down the street who had started at the same time did a recital at the school – it was the seventh grade and I was in the audience and heard all this applause I guess, and said that’s what I want to do, what am I doing sitting here? I should be doing what she’s doing. I told my mother I want to get back to it. So she said okay if you want to do it this it it, but if you quit ever again I don’t want to hear about it. You won’t come back to it. Candy I was born in California, my dad was in the Air Force. He and my mother had gone together for about six years or something, and she said she wouldn’t marry him because he was a pilot, so he got out of the service and he told her he quite. And he came home and got married to her but he was really on a three day pass. So then he got back stationed in New York. I left California when I was about two, and went to school in Jamaica until 5th grade. I started dancing class when I was 3. I don’t know why. I was the first kid but I never asked her why she sent me there. I thought everybody went. It was never anything special for me. Every Friday after school I had to go over there, and every Saturday morning. Everybody I knew was there. I took everything, a lot of tap a lot of acrobatics, a lot of what we called interpretive then, which is really ethnic a little ballet – everybody hated ballet. Recitals were really fun because you got to wear lipstick and your mom did your hair, the costumes were really exciting, but I never knew people made a living at this sort of thing I just thought everybody did it. And it was fun. And during the summer we did Yankee Doodle Dandy, every summer, and I was George M. Cohan. I don’t know, I had a very dull childhood, I was really good, I was popular, I got good grades and I was dancing. But I hated piano lessons, I thought again though that everybody did that. Then when I got right before the sixth grade it was a high point in my life because I was going to get skipped. I was going to get into the S.P. class. But my father was transferred. I was really upset because all the kids would be a grade ahead of me. And I would feel very dumb...But I missed the S.P. class because we had to go to Okinawa. So I got over there and started in dancing class but all the kids were learning was shuffle-step-step shuffle-stepstep. Chris I was always dancing, from the time I could walk. I watched anything on TV that had dancing on it. The million dollar movie was on and everyday they shows the same film, I remember Yankee Doodle Dandy...I watched it every day. I remember when Peter Gennaro was on the Perry Como show, I was about – before I was 12. I always watched Kathryn and Arthur Murray , and I was always good with my hands, I could draw, sketch. Sports...nothing. I hated sports. There was a park across the street, an everyday they’d play ball. So coming home on the bus everyday they’d say “O.K. who’s coming out to play ball? Kenny, you comin’ out to play ball?” I’d say ‘yeah, I’ll come out.’ Well I was always the last one to be chosen. Then they’d go from that park over to another park, and when they did that I’d sneak away and go back upstairs. Tony Well I was in the Little League, and I hated it so much that I played sick one day. I got my quilt out and the whole team came over. Nine years old I did that. Chris I was the sissy of the block. My nicknames were Karen or Kristine. But I was always going steady, always had a girlfriend, no boyfriends. Pit. A big traumatic thing. I was going with a girl. We were necking, I was only feeling her boobs. Finally after about an hour she said: “Don’t you want to touch anything else,” I said, “No I really don’t.” That’s when I realized something was wrong. Steve I was the guy who wouldn’t pick him on my team! WELL my life was mixed up with sports, dancing all those things. I had two really terrific parents, we were kind of middle, idle class. My fther owned a clothing factory in Manhattan and my mother was a housewife...my neighborhood in the Bronx was mostly Italian, Black and Jewish, in a two block area. My particular block was Italian and Jewish. I remember when I was about three or four I was always dancing. I didn’t have to go to tap dancing, but I always found myself from the ballfield – 6-7-8, running from the ballfield to tap class with my tap shoes. At one certain point a guy would try to stop me, let’s say I was playing center field, it was usually the captain of the team who would try to stop me. And that’s when I started fighting. Cause I’d have to have a fist fight to get off the field. Like “Hey, you’re leaving a hole in center field!” I was really young, that’s how I lrearned to fight. I’d go and take my tap class. I was the only guy in the tap dancing school for a long time. It was the Ellsmere Hall which was a kind of catering place for bar mitzvah’s, weddings, which during the day was THE place to go if you were a tap dancer. So I really kind of liked it. I can’t decipher when I really started, I just remember dancing on street corners in the Bronx. Maybe 4,5,6 times a year I’d go to see B’way shows, with both my parents...were also talented in the dance sense, they always did the Peabody at the bar mitzvahs. And little Steve...doing the Russian cazotsky! Priscilla I always hear all the time, “You don’t look Puerto Rican”, but I am. Both my parents met in Puerto Rico, they were brought up there, had my older brother and sister there. She started seeing what was happening in Puerto Rico: “You stay home and cook, I go fool around!” She Said, None of this shit. She packed up everything and came to NY. I was born here, in the Bronx – on a Hollywood bed. They didn’t have any money they were really bad off, living in a back room with my grandmother, with this whole family. What they say about Puerto Ricans is true! So we were really in a bad way. My grandmother held this money back and wouldn’t give it to my mother to go to the hospital. You know Olympic Hospital in the Bronx, well that’s where I had to go, my mother was terrifies and she just didn’t want to go. So she waited, and waited and waited. She had the boots on, and the fur coat, the scarf. She just waited until she got the pains and my father went down to get the taxi, but she put one foot down and said “Wait a minute, I can’t go!!” So my grandmother took her bag, and there I was born. She still had her coat on and everything. Ant he police came up and that whole thing. So when the doctor came he said, if you want to go to the hospital you can. She didn’t want to go, but I guess she felt weirder in her own mother’s house so she said o.k. So we went for five days and I couldn’t be with the other babies because I wasn’t sterilized. I was born real fat and chubby, and I came back real thin because they didn’t feed me...that’s what my grandmother told me. We stayed there in the Bronx, but it was very bad. She was applying to get into these different places to live. That was when they first started these city projects. She applied to the one of 55th and 10th. She couldn’t get in, she didn’t have enough identification on her! So she got the application for 4th St. in Brooklyn, which for a time was a bad neighborhood but now it’s changing, everyone is buying up the brownstones --- so I should have stayed in the project! We went there and it was like living in a palace, five rooms, for $30 month – there was always hot water. It was really good and very well integrated, and very exciting kind of life. I just remember always jumping around and dancing. My mother would sing and I would dance. I guess it was to get attention or approval or whatever it is you want to get. And the guy came around to my house!! He was a terrific salesman, he said: “You want your little girl to dance don’t you?” He put me up against the television, they were then these big square things, he turned me around, picked up my foot and touched my head. Anyway he was from the school Star-Time sponsored by the show Star-Time and I used to love Star-Time and I was so excited that I was going to meet Marabone, and the little blonde brat girl. I remember going up these very narrow stairs, like the Karlequin stairs, and as I waled I said, well they’ll be behind the door, they’ll be behind the door. They’ll open the door and greet me. I opened the door, and it was like Harlequin studios. So I started taking my lessons, and it was about three weeks, and it was time for the first recital. They hit my mother up for a bill for about $25 to rent the costume. She said no, enough of this. So we left. I went to my next school which was Minerva Novay, she was really good. It was in rooklyn Heights on Geraldo Street. I used to go there and take the #61 crosstown bus, I used to hate it. What I used to hate the most god damn it, was when I had my dancing clothes in a little bag, it was one of those old record players that broke and you took it out and made a suitcase out od it. That’s where I had my dancing clothes. So I would get on the bus and the old ladies would go “Little girl, don’t go so far” They all thought I was running away. I didn’t want to go to dancing school anymore because I was tired of people thinking I was running away. So I went to the school. Mis Minerva was really good, she was a really good tap teacher...she was one of the real hoofers. Then there was Miss Irene for ballet, then there was the old man who used to play the piano. I went there every Saturday. But then what was upsetting was that we were in the project with six familied on one floor. Twently buildings in the complex, which meant millions of kids running around all the time. I didn’t want to go to dancing school I wanted to play, but I went and it was fun. We started in with recitals, and I started performing very young. With Miss Minerva Novay. My mother sews beautifully and I had the best costume....all the mothers would wrap up the costumes and throw them, my make-ups was perfect. I always felt special – I didn’t want to just do things like that. I had been excluded by the other mothers because I could do things their schmucky kids coulsn’t do. I was really hurt, but I went on performing with Minerva Novay, until I was about 6. At 12 I started coming to Carnegie Hall because my mother couldn’t see just putting out all the money for the costumes which would hang in the closet, so she said well, it’s about time you start learning something. Donna (you just reminded me of something) I had a fantastic fantasy life as a child. I was the perfect child – a real sissy. So it really shocked my family when I ran away from home....I was a typical war baby. My parents met and married in 3 weeks, I was a typical war baby. At that time, everything was feverish, and beautiful. So the first three years I didn’t see my father, I was told that I kissed his picture every night. So that when I first saw him, my mother had gotten a telegram, and I was out in the mud – I guess that was the one day I wasn’t being a lady – and we ran around, it was scary and I thought she had lost her mind. We went to the train station, and I guess she was just nervous because she hadn’t seen him for all these years – they embrace, and I got hysterical screaming. I hit him and wouldn’t come near him for six months. He didn’t look like the picture. I was told that I was born to help their marriage. My father picked my mother up at the hospital and I was on a pillow and he said “Well I thought this was going to help, but I guess it isn’t/ why she had to tell me that when I was 15 I’ll never know...I have that Born to Help feeling! I used to have a fantasy life, and I would talk to myself and my grandmother would hear me and ask me what I was doing and I’d say I was talking to my brothers and sisters. She’d say “Where are they” and I’d tell her they were up in heaven and there were about 100 of them. I had this whole relationship with them. I was a very anemic child and had something wrong. The doctor said I was spindly...music was a turn on to me. Not the dancing but the music. I would dance around the living room. Well my mother thought I wanted to be a ballerina but I was dancing with an Indian Chief – my imaginary father, and she thought I’d be a ballerina. I saw the fild Red Shoes. I thought it was fantastic. Then I saw Swan Lake and it was wonderful. Then I could act out my fantasies in dance class I could really communicate. My best friend was Elton and we used to catch crickets. My sister was five years younger and my brother is ten years younger. My sister and I never got along because we always slept in the same room. We were king of poor. I remember one day taking my sister behind the bedroom door and telling her how terrific she’d look with short hair. So I took the scissors and cut all of her hair off. We grew up hating each other. My parents sent me to elocution school for child performers and I went on TV, a kiddie program. I had to learn a monologue. But then the guy gave me the cue to go on – it was live TV – I just froxe. Antie Dee was the woman and she came up and said, “are Tape 1 Side B Tony Stevens Tony Stevens. It was Tony Bustiari. A little wop from ____ Missouri. 32 Miles south of St. Louis. I’d 25 years old. May 2, 1950. Taurus. Michael My name is Michael Bennett De Figlia Tony Another Wop. Micon My name is Micon Peacock....et....I was born in Pensacola, Fla. Priscilla You’re related to my family. I have people in Pensacola, I’m serious. Peacocks. Micon But I was only there for six months. My parents were Navy people Nick My name is Nick Dante, but my real name is ______. Voice You could change your name back. Nick Maybe I will. I started dancing because I used to pretend I was Cyd Charise, that’s because I started dancing so late....that I used to dance around the house and all of the furniture. Voice Well you couldn’t get that whole name on the bottom of your shoe. Sammy My name is Sammy Williams, and I don’t tell too many people this but my real name is Guilliamo....I feel like I’m on American Bandstand. Andy Andy G. Bew. That’s it. Voice What’s the G. for. Andy Gordon. Voice Allright. Andy O.K..... Micon I didn’t say my middle name. I don’t relate to it, I never even think about it. The “A” stands for Adele. Tony Very small town, 3000 people. Older sister, 6 years older. Big gap there, We had a little deli store which I grew up with/I was very spoiled because I could have anything I wanted. Voice Pastrami....Corned Beef. Tony I used to have two bags of potato chips and a coke every day of my life....I’d come home and do homework and have that. I was a weird kid, into things that kids weren’t into, puppets and making costumes. Classical music and colored lights. I used to climb to the top of the house during storms because I liked the storms and I did strange things and wasn’t too accepted. I had kind of problems but I was popular because I danced. Also my family had been there for a long tme and like everybody knew the family, I was an above average student. At 12 my life changed drastically. Before 12 not much happened. I took a year of dance class when I was three and then I quit. I was a poodle in a recital and didn’t like that. My father and mother were wonderful dancers, my father could have been a professional dancer. He was wonderful. He was the type that when they went to professional dances everyone would stop dancing and just watch my mom and da dance. My mother wasn’t such a fine dancer but she just followed him. I used to dance with my father, he would throw me around and do all this jitterbug, when I was little. And we’d stop the show. So that’s the reason I danced. I also stopped because my sister was taking piano and I wanted to d what she was doing. I took piano for 2 years but couldn’t stand sitting, and practicing. So I went back to class and it was real easy for me, and I used to take my dance class, ½ hr tap ½ hr ballet. All my life until I was 12. Michael My mother and father looked at each other across the Crystal Ballroom and a Stan Kenton dance, and the Crystal Beach Ballroom was on the other side of the border in Canada, and was the big summer resort, and my mother was Jewish and father was Sicilian Italian. I have a feeling that I was sort of on the way and so they decided to break the ethnic background problem, and get married. And my mother was thrown out by the family. The first 3 years I lived with my mother and grandmother on the Italian side who spoke no English and was a terrific lady. My father was in the Navy for three years. I started dancing when I was 3 years old. And they said it was because when they put the radio on I started dancing around. So they decided I should be the next Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire. And I went to Betty Rodgers School of Dance. My first recital I was in a Hawaiian number. There were 30 little girls and me. With the lies and the hula thing and I was told that we all sat in a big circle, and I was on the end, And the night of the show, which was the first time I was ever on stage when I got up there was a pool there. So for my stage debut I peed on stage. I had a younger brother who was 4 ½ years younger than I was and he also started dancing very early, and did routines like “me and my shadow”. I did military taps and I also took 15 minutes of acrobatics and 15 minutes of tap. By the time I was nine I ‘s been dancing for six years. My brother stopped dancing when he was about nine. Poor. My father was a machinist, my mother worked at Sears. My father was a gambler. Much fighting and screaming and my deciding that I did not like my parents, did not like where I lived, and did not like Buffalo at a very early age. And I remember that I read a lot. Jackie My childhood, and still growing, getting there. God, it began a long time ago. I was fiv when I began climbing trees, so it was: Okay take her to class. At first it was acrobatics. She followed along....my little sister. I started performing really young, about ten. Started touring during the summer with a professional group....variety type shows... Voice Mother????Father?????? Jackie Yeah....I have a mother and I did have a father. Voice Did you have friends? Do you have any other kids in the family? Jackie Five kids.. One came very late, he’s about 14 now. I’m the second one. This is hard. Only my sister and myself and in the business. There’s so much to say. Micon My parents were both in the Navy. And that’s where they met. Voice That’s so forties. Micon My father was in the Navy for 14 years, he loved to work on airplanes, so I never saw him around much when I was young because he didn’t know what else to do so they let him off as a mechanicand he became an alcoholic. Because he couldn’t face the world of a white collar job. So I really never got to know him until I left home. When he got into A.A. There were four kids. I’m the oldest, my little brother was born when I was 12 and I raised him until he was about 2 because both my parents were working then. I was a tom-boy and I loved to jump off garage roofs. I always got bloody noses because I’d always land on my head. We used to make strange horses on sticks and ride around. I didn’t have many girl friends when I was young, I had mostly guy friends. Started dancing when I was about 11 1/2 , I was 5’2” and weighed 85 pounds. Was stooped shouldered and sway backed. My parents thought I needed a little help. The first year I took class I fell in love with it and couldn’t get out of the studio, I wanted to be there all the time. My sister was growing up at the same time, we were just about a year apart, and she was the blond bombshell and I was the adopted one. Maybe because they could never figure out who belonged there and who didn’t. She was always the favorite one as a child too. So when I started taking dance class it really meant a tremendous amount to me because it was really a connection to something. My sister and I started at the same time and she, just like everything else, she would start something and quit it. Anything. I took a ½ hr ballet and ½ hr jazz. When my parents couldn’t afford it, I worked in the office and taught baby classes. That was when I was about 12. Pat I was born in Lawrence Kansas. My father was from a very large family and a farm. So even though we lived in the city limits we had chickens, cows, goat, and we delivered milk. I took dance classes from Maxine Linley. Voice Oh....yeah....Maxine..right. Pat I used to hate acrobatics, and she knew it. I wan’t ready to do a back flip, and she said yes you are! And she put her hands there, and I fell on my head. That’s when I fell in love with ballet. Then I went to school and was a cheerleader, alternate because it interfered....I passed 12. Nick I was born when she was 40. I was a latecomer, they didn’t have me in mind. I had a sister who was 14 years older than me, a sister 10 years older than me and I was the baby. Rene I have two older brothers, one six years older, one 10 years older. I’m the baby sister, I really lucked out. My parents....my mother if four years older than my father and I just found that out this year. I finally got a copy of my birth certificate, so now I know. I really was lucky, because my father was really spaced out while my brothers were growing up, but he kind of mellowed by the time I came around. I learned a lot from them. I learned what not to do!! I really learned how to butter him up and make good gade and dance. I started dancing when I was seven, It happened with one of those guys who comes around to your house selling lessons. And my brothers were there and they thought it was wonderful, and one was going to pay for the lessons and one was going to take me to class each week. Well we all know how long that lasted. My brother used to take me on his motorcycle, and I’d only been studying for about six months. I loved tap dancing. I had a lot of trouble in dancing schools...I was asked to leave...(crying) yeah! Isn’t that terrible. Well my best friend..(crying) I don’t think I can say it. Umm, my best friend. Anyway some of the mothers I suppose decided they didn’t like me. I got to do too many things around the studio. Voice Could I interject something here because we come from the same place. And in St. Louis there are a lot of good dancers from St. Louis and the reason is there are so many mothers like that. Rene Also is the municipal opera that hired a lot of girls from the city, and it seems like that was a big goal. So then I went to another school. It was Eddie Gromecki. Who among other things announced the wrestling matches. So we used to do a lot of strange things with him, going to hospitals. But as I remember I left there on bad terms too. Wayne I was an accident. My father was going through a lot of changes when I was a baby – he was a taxi cab driver, bus driver, and a whole bunch of jobs. I lived in a typical Italian building with 34 families and we used to live on the top floor, and my mother and father lived down the hall from my mother’s mother. My uncle lived across the hall. When I was a kid I used to run back and forth constantly. Steve What street in the Bronx? Wayne West 217th Street Steve By my schule??? Wayne I’m an only child and I hate my parents for it, because I get lonely. I guess I was a spoiled brat. I had a little delicatessen too, Tony. And I used to stand downstairs and scream up to my mother who lived on the top floor to throw me down a dime. I only had girlfriends, there were no boys in the building. My best friend was Joanne, and she was my mother’s friend’s daughter. She lived across the hall, so I’d run from my house to my grandmother’s house to Joannes, and back and forth. In fact the whole building used to run in and out, looking for, this one, running up onto the roof. I went to one dance class when I was about seven, and the teacher picked me out to do cartwheels – I got really embarrassed and never went back. Voice Why did you go then? Wayne Because Joanne used to go. And I never danced until I was 18 years old. I hated school, I went to a public school, and I cried for one week, and they took me out. I didn’t go back to school for a year and then my mother took me to a catholic school when I was six. They wouldn’t put me in the first grade, they put me back to kindergarten, and I hated those nuns and they used to beat the shit out of me. At 3:00 I used to run out to my mother every day, and cry. I hated school. The only dance I had was American Bandstand. I was in love with Cookie, the one that won the ___. So I went through school like that, running back and forth. I had little girlfriends and we used to get up and dance in the living room, of my grandmother’s house. Sammy I come from a very poor and very Italian family. I have an older sister and an older brother. The neighborhood that I lived in, where I was born, was very awful. It was dirty and the houses were all shabby. But I had this friend who was named Jimmy Boy, a little black boy. And I used to remember we would play act, we used to get dressed up in these costumes and we would play with swords and things, just fool around. Then we moved and I kind of missed Jimmy Boy because there was nobody to do that with in my neighborhood. I didn’t know anybody. My brother was getting into sports and my father was really digging on that. My sister was taking dancing lessons and then there was me. I used to play blocks. Sit around and do all these nice things -- play with my sister’s dolls. And really get off on it. My father used to take my brother to all these places. I don’t know, but he would never ask me if I wanted to go. I guess he would. I don’t remember but I never went with my brother and father so I used to go with my mother and sister. And my mother took my sister to dancing school, and I would sit and watch class. I was getting into this whole thing but I didn’t know it. My sister would go home and practice her routines in the basement. And I used to say Ahh, I can do that. She would be working real hard, and I’d say I could do that and she’d get real mad at me. I remember the first day I ever got up and danced, the teacher’s name was John Tooley...Toochie, whatever. He said to me “do you think you could do that” and I said no. He said, well I’ve spoken to your mother and she said you can. He coaxed me into it after a half hour. And I guess I was okay, but it was a lot of fun and it was something I had never experienced before, so I started taking class and had recitals and things, and I really liked it. But then I became the neighborhood sissy because I was a dancer. And I didn’t play sports with the other guys. But for some reason I didn’t care I didn’t want to have anything to do with those people, I was having too much fun dancing. I danced until I was 12, school and everything. Doing the little kiddie shows. Steve (Opening on other transcription) Kelly I think my mother was illegitimate because my grandmother was 16 when my mother was born. She raised my mother like a little num. Her three month husband ran off. My mother wasn’t allowed to go anything, couldn’t babysit, couldn’t go out. And she wanted to dance. She went and got scholarships and all that. She married my father because she wanted to get away from her mother. Because my father told her no one else would ever ask her...so she did. Then she had this daughter and made the daughter what SHE wanted to be. She was fabulous the way she did it. (portion included here in other transcription) I used to see my girlfriends parents together and they would kiss. I knew my parents shouldn’t be together. I put up with school. I loved horses. My decisions at that age were whether to become a breeder of horses or a ballerina. I was waiting patiently to grow up. Michael Did everyone sort of go through that in terms of waiting to grow up. VOICES: Yes. MB: To grow up and get out? How many no’s? About five. Voice I was never really a child. Michael Were you an old kid? People are talking and what and we can get into it when we go around again. Tom I was born to Ellie and Gitch, that’s his nickname since he was about 12. I was born in 1950, and probably the first thing I can remember was that things weren’t working around my house. We were upper middle class, real boring. I remember all of a sudden my mother storing all of her furniture one day (This was on other transcription).... I was one of the few good boys in the dancing school so I used to do a lot of numbers. I used to dance with the dancing teacher’s daughter a lot. My sister was always the bridesmaid. I was the bridgegroom, I always wore pink costumes. When it came time to go to jr. high I got out of catholic school. I was always going to be sent away. “We’re going to send you away.” I was into firecrackers when I was 8. I knew there was something....that I wasn’t ordinary. By the time I was 16 I had to get with it, I knew the clergy was out, and being a dentist was out. Andy Took acrobatics from Billie Star. Came back to NY when I was about 11 or 12, my dad since he worked for the airline, he took everyone of us in turn to NY. When it was my turn, we came to New York ad stayed at the Picadilly Hotel, went down Shubert Alley. Went to see a show that Billie Star was in, but I didn’t see the show, I met Billie Star at the stage door. And I said one day I want to work at this theater. I put my first pair of ballet tights on when I was 12. Candy My dad then got stationed in New York. Went to school in Jamaica until 5th grade. Started dancing class when I was 3. I don’t know why. I was the first kid and I never asked her why she sent me. I thought everybody went. It was never anything special, just every Friday and Saturday I went. Everybody I knew was there. I took everything, a lot of tap, acrobatics, a lot of what we called interpretive then, which is really ethnic. A little ballet – I really hated ballet. Recitals were really fun because you got to wear lipstick and your mom did your hair, the costumes were really exciting, but I never knew people made a living at this sort of thing I just thought everybody did it. And it was fun -- every summer we did Yankee Doodle Dandy, it was my favorite and I was George M. Cohan...I don’t know, it was very dull, I had a dull childhood. I was really good, I did everything I was supposed to do. I made good grades. I hated piano lessons. Then I went right before the sixth grade and I was going to get skipped...I was going to get into the S.P. class. But then my dad got transferred and I was really upset. All the kids would be a grade ahead of me. So we had to go to Okinawa. Well all the kids over there were dancing...shuffle step, step and I was really into rap. I got into sports and I was really good at archery. Anything to just keep moving, swimming. Stayed very good in school, very bland. Then when I was 12, we came to New York just for a vacation, and I saw my girlfriend Rosemary Stevenson who was the first black ballerina at Radio City....I just sat there and cried and cried. I wanted to be a Rockette. So then we went to Minnesota. Chris My father was taxi cab driver and my mother was a dress saleslady on 14th Street....They used to go out dancing a lot to Roseland. My mother always came home with her shoes in her hand from the Sunday matinee at Roseland. My mother was real popular, I had an aunt and uncle who both died, they had a son Bruce who also died. These people were all very close to me and they died within a year. My aunt took me to all the shows, the Icecapades. She bought me clothes. The first show I saw was West Side Story, I sat in the first row, mezzanine, and Carol Lawrence was out. I loved it. I was always dancing from the time I could walk. I watched anything on television that had dancing on it..(This part on transcript) Anything Artistis I loved. I was good with my hands. When I was 8 we started going to a beach club called Shore Haven. At that time it was really fabulous. They had shows there, and there was a guy names Harry Bruce. They had Champagne Hours. Where they had a dance team, and the guy danced with the girl contestants and the girl would dance with the guys. And the girls would dance with the male contestants. I was taking a class and I could really do the cha cha, so I decided to enter this. He picked out this girl, Joy Jacobs. And we ended up performing at this club for about 8 years, every summer. Steve (Opening on other transcription) I started dancing was I was three. I would mimic anything that was on TV, Jerry Lewis whatever. I would do my routines, make my parents laugh and then inch my way back to the room where the TV was. They were very cultural minded. My father had just come over from Romanie. My mother was educated in the states. My father had no education but he was a good businessman. The first show I saw was Where’s Charley with Ray Bolger. On 46th-47th. My thing mostly was sports intermingled with tap dancing. In my neighborhood you could stay downstairs very late at night. It was very tight, a true, good neighborhood. A lot of strangers didn’t come in. You knew everybody. They were very protective there. I related to the people on the street. I would dance and they would just trow coins...I was in New York. My parents would take me to see 4-5 shows every year. I was a jock, played football, baseball. Thinking about it now, at times I had to prove thing. I never thought of myself as a dancer. I took just tap, drums and piano for a while. Connie I grew up with divorced parents. My father left my mother when I was four. I don’t know anything about him. My mother and I left South Dakota. How we landed in El Paso exas I’ll never know, we didn’t have relatives there or anything. My mother and I grew up there. It must have been somewhere between the first and fourth grade we all filed into the gym. In the gym there must have been a girl that did a ballet or something, she was on her toe shoes. So I went home to my mother and said I want to dance on my toes. She wouldn’t let me because me didn’t have the bread. I had to keep after her and finally she let me go to the YWCA. So I had lessons for a hald hour on Saturdays, for a birthday present. So I started doing that. And I followed this chick who was really gorgeous, we went on the bus to class and then back home. Then we moved. There was a really nice house, with a lor of girlfriends on the same street. I started going to dance classes, and kept trying to get my girlfriends to go to these classes. My friend across the street played the piano. But they just wanted to sell lemonade on the corner and things like that. I remember this one time I was going to organize a play. It was going to be the first big play of the block: Little Women. This was when I really started hating the politics of people. Way back then all my girlfriends wanted to be in it. I said to one of my friends now Karen, if you get mad at me you still have to be in the play. Naturally we get everything going, we’re going to have popcorn, and everything. All these people had good ideas. And so that chick got mad at me for something, I don’t know what it was. We were screaming up one side and down the other....she left the play. Big Trauma. So we didn’t do the play. That was the last time I ever tried to organize anything. I had the greatest ballet teacher, she was ballet, tap acrobatics. She made me really love to dance. It was always fun to go to class. She had recitals that were out of this world. Her name was Virginia Weaver. She loved to design costumes. My mother loved the idea that I loved all this. Cause I always had all this energy and she wanted to have somewhere for me to put it. She’d really go to work on these costumes. They were gorgeous costumes. We had a den and my mother said if you’re going to continue dancing, and I’m going to keep making these things you are going to have to practice, a half hour every day in the den. But all I could think about was the costumes and the lights. It’s very pathetic. I never did practice, but I kept on going to class. There was always dancing. Cheerleading: my mother said don’t put too many irons in th fire. I went out for it and got it, and she said how are you going to go to both. So I went to ballet class and gave up cheerleading. Well I found that a friend of mine would go to ballet class, change her clothes into her cheerleading suit. Priscilla (Opening is on the other transcription) Not: Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx (Sue – correct this) Michael I think that how we want to get into the things that influenced you into coming to New York. Wanting to be a dancer, or B’way dancer. I think it’s clear that most of us who went to dancing school s got involved in very competitive situations. The mothers were a trip. Everybodies mothers. Tony 12. When Donna was talking it really....well I lived in a fantasy world too. I was an incredible fantasizer. I had a special way to go home, there were fairies and elves, and gnomes. I had to walk home with my sister but she wouldn’t let me go on my trail because she knew it. I knew each elf and fairy be name, there were different kinds. I really believed in Sant Claus until about 11. And even if I didn’t I made myself believe. I talked to my guardian angel, who was a very personal friend. I lost him for about five years, but he’s coming back, and working for me now. It’s coming back. This incredible world. At 12 everything reverted. Total reversion. I was a total adult. Started running around with people in high school, I was in sixth grade. I was having sex...bang, bang. May 2 I was 12 and had sex on May 4. From there the whole world changed. Religion took second place. It was a guy the first time. It was a lifeguard. I started discovering because I danced all the time, that was my real strong point. I could have been good, I loved being at school and being with people. People were a big thing in my life. I always felt I was as strong as the people around me. I hated math. I couldn’t add, but I loved to watch those numbers work out. I always wanted to know what was in the next chapter. Like dancing was my really strong point. And I thought this was neat. And then I suddenly became aware at 12, of New York, California ---watched Peter Gennaro. He was my idol. No matter where I was ran to watch the number. Ed Sullivan every Sunday. It was like church...it was church. I worked very hard, but dancing was easy for me. Much as I loved it, I just went in and did it. Then I changed teachers. I was taking with Mary Beth Hawk in the basement, and she started taking me to St. Louis. To go to Lolla Bauman..then I left Lolla at 12 and started going to Michael Sims. A wonderful teacher. Knew what he was talking about especially in the ballet field. He was young, I think only 24-25, had a family, and was sensational. So Igot into ballet, and he had a real good jazz technique. So all the tap went out the window. I got into ballet and was really good at ballet, and strangely enough I liked it. Tape 2 Michael I also remember I did a show at the Studio Theater, it’s now become the Buffalo Studio Arena. And I played Puck in Midsummer Nights Dream. And I met a group of cultured actors. And I thought they were fabulous, I had found my mileu, people that I was comfortable with. So I started acting. I would come to NY summers, study for 6 weeks, 12 weeks and finally I came here and spent a whole summer. Then I spent one summer apprenticing at Melody Far, a tent outside of Buffalo, and I thought everybody was terrific. All these summer stock stars, I thought there were incredible. So much so that in later years when I was auditioning for shows, for instance Ruth Warwick was coming, and I’d say, I did KING AND I with her when I was 14. She’s terrific. And she’d come in and unfortunately Ruth Warwick is not terrific. But disillusioned. Incredibly later, from the way I was so in love with show business and theatr people. Then I went out, and the first summer stock of West Side that went out. So I went to NY and auditioned and played Baby John. And went out for the summer. I left school early in my junior year, before I had to take my junior year exams, and came back late in September. I remember during that summer I also auditioned for Wildcat, with Michael Kidd. I was so thrilled, I was going to get to do a show for Michael Kidd who had done Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Guys and Dolls, starring Lucille Ball. The show was now playing Melody Fair in Buffalo and I flew into NY for the audition and everything and I got the show, called home and said I got it. The producer of the tent show knew me from when I was an apprentice, put a big article in the paper about how I was goin to leave to go into a show with Lucille Ball in it. Then rehearsals started a week before the tour ended and the producer of the tour wouldn’t let me out. So they took Johnny Sharp instead of me. And that’s when Johnny Sharp started working for Michael. I remember I got back home and my father mat me at the airport to take me up to the tent. And I read the article about how I was going to do the show and everything, and I started to cry. One of the few times I have ever cried. And I went back to school. And then in January I was really on the verge of my first nervous breakdown. Now in January I’m supposed to take all my junior year exams and I don’t have a clue. I’m also, I couldn’t collect unemployment, because I didn’t work enough that ummer, and I wanted to move to NY. So I thought I’ll give a concert and raise about $500, it will give me something to start with. And I was working on the school show, and teaching ballroom dancing. I got a telegram, Please come to New York, Jerry Robbins auditioning people for the European company of West Side Story, I went to my locker. I got the telegram in school. I went to my locker and took everything out....walked out the door and I left. I got on a bus for NY and said, I am not coming back. I am getting this job and never coming back. Luckily I got the job and went to Europe for a year. (Red hooded lady. A woman I looked up to. Disillusioned. Like fucking your mother. Grover Dale. Brandy. I’m feeling my complexion clean up. Abortion. Waiter in Paris. Guilt. Full self) One day Allen Johnson, who was the dance captain, was rehearsing the company, and he was standing on two arms of like a long bench that had arms in it, and he fell through and broke his cock. They rushed him off to the hospital. Jackie Going back I want to say something about my mother. She was a very dedicated type of person. She always wanted to be something but was discouraged from being that, so she made every possibility open to us, not push us in any direction, just make sure if we shows an interest in something, it would be available. We were struggling sort of, and had to clean studios for dancing lessons, and she’d sell Avon, and iron – my dancing teachers husband was an interne, iron his whites and things. For the longest time it was so hard....going to New York now, I always felt that she sacrificed so much that me career was for her. And I’m not sure, I was afraid to even stop dancing, if I wanted to. Because I owed it to her....I’ve gotten over that. Voice That’s true of a lot of us, they give you so much you don’t know if its really for yourself. Jackie Some families don’t have to sacrifice so much. But this was thrown up to us a lot....look at all the money I’m spending. Dancing was always my life. I never thought about anything else. But I had a conflict with the dancing in school. Because of the dancing in school I was always around a lot of older people, and relating to those people. I started coming to New York, my ballet teacher her name is Tommie ____, she used to be with the New York City Ballet. Which was very good for us, from Lawrence, Kansas because we had the opportunity to study with such a good teacher. She encouraged us a lot. One summer again, my mother started focusing and wanted to go to Canada. This was sort of, she never discussed it with the teacher, but all of a sudden these older girls were forming a thing to go to NYC and I was sort of left out of that she she was really upset because she knew I was the one that was really interested and she was going out on her own to get me into this school. I ended up in this group. Coming to New York. I also had a problem because of my acrobatics. I couldn’t tell the NYCB that I was studying acrobatics. Cause I wasn’t. I couldn’t arch my back and stand up straight at the same time. So I was always fighting that problem. Came back the next summer with my sister, my mother brought us. In the interim I had been auditioning for Kansas City Start Time since I was about 12. I would just go for the experience. Just to take the audition so that when the time came for me to really audition....So when the time came for me to really audition, when I was old enough to get it, I got rejected. I thought it’s really politics again, my mother said we’re not stopping here. So she takes me to St. Louis Muni Opera. I GOT IT...So it was really exciting having my apartment at 15. My family was in Kansas, and I was by myself. Most of the kids were in towners. Voice Did you have a roommate? Jackie I had a roommate. That was changes too. So I did that a couple of summers. Then around – just before I got in Muni that year...my sister and I went to NY at Easter time. Oh I think I had gotten it. We came to NYC, I hadn’t been here for two summers. So I went to B’way shows. Patricia And we were all alone. Jackie Yeh. No mother, just the two of us. And Tommy was there. Our ballet teacher had gone back to New York to try her luck in the theater. So she tells you....this big city. I can get lost in my own home town. It’s terrifying....the subways. I went to see Bye Bye Birdie. I took my picture, I think I was doing night club work, and I did have a picture a glossy 8x10. I took it to the stage door. I was the right type, I was blonde, real cute. Except I had this tooth, and it had a silver thing around it. He was very encouraging, he said we don’t have any openings right now, but y u’re a good type. And we’ll call you. But you really should do something about that tooth. That was that. But I always wanted to come back. I told you that I was doing variety shows and stuff like that when I was 10, fairs. School was very difficult because I had to leave in May, a month early – so I couldn’t take my final exams. I had to take my finals the next year, when I was starting the new year. Never did too well. My teacher said I should never go to college because ____. I was determined then. I went back to Muni my senior year. My mother really wanted me to get it this year too because I was going with this older guy, he was writing bad checks. Always buying me things so I was very vulnerable to the whole situation. Diamond ring for my birthday when I was 18, things that nobody else had. So I went to that audition....March or April. And Lee Becker thought I was terrific. She loved me, she thought I was excellent. And I was really impressed because she thought I was so good. Doing 16 forte’s you know how she is. So when I came back for the finals I just brought my suitcase, all packed. Well she had gotten some show, and didn’t come back, so Ronnie Fields was giving the audition. Ron Fields. I was so upset that she wasn’t there, and he couldn’t even remember the combination he was giving me. I got so upset, I couldn’t even dance. And he’s gonna be the choreographer....he doesn’t even know the steps. And I made the worst audition I didn’t get it. I was really destroyed...my mother was too. So I toured again. I had to go to college. I didn’t really want to go, but I didn’t want to feel like I missed something in life. I don’t like to go through life with regrets, and I figured if I didn’t go I’ll always thinkg I missed all those parties, sororities. And we were from a university town, so it was a big thing. So I went to school and I was really unhappy, because I knew where I wanted to go, but nobody else did there. They were trying to fid themselves, and I kept saying what am I doing here. I was going to stay two years, because I’d be able to finish it up later. I could come to New York. So I came to New York after the first year. I was just destroyed, started seeing a psychiatrist was in tears all the time. I was involved in beauty pagents at that time. Cerebral Palsy. Voice When you came here did you want to be in a show. Jackie B’way. I loved ballet, but my teacher said you should be in musical comedy. Michaels. Some of us just should. Jackie I liked ballet, but had other interests, found ballet very limiting. There was so uch in the world out there. Like jazz. Voice Jazz. Jazz (MB) Remember discovering Jazz, going to your first jazz class. Jackie That was real hard because I didn’t like ballet. Micon I started taking dancing where we left off, when I was 12. At that time I was also trying to get into a lot of other things. I think now it was because there was such a competition between my sister and I, although it was never out front it was always there. The problem was that I was older but she was really cute. A beautiful tow head blonde, just adorable. So it turned out that when we went to dance class together, it was very easy for me to move. I never had to think about how to move. Tap was very easy, ballet was very easy. And so it was easy for me to stick to. But at the same time I remember being involved in a lot of other things. Like I was really hot in campfire girls. And all sorts of little groups of things. I guess I felt that this was the time I would have to prove something. I don’t know what. But I guess that all the time that was happening I knew it would be dance, so when my sister quit, I was there. And I was teaching. I also discovered something really interesting about dancing. Imediately upon reaching the age of 12, I jumped to about 25. Like everybody. And I realized in moving that I felta sensuality that I had never felt efore. It made me aware of sexuality. So I immediately hated ballet, and would always think of ways to get out of class because the teacher, Mr. Julian, already wanted me to be in the St. Paul Civic Opera. That was fine, he didn’t give me too much trouble about giving up ballet. I was always leading the jazz combinations. I was always called Mike, never Micon, because nobosy could handle it. They’d look at it and go echh...Mi...mic...Peacock, what’s your first name. I’d say Micon, he’d say, WHAT? I’d say Mike. That’d be it. All through school that was it, Mike. All thourhg everything and whenever they’d call me Mike, they always wanted to tag and “i.e.” on the end of it, which made me feel awful, I hated it. When I started dancing I was like 5’ whatever, very skinny my mother made me wear my hair pulled back into a ponytail, I had buck teeth too many for a little mouth. And glasses, and an incredible nose. So ugly that it was awful. So when I stard feeling these things in dance, I immediately wanted to grow up. I remember getting into padded bras very quick, and always in school always trying to turn everybody on, with anything. Then when my dance teacher decided when I was 14, he was going to get me this audition at the St. Paul Civic Opera, because you could only audition after you were 16, but I was close enough to 16, that it was cool. He came from NY he was a Jewish cantor, as well as a dance teacher....he was so excited about me being his protégé, there was another girl there too. She was older than I was, so I always looked up to her. She was very helpful. But I knew she wasn’t going to do it. Voice Did she have fat legs? Micon Yes. But very pretty with this lovely red hair. Michael Did you all run into people who wanted to be dancers desperately, and you just looked at them and knew never. And they worked harder than you did. So hard. Priscilla And you felt so sad for them. Nick You knew they weren’t going to make it. Priscilla Oh, that’s sad. Micon He was making me into a professional dancer, because you see he has performed at te Paper Mill in New Jersey. In showboat. So before I knew what the show was about, I was auditioning. Unfortunately it was a ballet audition. For Nancy ____ because she had the ballet school. I was not taken. But he called he up and said let her audition I know you’ll love her. I auditioned for Alex Palermo who was doing Wonderful Town. The star was Ruth Page. I got the job. People thought I was 21 Here I was, didn’t know anything. Also became a half equity member for 3 years. Michael You could do three shows without becoming a full member. Micon I did nine. Because we did three shows a season, and I started my sophomore year, and already at that point school was...I was manipulating adults, I was a conniving, sneaky person, because I wanted to be out of the hourse, and this was the thing I felt I should be doing. Once I got into this show, I was also working after school. Took all the easiest courses, like shorthand, conned my way out of physics. Because I just couldn’t handle it. The counselor loved me. He got it so I could get out of school at 2:00and immediately went to work because I was working for a lawyer part time. I was a legal secretart at 14. Then I would get a bite to eat and go over to rehearsal. At which all the other people were at least ten years older than I was. Because I couldn’t do schoolwork there because I was just too excited, I started smoking too. I somehow managed to get A’s all the way through high school, because I took all the easiest courses. To get my parents off my back my sister and I would occasionally get caught, but she would always get into trouble, I never would. I was getting caught smoking in my senior year, I was ready to graduate, she was a junior we were sitting on the floor of this car in the parking lot, smoking a cigarette. And the vice principal comes out and there we both are, she’s sitting on the floor I’m on the gas pedal. We heard the knocking at the window and there we were in this wonderful position and he said, well you might was well go home. I was supposed to be graduating, a tp student and all that. It was very traumatic. But even that didn’t bother me, because I knew the one thing my parents would never take away from me was dancing. And even though they ___ us a lot, and we were supposed to be stuck at home everyday for a month, except that I had to go to my job, and they allowed me to continue with my dancing. So that means I wasn’t stuck anywhere. My father was an alcoholic, when I was 14 and I didn’t see too much of him. So at 14 I immediately started drinking, and was out at Ernie’s bar where we rehearsed. Would come home and put on a big act that I wasn’t even high or drunk or anything, becuas eI knew that would do it, it would really kill them. Their prize daughter. I remember getting caught once, it was my senior year in high school. We had just worked for Jack Beaver, and Jack was going to be doing. They always brought in all the New York people, so it was tremendous exposure, and I really got to work with all the pros, right? Dorothy Collins, it was just wonderful. So when Jack Beaver same and auditioned us..we were working on Oklahoma or something, he was doing Pittsburg summer stock and I had gotten into so much trouble my senior year the time before when he was with another show, when I was in trouble with my family, and that they were really strict with me, so he wasn’t even going to offer it to me, he was going to offer it to this other girl, he knew my parents wouldn’t allow me to do it. So I was really screaming and carrying on in my bedroom and so then I became a full member of equity in Pittsburg. Michael Were you happy? Micon I don’t know. I don’t remember thinking about that. Michael Can I ask a general question. How many of you were happy as kids. Really happy. Voice What year. Michael If you couls look back on your childhood do you think you had a really terrific childhood. Voice Which life. Voice There is a difference, because if you recognized your independence when you were young enough you could have been happy You were free of your parents in your own fantasies. You could have been happy in that way. But you mean normally happy? Michael Well did everyone feel loved? Voices There were no physical actions. No affection. I’m such a physical person, and I kept waiting to grab a hold of somebody all the time. Or have then do something....do something. I’m doing alright. But they never did anything about it, made that extra effort, I really know I missed that because my parents were terrific. I never had a problem with them, except they never shows me anything, anything. Nick It’s a kind of thing that everybody in show business is in show business because they’re neurotics so therefore they were unhappy, or abnormal. And my question is were we smart enough to realize that everybody wasn’t happy either. Because that’s why I was unhappy. I never felt separate from everybody. I was just smart enough to know that everyone else was unhappy, so I would go off into this strea. But It wasn’t that I was unnatural or neurotic, it was just that I knew they were just as unhappy being where they were at. Michael I’m not an analyst but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that we feel superior, we feel terrifiv at dancing. _____ For moments in other areas where we’re not pretty or not this and not that, so in the thing that we channeled all our energies toward a goal, I mean like being like show business people, where we get into that world, it’s all going to be wonderful, it’s going to solve a lot of problems. I was sure that when I got my first show I would be terrifically happy for the rest fo my life. And then when that wasn’t quite the way it was, I was sure when I lived in New York and was on B’way, that was going to do it. It goes further. When I finally got to be a B’way choreographer I though that would be it. It was what I wanted all my life from 11-22, I’m now it. Here we go, I’m going to be terrifically happy....got up the next morning after the show opened. Called an analyst, started analysis the next morning. I knew. It suddenly happened enough time to know, wait a minute there’s more than just the goal of doing it I think mostly in America, and very few families are petty, or the environments are petty, the fights seem to be about little things. All the gossip is about who got knocked up down the corner. We all saw that sense of whenever we were aroundshow business people there was that passion about the work. It was pure in a sense. Which everyone else. Donna You always felt more accepted too. I felt more accepted. Michael Absolutely. So did I. But I could respect those people so much more than I could the ones around me, because they seemed to be really into something, something of course that my life was all about. Nick But isn’t it that we did not want to make the same mistakes that they did. Michael Oh, sure. I think that’s why so many of us got out of the town we lived in. Because we thought there was more of a world somewhere. Another kind of life. I know I didn’t want to live down the block from my mother and father, get married in Buffalo New York for the rest of my life. Voice I would dream about the other kind of world, as far as I was concerned, there was something else. But then again I had a girlfriend who I’d be taking dance class with, and he mother knew she would get married right out of high school nd knew she would lead her life through her kids and that’s exactly what she did. She was really a good little dancer, but she got married right out of high school. She has 2 kids, we still communicate and everything, but she’s perfectly happy.... Voice I think a lot of it had to with your feeling of the scope of the world. That sound philosophical and big but I think people in the theater have the feeling that somethings bigger than they are, and they want to be part of that bigness. Because the stage is bigger than life, or a movie, 40 ft of screen. It’s got something to do with size. Because in my class, I went to a very progressive school and we learned things, like we’re doing tonight. Which was very progressive in 1961-62. And all those people went away from school after graduation. 97% couldn’t cope and came back. 3% of our class is still trying to do something. My two best friends are still trying to decide. They’re teaching, and they’re good teachers, but it’s that whole idea of letting go of that little world that’s so secure, and wanting more. You really want more. Micon I was only happy when I was on stage, so I would do anything to get there. I really felt like I was at home, really comfortable. I always enjoyed looking at everyone in the audience, I really had fun communicating. Always trying to pick people out. When I was 18 I auditioned for a community theater. And the director that was my first real affair, and suddenly we were engaged....and shortly thereafter he cast me as Irma in Irma La Douce...It was so exciting, I was 18 ½, to be in a show with 17 guys and you. Those situations I all had fun. When I was in Pittsburg that summer, and I was 18, my mother’s friend was working at the World’s Fair in New York. She needed somebody to help her at the Minnesota Pavilion. So through various communications they said, ok it’s alright for you to go from Pittsburg to Ne York. I just couldn’t believe it. So I started working there at the Minnesota Pavilion. And my poor mother’s friend. She was younger than my mother, between my age and my mothers. Since then we’ve become very close friends, but at that age I was so trying, because that was when I experimented with everything. I would never come home. Out everywhere. People would pick me up on the street. I was a horrible, horrible symbol of a person. I din’t know what I was. I was crazed! And I also had mono at the time. But I wanted to see and do everything....I was living in Queens and all I could think was....how the fuck do you get out of here and get into New York????? So I worked in the Minnesota Pavilion from 9 in the morning to 10 at night. So suddenly it was all over, and all I could think was I have to get to the city, I have to get into the city...so we lived in an apartment, and I worked at this horrible job, I helped plan dinners for businessmen. I didn’t like it, and coulsn’t get out of thereeither. I couldn’t seem to break into New York. I went to one audition, I had a ball. I was so paralyzed. The room was just covered, I don’t remember anything except bodies...all these bodies., and I was so scared, I was back in the corner. And I just didn’t do anything. They started doing the ballet combination. I put my clothes on and left. And I went back home for 1 ½ years. Again in a legal position, and again I worked at the St. Paul Civic Opera Company, and the Larry Fuller came through with Funny Girl...not it was Billy Joyce with How to Succeed. He and some other NY dancer, Danny Villa. Both had job offers for me that summer, one in NY and one in Canada. So I though ok I’ve had it, my 56 Chevy was broken down, I’m stuck at home again, and I’d like to get out of here. My father was in AA and was starting to pull himself together, and everything was cooling down at home except no one ever knew who the middle sister was, she was always this person who floated around. She was the one wehe ended up at 20 years old married and pregnant. And I thought oh my god. She’s the one we have no baby picture of. She’s the one that got no attention whatsoever. It was just so sad it tears my heart out. And then there’s me doing terrific in NY and everybody loves it in St. Paul, Minnesota. And my sister who’s the black sheep of the family in California, bankrupt at 1, lost a baby and not being married. My little brother who was on parole because he ran away from home, at 15, nowhe’s back home working that out, so that’s fine. And then there’s this little sister who is in the middle. And she really sufferedfrom my dad’s alcoholism. Because she was the one nobody paid attention to. So from the time I was 14 on nobody ever have me any money, I was totally independent. I did not know why, I just did things to get out of on the stage. I was going to leave home at 19 for good this is it. The first job was taken care of through a telegram that Danny Villa did to Montreal and it came back and everything was cool so I was gonna go and work a club in Montreal for the rest of the spring and then go on from there to NY and How to Succeed in places like Latham and Corning, and places like that. My first NY job, right? I had $50 on me and went to Montreal and they picked me up at the airport, and drove to this place and it turned out we also had to live in this place, it was in the middle of nowhere...and was a strip joint. I went up to my room in which there was no heat There was no where else to go but there. I remember sitting in my room waiting for the show to start, and I had to go downstairs and see the show, so I was sitting on the bed thinking what am I doing here? I was so paralyzed. They brought me downstairs to watch the show and showed me which one I was replacing. And it turned out what it was was these two girl that stripped each other in this number Voice And that’s what you were supposed to do? Micon That’s what I was supposed to do. This was what Danny Villa sent me to Montreal to try out for. Voice I was wondering why you never talk to Danny Villa. Micon I don’t usually tell this, because I want to handle this this time. I’m shaking so much....from all the coffee, and wine....and nerved. During the show I...er. ran...ran...up ...to...the room...room and locked myself in and just started screaming and crying and carrying on. I didn’t know how the hell I would ever get out of there. How was I going to tell them, What was I going to tell them. So..the first thing I did, I wouldn’t let anybody in. Finally I let somebody in and said, listen I’m sorry but I have to go to New York tomorrow. I have another job and I have to start immediately. And I’d given this phone number to somebody else and while you were watching the show I received this message and I really have to go. And they said well what about the contract? And I said well I haven’t signed the contract yet. Voice ....and being a legal secretary you knew. Micon I said, well I said if you want I can give you some names of people you can call in Twin Cities, and I’m sure they would get right up here, if you just explain what it is.....so they went downstairs and said what time are you leaving. And I said well I think I can get a plane about 6:00. I had to check and see what time the planes were leaving. So I called home and said, listen me this didn’t pan out to well, so I think I’ll go down and stay with Anita, in New York..so I arrived in Newark, New Jersey. Trying to get to the village. Voice ....Almost New York. Micon And I didn’t know the airport situation, I had spent 15 of my $50...well it was now $40. So I arrived at my mother’s girlfriends house, the poor darline, she had me again....with $30 in my pocket and nothing to do for 4 months and no way of getting money. So I did temporary work. Patricia I get the feeling that most of you knew when you first started dancing that was what you wanted to be. I don’t remember that at all, I just remember doing it. And it wasn’t until 12 I mean it all seemed easy for all of you, but I didn’t realize that was what I wanted. And then at Easter we can to New York, and I saw Patty Duke in the Miracle Worker. And then I wanted to be Parry Duke. But I decided I didn’t want to be Patty Duke anymore. But I did the Miracle Worer, which was really funny. I think that was why I didn’t want to be Patty Duke anymore. I was too tall, but they wanted me to do it. So I had to crawl around on knee pads. It was most embarrassing, when I was on the table and they were hitting me in the face, I was on my knees. It was a real bummer. I decided dancing was probably better for me, because I could be on my feet. I went to Chicago. My mother decided I could go to Chicago, because we had relatives there and I could stay with them. The Chicago Opera, Ruth Page. I was terrified. Because in Lawrence Kansas I was pretty good and the advanced class with all the big girls because I was very young. Well they did Seranade, and I wasn’t old enough to do Seranade but I was in that class, so at first I wasn’t going to get to do it, and then a girl got sick and I didn’t have any boobs, not that I do now, but even less then. And they put booby pads on me, well all my friends were in the audience and everyone knows at 13 you don’t have boobs, and I was still wearing my t-shirt, and everytime I’d turn to the audience and raise my arm, I’d be like this. Then that next Xmas John Cameron sent me an Xmas card, and I had a scholarship to go back to Chicago. And when I was 14 I went to _____ in Lawrence, Kansas. When I was 15 I was a ballerina. I had no jazz training. I did do Stars and Stripes Forever, and a little calypso, we had our castanets, but no jazz, acrobatics yes. Then when I was 16 the S.F. Ballet Company came in to Kansas City. They auditioned us for the regional company. And I got a scholarship to go out to San Fransisco for the summer when I was 15. Well I ended up staying there 4 years when I was 15. It was a very heavy trip, I was very mean and bitter and sarcastic. And Jackie came out to see me and she hadn’t seen me for 3 years, a long time. When she arrived she met me and said I’m going home. She said what is wrong? She was always into musical comedy and all the light and show biz, hahaha. And I was at the barre, turnout point your toe. The managing director of the S.F. Ballet once told me that I should be in musical comedy. And I was very insulted. I was going to be a prima ballerina, that’s all there was to it. But when she came I realized I wasn’t happy. So I came to New York at 19. I hated it. I went to Harkness and they said you’re too tall. We don’t have any tall boys yet. Patricia Neary who is like 5’10” said, honey it’s alright, I know. And I thought that’s real nice because at that time I hadn’t known any biggies. I was babysitting for David Anderson and they had a little child, Charlie, and tha’s how I got my money. I was also working for leonard Fowler. Do you know Leonard. I got like $80 week. We worked out butts off from morning to night. Ballet, we were doing an original ballet. I was babysitting for them. Jackie ...(page jumps here) Wayne My life was really naïve, running back and forth in and out of Joanne’s house, and my grandmother’s. Well besides having a grandmother that lived across the hall from us, I had one that lived up the block. It was my father’s mother. The most traumatic experience I had was one time my mother was out with my grandmother and everyone was out of the building. My grandmother used to live with my father’s sister. So I used to run back and forth there too. This one time I have to tell you a story about the peeing. How many of you peed? Well I had to go to the bathroom so bad. And I ran up I don’t know how many flights of steps up to where we lived. And back down and up the block, I could not get to a bathroom. And in between there was this big gigantic lot, and my uncle Freddie was in the bathroom taking a shower so I couldn’t get in there and I ran down the block and up the steps again, crying like a fool. But it was the worst experience of my life. I ran back and forth three or four times. Then I ran into that lot, hig behind the rock, didn’t have time to pull down my zipper, I just peed in my pants, and stayed there for one hour crying because I was so embarrassed, because I couldn’t walk down the block and walk up the steps. Voice What di you and Joanne do. You said you were running from one house to another. Wayne There were no boys my age to play around with, which is one reason I never got into sports. In Catholic school they never had gym, they had it once every two months, we used to play ___ and so I didn’t’ even know what a ball felt like. The older guys on the block were around 18 and I was ten. They used to play ball and stuff, but I was too young, so I never played with them, so I never had that experience of doing sports and stuff. There was one girl who was a tomboy, and she used to play with me, she taught me how to ride a bike and stuff. Anyways, I’d gp t Joanne’s and watch TV. Joanne’s mother and my mother would go out. We’d play hide and seek in the house, build tents, do that whole number, play doctor. Anyway I keep on saying that catholic schools were bad for me, but as I’m sitting here I realize the only think I got out of it was that every year they had a recital, and I guess that was the way I was dancing. I just realized tonight, I was always in the play and was one of the lead dancers, a clown rolling across the stage doing something, and all little things like that, and as I grew up, to the either grade, I was doing more and more dance stuff. So I guess that was my dance experience. And movies, with Fred Astaire, and Gene Kelly and loving every minute of it, and getting up and dancing to it and stuff. I never considered being a dancer, I never knew what that was, I used to watch___ and those things and go crazy over them, used to dance on the couch, falling in love with a girl in Shindig, or some Chinese girl with a long pony tail. I was in love with so many people on TV. I finally got out of that catholic school and we moved up to Westchester, where we live now. This experience was different. It was a junior high school, we would switch classes, there were greasy kids and collegiate kids, and they were into sports, and there was gym everyday which I was terrified of. Everytime I had to go to gym class I used to shit in my pants because I couldn’t do anything. I remember one time I was on the basketball field. Voice Basketball field! Wayne On the court...We were playing basketball. They don’t teach you anything, just throw the ball and say now play. So I got out there and they threw me the ball, I ran down the whole basketball court without dribbling without anything, I made a basket. Well the team was over there laughing hysterically. I thought I did the greatest thing. End of Tape 2 Tape 3 Wayne So anyway she introduced me to these people in another town. She liked this guy who was in another group, and I got to hang around all these kids in another group. I guess it was an escape from dancing, but I got into the group and I was a singer. I did things, like we played at dances and stuff. I didn’t think anything about performing. So I did that. I kept on going to school. Never thought about dancing, never saw a Bway show. Then I got to sing alone at something, in Harrison. I got to sing two songs, I was introduced as a little Elvis Presley. So that was the big thing in my life. So when I was a junior there was this woman phys ed teacher who was putting on the first musical in our high school. It was Oklahoma. So I thought this was my chance, my catholic school days coming back, with the little recitals. I thought, “Well I can do this. The hell with sports, I’m into something else.” I auditioned. She liked me and she picked me. I was Curley, doing ballet. Didn’t know what ballet was. All I knew was that I was going to do this ballet with a girl that was supposed to be my wife. So she was pushing me and I got to do all the steps, I always picked up steps. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I was doing it. So she taught me, I learned all the dances and they had this other lady come in and do the ballet. I hated ballet. The biggest hangup I had all through high school was that all those butch people, and athletes were going to call me a faggot. I never wanted to be associated with dance or faggot. So I was dancing well. And all the athletes were trying out for the play. So for once they were looking up to me, saying. Hey, Wayne, you can really do something. So this lady came in. I couldn’t lead and she wanted me to lead. So I said to Kathy, who was Laurie; I can’t lead, she’s crazy. So I was embarrassed. All these older girls were teaching me how to lead. I went through this whole ballet, and I guess I acted it rather than danced it. Little grapevine steps. Leaps. Picking up Kathy, and doing this whole thing. Which was a lot of fun. This teacher was pushing me to be a dancer. I said, no I can’t be a dancer. Plus the fact my patrents would never accept it. They never wanted me to get into that. My uncle was a pharmacist, they wanted me to be a pharmacist and take over his business. Until this day they still want me to, because show business is going down hill and you can’t do this....etc. The next year passed and they had auditions again. This time they were doing Lil Abner. The same lady was doing it so I was picked for one of the dancers. This was my senior year, and I was really getting into dancing. I was thinking dancing. Plus the fact that in between Oklahoma dn Lil Abner, this phys ed teacher took me to New York to see my first Bway play, which was Cabaret. Well I freaked out. I was sitting on the edge of my seat for the whole show. I had never seen such an exciting thing in my whole life. I wanted to dance so bad. I think the think that impressed me the most was the whole Kiss Dance, with the couple going up the steps. I always remember that. So that started me thinking about being a dancer. She wanted me to go take classes. She lived in Bridgeport. And I would never go to the city because I said I wasn’t good enough to go to the city. So she said why don’t you come up to where I take classes in Bridgeport. Well I put it off for a while and in the meantime I got into college. I never wanted to go to college, but I figured I’d better do something. I went to a Junior college, and for the 2 years I went there I was a pharmacist major for 2 days, dropped it and then became a liberal arts major. And took business courses. For a person that hated school, forget it. In the meantime I’m taking classes up in Bridgeport every Mon and Thurs nights. I was driving from where I lived 45 minutes to Bridgeport. That was a whole dramatic thing too. The first time I took a class, I wouldn’t put on tights. I said, I’ll take the class, but I’m not putting on the tights. He said, you don’t have to put on tights. So I put on my little gym shorts....2 years in gym shorts. I had an interview one afternoon with this guy, Joe Beline. He has a couple of studios. He gave me an interview and did isolation stuff. He had his own style, and I picked it up, no form or anything, just picked up the steps. He said he’s teach me if I came there every Mon and Thurs. These were my first classes and I was 18 years old. I used to take Modern and Martha Graham warmup. And in the middle of class he’s give his own style warmup. So I took modern, warmup, jazz, and tap. So it came time for me to graduate from my 2 year college and in the meantime I got nothing out of that school because I took any courses to get out. I was taking music, chorus, business administration. Nothing related. I wasn’t going to anything. So I graduated and applied to Brockport University (The rest here in other transcription) (No tights, No ballet Short -> jazz pants. You’re gonna be here dancing all your life) So I was accepted as a dance major, gymnast specialist. So I wrote up this thing I was up all hours of the nights, writing what I wanted to take, what courses. I had every dance course you could think of. I had to say: I want to take biology but only in the way it can relate to gymnast. I told them gymnasts need dance training to make their form look better. I didn’t know what the fuck I was talking about, but they dug it. I said they needed the line, the form, they got to the point where they were doing flips and forgetting about the pointed feet, but they didn’t have any form. I said I wanted to take biology and relate it to the dance and the body. I want to take anatomy and relate it to the form, and the placement.....I proposed the whole thing and all the chairman of the whole board were there and they approved it. So I did all independent studies my senior year, I observed classes, and wrote down notes of what they were doing wrong, and how ballet could help phys ed people. So I graduated. Only because I danced through college. In independent studies how could the teachers give me anything besides an A or B. Because I was doing my own thing, and convincing them. I wasn’t doing anything really. It was common sense. And I was bullshitting. Out of a 4.0 I graduated with a 3.8. When people tell me that anyone who graduated from college is smart...I know there’s no way. So then I auditioned between my junior and Senior year. I went down one vacation weekend and auditioned for Steven’s Lane. They were doing Hello Dolly. I did the audition and ___ ____ was the choreographer. HE really liked me and said I was a strong dancer. And Rick ____ was the assistant. So they wanted me to do it and they signed me. So that was my first summer stock job. And I did Fiorello, and Hello Dolly. That was a trip. It was the first time I was around the people I was afraid of being around.....because people would relate me to those people. There were gay people. And Harriet Lighter. She’s a big, big woman. A big woman. I had to go to Boston. And she was doing this fat lady in Hello Dolly, Ernestina. This lady had arms like this. So I’m sitting there and she’s walking down the isle of the train and I’m saying, well I’m coming in contact with these people real quick. I know her. She’s in the show. She looks like a bull fighter. She was a monster. So I’m saying, okay, she’s one fag person. There’s a dike. So I’m looking at all the guys saying: I wonder which one’s gay. I was real paranoid. It was a whole trip for me. It was the first time I was around those kind of people and I had to relax. I coldn’t put them down for what they were. And they couldn’t put me down for being paranoid, or what I was. One day after rehearsal, Rich was the dance captain and he was teaching everything, and George hasn’t come up yet So at the audition I though George was real butch. I went home and said, Mom...you got it all wrong. They’re real butch. They’re strong dancers. Now Rick Atwell is a strong dancer. You should see them They’re real masculine. Don’t worry about a thing. (Pause) George came. And we went out to dinner. Welll,,,we talked, what thick this one what, who did that. He was real Nellie, real nervous, and we were sitting at dinner and I was shaking ‘cause now I was really getting exposed. Well I was shaking and they were carrying on. The dinner was over, and I was like this, and we were walking down the street, and I’m walking with Rick, and with George and a couple other guys. And we go into this supermarket. Are you ready for this? George was really being tacky. I don’t know if he was doing it to get me, like over my fear. So Rick and him start talking about Vaseline and this that and the other thing. I was putting two and two together and said well.....I go back, pick up the phone call home and : GETTTT MEEEEE OUTTT OFFF HERE”!!! I gotta get out of here, I can’t take it. I’m really getting nervous. If that’s what they want to do that’s ok, this is what I want to do I still want to be a dancer. They can’t stop me, I’ve been dancing my ass off since I was 14...2 years in college. Anyway, I got through the whole thing, got through the season. And I loved them at the end. Well that summer I was getting married,....I was really hassled. I had to leave Hello Dolly and they were going someplace else. But I did 4-6 weeks at North Shore. I really got to love Rick and all those people. And when it was over, I cried my eyes out. And I was going to get married and that was a whole other thing because I thought maybe it was going to stop me from getting somewhere because I really had that responsibility of getting a job, that dancing wasn’t a secure thing. I wasn’t anywhere yet, it was just my first summer stock job. And here I was throwing myself into it. Anyway I got married. Well Kathy had another year left at Brockport, so I packed my things and went to Brockport. Now I have no job. And we’re married. She’s going to school. I’m taking dance classes. So I said, well I’m getting some free dance classes. Bill ____ liked me and I was taking his dance classes twice a day. In the meantime I’m punching a rug. I was literally puching the rug. I did a rug as big as this, I was So anyway I got another summer stock job. George called me up and wanted me to be his dance captain. So I went out and was a dance captain. So we did a whole big thing with Tappan Zee Playhouse. From that it was going to close and Kathy was touring around with me. Then I auditioned for Music Fair and I got Mame and did it with Angela Lansbury. Diana ____ recommended me to Johnny Sharp to do Oklahoma. And Kathy did Oklahoma. So that worked out fine. (Following is on other transcription) Sammy First, I’d like to say hello to all my friends in South Philly. I remember that I was in the park on day with my family ___Park, a very chic park. And I had to go to the bathroom, real bad. Voice All these toilet stories. Sammy So I went into the john, and there were like to ____, Anyway this guy is standing there yanking his whack. And I absolutely freaked, I couldn’t even go to the bathroom. I was so nervous. I ran out of the bathroom. And there was my family. Now I’m 12 years old, so what do you say. I knew there was something amiss someplace, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. 12 was a very heavy year for me. I was taking dancing lessons and having a grand time of that, but still being called a sissy at school, and I had developed a whole uptight thing about that. I was asked to audition. My dancing teacher’s daughter was in the business professionally and she was working at Labertville Music Circus. They were doing South Pacific. They needed two little kids. So I was asked to audition. I get to this place, did my little combination and got the job. Now I didn’t now a musical from a box lunch. I did recitals, 100 people, what’s that. We get into rehearsals and we do this whole thing. Well opening night, I walk on stage and I’m surrounded by thousands of people, and I completely freaked. But I got into it and enjoyed it. For the first time I was in an atmosphere where people did not mock me for dancing....I really enjoyed that whole feeling. But at the same time there were all these strange types of guys running around, and t was the same type of thing as in the john...I was getting these...and wasn’t quite digging all this. I continued on with dancing, and my dancing teacher had a heart attack. After all this was over, I went back to my dancing school, my teacher had a heart attack and couldn’t teach anymore. That was a big bummer....I went around to different dancing schools. It was a drag. It got worse in school. Whenever I’d walk down the halls and the kids would call me twinkle toes, ballerina....and all that stuff. I was really uptight. So I stopped dancing but they would have auditions for the school shows. I would always want to do it. I would force myself. The teachers knew I was a dancer and they would coax me into it and once I did it was all fun. The people connected with the shows were fabulous. I get into high school and it really got bad. This is when I get into the whole trip about my fantast. I wasn’t dancing, I was out of the picture, but I was into the school shows. But I was getting into everything that had to do with theater...or music, or whatever. Just had to be about these people, I felt comfortable. They didn’t knock me or anything like that. My sister was a greaser! My brother was a greaser! And I was very collegiate. So I was always different than them. I loved them very much but there was never any competition between us. I still very much wanted to perform, and my family was poor. Tranton New Jersey is really teacky....so I just got involved in school shows, and thought maybe since I’m not dancing, maybe I’ll be accepted by the guys. I wasn’t accepted by the guys...so I tried sports and I fucked up in sports. I was quite uncoordinated in sports. I would go out drinking with the guys, I would get plastered and come home and be sick the next day of Christian Brothers brandy. Well I came home green....green.....I said well that’s it. That didn’t work. So my sister was the first one to get pregnant on the block. After that there was lots of shit going on. So my sister quit school and went to California to have this baby, she was trying to cover it up and all this bullshit. My brother and I had to kind of go into school and keep our chin up. I always remember my parents being a happy couple. They had their arguments but nothing terrific....well we had a Thanksgiving dinner, just the four of us. My sister had left. And my father left. He just up and left for no rason at all. My brother and I had to go out and get part time jobs. Dancing was really out of the picture by this time. Then my brother went into the service and I was the one left with Mama! And I was there for 3 years. I was an unbelievable three years. Three years I thought why, why, why, why, why. And three years I said I don’t know, you just don’t know. And I had graduated from high school ad I had gotten myself a job working for the state. They had this thing called Theater in the Park. I thought gee if I could audition and get this thing. So I did, and I got it. That was the first time in a long time I’d been connected with the theater in any way, shape or form. I hadn’t danced or anything, I just loved it so much that I did it for four summers, in Trenton. So I decided to go to night school. I hated high school so much that I took business courses, and I knew you had to get good grades, because being in shows you had to get good grades. So I was flopping off on this day and doing good on this day. When I was working for the state I was out every other day, I really was. I couldn’t stand it...the more I got into being around theater people the more I danced, the more I said this is it. This is fabulous. So I was going to night school and got into the theater department there. They were doing Carousel. They had opened a new theater that season at the college. And tommy Tune came down to choreograph some work. I missed the whole thing. I have to tell you about my first sexual experience in high school. This is a very funny story. We were down in Wildwood New Jersey. Now this is the timw I was trying to be butch. Trying to get into sports, drinking with the guys and all this crap. We were in Wildwood for a week. We were in this house and we all got drunk. Now this girl goes into the closet. She was smashed. With a bottle of liquor. And so I got real breave and decided I’d go into the closet and see what this was that everybody was talking about. And I get into the closet, necking. Very sloppily getting undressed. All of a sudden there was a knock on the door. Who is it? No answer. Who is it? No answer. Finally the guy said: this is the cope. Well I ran out of that closet so fast, left her in there....they opened the door and I was out of the door. Absolutely petrified. Well this is it I thought. This isn’t it either. This is definitely not it. So..... this happened like 2 years before I got into Theater in the Park. I didn’t want to go to school. I had no interest in it. I watched TV all the time, the old musical shows....I had no concept of NYC at all. It was another world. I never thought I’d get to New York because I never though that I wanted to be a dancer. So when I got involved in this theater department, I got involved with some people and they said you really should go to NYC. Well Tommy Tune came down. He said why don’t you come to NY and audition. I was 18, still working for the state during the day, and for the parks during the summer. I really got disgusted with the state at this point. I worked for the department of transportation. In the Motor Division. Take care of all the trucks. And here is this thing tipping around. I was the true closet queen. At that point. I was tipping around and all these guys were coming around and doing these numbers on me head. And I said, This ain’t it either. There’s got to be someplace in this world for me. Trenton, NJ had been such a bummer up to this point. With all this crap about my family, it was too much, I had to get away...but where, and how? I was finding an escape route. Something I could latch on ti. And theater was it. So I came to NY Auditioned forTommy Tune. I was awful. I couldn’t dance a step. I had won a ballet scholarship in the meantime and had taken ballet for 1 year. I didn’t think I was ready for NYc but Judy Gibson and a few other people that were connected, we all went together. Steve Anthony When I was very young I had a lot of fantasies. One thing that I realized at a very young age was that my parents gave me so much love, devoured me with love. It got to the point that I really hated them for it. I felt that they owed this love to me because I was an only child. I was the prize possession of the family all of a sudden. It really fucked up my life a lot because I....my main thing is to find someone who loves me because they love me, not because they owe it to me. Not a lot ofpeople, just one person. It really fucked me up a lot career-wise. Like when I was 12 I was still taking lessons, and teaching. I never really had a childhood. I grew up very fast. But one thing I remember because I always fantasized about being Scandanavian and being blonde. I thought I was really ugly, but I could dance. So I went through my early life thinking this. By the time I got into high school my cousin hated me all my life, really liked me because I was something now. I got laughed at a lot in school when I was young. Grammar school days. I leaned to hate so much...and now I either love or hate, there’s no in between. I either like someone or I don’t. So when I got intohigh school I was liked I got along well with the kids. So for 2 years I decided I wanted to have a high school life, and be a kid like I never really was. On Fri and Sat you go out with the guys drinking beer, driving downtown, the whole thing. Then I stopped dancing for 2 years, I really got into skiing. My dance teacher was screaming, you’re gonna kill yourself, or break a leg. But I really got off on it. When I was 14 the dance instructor send me auditioning to the Kenley players, and like Johnny Kenley fell in love with me....and bought me my Equity card. So all of a sudden there I was. So I figured that every summer when school was out I’d go work for him, which I did for like six years. Every summer. So I came to NY when I was 16 for a visit. I didn’t know what I wanted, I mean I knew I was dancing and had this little career and all that, in Ohio. I though maybe I’d go to college. So I came to NY and the first show I saw was Anne Miller in Mame. Then I saw Hair, and that Saturday Night I saw Promises, Promises which freaked me out! When _____ came out in Ohio, I was doing some community theater stuff and everyone went to see Promises, and I went to see the show. And like all the kids was asking questioned, and fell in love with Donna McKechknie. She was an idol to me and I was saying, that’s what I want to do. So I’m dancing Turkey Lurkey down the hall. As soon as I graduated I got out of the house. I moved to NY at 9am in the morning and at 11 I auditioned for Prince St. Players which I got, which kept me working for another 9 months. I really didn’t want to be here, I didn’t like the city. I mean, I loved the city, but I thought I was too young. I didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t dance any differently than I do now. I’d go to a Bway show and get down to the last 15 and then I’d be cut at the last 11 because I was too cmall, or too baby looking. I said huh. So after the first fall I was here, that summer I left to go work for John Kenley...and I got a car before I left and I was paying $240 for this empty apartment. T bought all kinds of furniture, and we rented a van in Ohio and my parents and I drove it in. I was here for one week and I called and said get me out of here!! So I called home and said, look I’m coming back home. Rent the truck and come back here. So they do it. No questions asked. I was at home and the music conductor and composer for the Kenly players lived in Youngston and they were doing a production of Fiddler of the Roof. And when they found out that I was back in Ohio, they wanted me to do it. So I did ___. So I wrote to Equity and I had a special contract and I was being paid. I was very happy. There was a love in my life, and it was destroyed, and I’m saying come one. So there were like four shows left, and I called up and said tonight I’m leaving for Florida, sorry I have to do this to you but I have to do it. So I took off for Florida and was living with this girl that I was dating in school. Back in school I was like a stud. The girls were like afraid of me because I was balling them all. But it was like something wasn’t there. I went to Florida and I was there for like two weeks. I got a job in D.C. for the next two years working in the Hayloft Dinner Theater. I came back to NY. I decided after 2 years. I was just bumming around for two weeks. Finally I went out to Fire Island with some friends, took acid for the first time. And realizing all these things that I didn’t want to accept, but I was accepting. I was kicking in TV sets, pulling things out of the wall. But I really grew up. I never thought I could sing. That Monday, there was an audition for Promises in Paramus. I auditioned for it and go it as a singer. Which freaked me out. And then when they found out I could dance, I was dancing in it. That was like a whole trip to realize. Since I had this very mean attitude about me. I auditioned for Seesaw and got picked. Well first of all I auditioned I was stnding there. Saying, You’re gonna get this, you’ve gotta get this. And I got it. And I just started crying. I ran off stage. And I remember this red headed girl. She came up to me and said why are you crying, because you got it or you didn’t get it. I said, Because I got it. And like something clicked when I looked at her. So later on when we were rehearsing, it turned out to be Mitzi Hamilton. Who became a very important person in my life. Before I got Seesaw, when I was in NY the first time before I left. Tony Stevens was another one. I went to see Ballad of ____. I looked at the program and saw Tony Stevens. When I changed my name for equity I was Steven Anthony, I was going to change it to Tony Stevens and thought OK that’s who I’ll be. I really felt something for Tony. Being at home before I left NY I saw him again on TV specials. So finally I got into Seesaw and I had this mean attitude about me. I was disgusting, in the dressing room I was known as Divine....really trash mouth.. I was really cocky saying, OK if that’s what you have to do. OK be icky. So I got this telephone from Ron Fields who said I saw you in Seesaw. Voice ...And you were icky. Steve So I did a Laura Kenyon ____ 73. At the Baths which was really fabulous, because I’d been doing theater for so long. Not necessarily in NY. But I wanted to get out of it because my heart and my soul was really in club work. So I go this. Then I was at the Milliken audition. I hadn’t seen Tony. I never knew him. First he comes walking up and I get real nervous because he’s like a star to me. I’m standing there and he came up to me and said I saw you in Seesaw, my name is Tony Stevens and I thought you were fabulous. It freaked me out. And like I really could tell Tony what he’s done to my life, because he really drove me out a lot. From seeing him perform, I really wanted to be Tony Stevens right. So...I wrote this letter that I carried around in my dance bag for two weeks, like I knew he had helped with Irene. And so I said to Mitzi, like do you know if Tony goes to the theater, because if he does I want Micon to take this letter over and put it on the bulletin board. So Micon comes up and sayd guess who’s coming to our show: Tony Stevens. So I finally gave him the letter, and told him how I admired him and everything. We got to be really good friends. That really freaked me out. I though Seesaw was exciting, but I didn’t know who Grover Dale was, I didn’t know who Lainie Kazan was. So when Michael took over the show I was really excited. Like before that I had told you I started thinking about guys. And I really thought I was ugly, and all these guys are saying, Hey, baby...man you’re really beautiful. Thay was like another whole thing in my life I couldn’t handle...right, Denmark. So I’m saying now, what do I really want. Mitzi went with me, I drug her. She didn’t know what she was doing then either. For the next couple of weeks we were freaked and I’m saying, get us out of here. I said we must have done something really bad to deserve this. But then we started getting into it, and getting into the Danish people. I kind of stayed away from the Americans that were there. It freaked a lot of people out. Mitzi and I became desperate enemies, we like almost killed each other. And we had to dance with each other which made it worse, like she’d walk on stage and I’d say: Oh Mitzi. And like Jackie too. Jackie and I had a lot of fights over there. And like Jackie’s my friend...I didn’t’ want to fight with anybody. Like no one was seeing eye to eye and I thought I was going to stay over there. Jackie and I were teaching over there and it was really fabulous. These two little old ladies who were really wealthy, they wanted to build something and they wanted me to be like a dance teacher. So this building is going to be completed in August. And I’m supposed to be there, but I’m back here. I had this whole thing going over there. Being 22 I could go back in jeans and have a nice life. But I don’t really know what I want. I don’t want to be famous. I just want to be Donna McKechnie, Tony Stevens, Michael Bennett. So I come back and call my neighborhood analyst...Kelly Bishop. So I’m on the phone, saying God what’s happening to me. She’s aying well think about this and that...I broke out with this disease all over my body, and went to a dermatologist. He said it was nerves. So I went home for awhile. I started talking to people back there, like my dance teacher. Who is like 55 years old and is going through what I’m going through now. So I’m saying, thank god it’s happening now. Because at 55... I come back to NY and Tommy Walsh had a party. It was the first time I was back with Mitzi after the catastrophe in Denmark. I was really nervous at seeing Mitzi and Tony. And everyone that was there. I called Kelly and ran over there and got real stoned. So Kelly is saying, now relax Steven. I’m sitting on the couch and she’s aying now just sit back and relax. So I got into it and really was scared. So like this week it’s been fabulous for me because I’ve tried to...’ve been talking to Micon. I decided I can’t let this love thing hang me up because I hang so desperately to people it’s a thing that I have to stop. I call Micon...I’ve been thinking of becoming a Buddhist. Caus I need something. I don’t want more love because that’s like a downfall for me. Kelly Did we all feel unattractive. You know that song, Dorris Day? I said when I grow up I will be pretty. She she said no! She said you’ll be very attractive, you’ll be different. I know she meant well. But she said you are not pretty. And to this day that’s a thing, but when you dance you are pretty. I guess I wanted to be an actress. I guess I still do. Because even the dancing is an act. There was a movie about a little girl in Russia with a ballet school..Then it became a movie about...I went through all the things with Cyd Charisse and all that, and it’s constantly a movie, even into my private life. I stage it beautifully. I keep doubting myself, how much of this is real. I do live in this fantasy world. Where was I. I kept studying. I went through the boy thing, I went through the horse thing. I was fabulous, I could outrun everybody because I was a ballet dancer. I went through all those things but I constantly expected to be a ballet dancer, and I never questioned it. And especially my mother playing the piano for class to pay for my lessons. It was that same kind of guilt trip. They sacrifice for me. She did sacrifice and she wanted me to be a ballet dancer, and I owe it to her to be a dancer. And yet at the same time I really love it, it’s the only place I can get off. Then my parents got divorced when I was 14. I thought thank god, I knew it since I was five, and thought why did it take them so long. But when it happened it was a trauma, but a good trauma you could go to the dean and cry. And wear your hair in a bun, and get your ears pierced. And it would have been possible anyway but you were doing these things because you didn’t want to go out with those boys, it was the same thing, good in art, good in psychology, fantastic in drama. And getting into the special phys ed things so that you could do modern dance class the last two years of high school, not playing basketball. I would have to get the basketball on the finger, it’s never been the same. I just came straight to New York very naively. I played that whole game. My last two years in high school I realized my male teachers found me very attractive. The boys didn’t but the male teachers did. I placed myself front and center in every class. Cause I thought you’ve got 2 more years, you have to go through it, you might as well get good grades. And I approached it the whole way and got straight A’s both years and was flirting violently with all these teachers. If I got a woman, I got out of class and changed it to something a man was teaching. So it was that same thing of maneuvering people, you always knew you could do it. Always having older men fall in love with me and getting to the moment of truth so to speak, I was terrifies, absolutely terrified. That’s the part in the movies when it’s intermission, you go and get popcorn. Finally at 16 I forced myself to have a sexual experience so I would no longer be a virgin. Not to tell anyone, but to know that I was a woman at last. Didn’t have sex then for two more years because it was so awful. I felt so awful the next day, I thought, what did you do.Anyway, then ballet theater. I was supposed to get into ballet theater. My teacher was a __ of ballet theater. I wanted to be like ___ Serrano because she could jump, and she was strong and fiery. Already balled was confining. I was always a character dancer at the square dances. Every once in a while they would give me something soft. And so I went to New York, that same niave thing. They said, well it’s just a formality, you’ll get it. I auditioned and was the best one at the audition. I was like a little Lupe Serrano, and they called me back to the final, But I noticed that Lucia wasn’t looking at me. My teacher kept poking her and going like this and she kept going like that, and they didn’t take me. The I went through months of trying to figure out, why people who literally couldn’t do two pirouettes in class. And then about three years later I figured it out, they were looking fo chorus.....not stars! I could do leaps, and turns, and I just didn’t fit in with the mold, the blonde hair and blue eyes, the nose. I went to Radio City Music Hall and auditioned for the ballet company and had to do 16 fuette on point and got through it. It was the hardest audition of my life, but. But that’s why I went and it was my first and last ballet job, if you can call it that. I lived in a room on West EndAvenue, with this woman who had advertised in the paper saying, nice Catholic girl seeks roommate. And I was....we figured she must be a nice girl if she put Catholic in the paper. Actually she was an older woman, and there were a lot of crucifixes around the house. She had this fabulous big apartment with all these middle aged ladies that didn’t have money but didn’t work, and young girls who worked at the UN and couldn’t speak English. Then I found a roommate, went to Jackson Heights. Hated that a lot. Then I met a man. It wasn’t the first, but it was the first serious one, and I wover in with him. That’s 18. Tom When I was 12 I wasn’t so terrific looking either. I had to go get braces, and do that whole number. I had a hard time in high school. I was always being knocked into lockers and shit like that. Not only by students, but by teachers too. I understand now. So when I was in HS it was a really heavy trip for me. I took very academic things. I was going to be a dentist. I was over being a priest, and was going to be a dentist. I was going to have a nice house (Next part is in other transcription) (girl needed partner for dancing school. Mother – Harold & Maudo. Didn’t get into Juilliard) So I went to the Boston Conservatory. I went into the freshman class of about 60 really bizarre kind of kids and we were being conducted like first year dance students. It freaked me out, we would hold hands in a circle, and that wouldn’t even let us turn out, and I was into a lot heavier trips than not even turning out. I was thinking wow, my parents are spending three or four bills for me to go there. No knowing anything about scholarshipsor anything. I wasn’t into any of the boys at all, I was still into pretty girls. I had inclinations of being a homosexual. I had experiences, like the first day as soon as I came into Boston, with a bizarre medical student. But I was still getting into being an individual. I thought that being a homosexual was very weak. So I couldn’t do that. I also couldn’t stand the school because it was holding me back and was also a waste of my time. The only reason I went there was because I had nothing else to do, and because of the draft which was a big thing then. And lottery number, and I think my # was 84. So I would have been hauled in real fast. So I tried to do that for like 2 years. To deal with college and these people that were chasaying around the room, step, step. I was going now wait a minute, I knew there had to be someplace else..I got fed up with it. And a gentleman that I was fond of at that time was leaving so I left with him, to find something bigger and better. And that was about 4 years ago, and here I am. I haven’t had too many disappointments and now I’m trying to deal with them, and it’s very hard. Everything had kind of come very easy to me, it had kind of fallen in my lap. I haven’t had to punch anyone in the head. I would like to go on that way. Andy At 12 I started getting into ballroom dancing. I was a ballroom dance freak. My big idol was Gower Champion. He was Cyd Charisse, I was Gower Champion. Gower was god, wrong but he was. Got into this ballroom lot. It brought me back to New York for a championship which I won. It was American Dance Education. Something like that, I really hated it, washed it out. I got back to the cost. Went to high school. There had been summer stock theater in San Carlos, and I decided to audition for it. It was Bye Bye Birdie. I was still doing Gower Champion. (This was in other transcription) (Lost mother in Chicago – Friend like a brother) (Note after line: I realized home was in the theater) (Diploma from Carol Channing) Thank god for Gower, he called me up and I did the Happy Time. Fucked around in that a lot. That’s acid days. Still was Mr. Cool. Happy Time brought me back to NY...so I’ll stop there. Candy Up to Candy’s speech on D13 Tape 4 Chris I had to dance because they needed boys desperately. And any boy that could move halfway decently, he got in. From then on it was sheer torture, I picked up steps but I couldn’t get thetechnique. And they all thought I would never, never dance. The big thing was the concert, when you were a junior you could be in the concert. They wouldn’t let me dance in the concert, I wasn’t good enough yet, in my Senior year, I finally danced. That was terrific. I did the Grand Pas de Deux with a fabulous girl. I graduated PA and they still thought I wouldn’t dance. I graduated with a booming 85, I was a ballet major. They gave me a scholarship because I was a boy. I went to Hunter College for a year and got involved in all the theater there. I kept sleeping til Luigi’s for Jazz Class. Finally left for college and I was having all kinds of emotional trips with my sexuality, and all that. I had ____ in my house. Cause I told them I was gay and I stayed out all night and they threw me out of my own house. I went to live with my aunt. They caught me fooling around there. They threw me out of my aunt’s house. So then....I was 16. So then I went to live with these two ___ who wore makeup all the time. We lived in Jamaica. I was working in May’s Department store. I was a cashier. I just left college. It wasn’t for me. I wanted to dance, I wanted to be in show business and when I left college my brother had just been accepted to Medical school, that was a big thing. My father said “Your brother’s going to medical school....and you’re dropping out of college.” He always said, you’ll never be more than a chorus boy. And I think that’s what keeps driving me. To be more than a chorus boy. Finally there was an audition for a replacement in a show at the Playboy Club. A Revue. They needed one replacement and I got that. Got involved with all these false people, got my name changed, and went around with this false identity trip – I was Chris Chadman with an Engligh background, had a family crest. I went through all kinds of stipid trips over that. Somebody had me under their wing, and through their legs and all that. I had no communication with my family at all...none. And then I was taking classes at Luigi’s and Bob Ordy saw me there and he hired me to do a summer stock job. That worked out great. Came back home. I auditioned for B’way shows and got. Voice Did you feel you had to tell your family you were gay? Did you volunteer that to them? Chris Yes. I hated it, I hated being gay. I was miserable. I thought being gay meant being a bum for the rest of your life. I remember thinking I’ll never be able to wear nice clothes, and I was always into clothes. I hated it. I wanted to be straight. My idea of being gay was being a 42nd street homosexual and that was it. I told them because I was very unhappy. Voice You thought they would help you? Chris Yeh. I needed help, I needed understanding. Voice And they were freaked out. Chris Yeh. I went to four psychiatrists. The more I’d go to the psychiatrist the more I’d say, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. My parents threw me out because one Christmas Eve I stayed out all night, and told them I wasn’t coming home that night. They said if you don’t come home tonight, don’t come home at all. So I didn’t come home at all. So the next time when I was at my aunts I stayed out again, and got a note from my father. I never liked him much either. The note said: You’d better get out or else. And I guess that meant I’ll kill you. My father and I had a big confrontation the next morning where he almost killed me, so I thought he meant business. Steve About an identity crisis for all male dancers. That’s really a very big trip. I personally didn’t go through it that heavily until one time when I was about 21. I think that one of the guys who kind of turned my life into a dancer was Neil Schwartz. Who I loathe from the bottom of my heart, not because he got me into fance, but because he’s one of those vicious people in the theater and I’ve come to meet about three or four of them. Most of the people in the theater I really like. Although they’re not my closest friends. I still have the friend, the friends who I’ve had since I was six years old are still my closest friends. That’s why they’re my friends as deeply as they are. Neil Schwartz was in my tap dancing school. And I was very competitive. In the streets of NY..we would play stick ball or sewer to sewer. There was this guy Stuart, he’s about 34-35. He changed his name several times now, had a nose job. You all know who he is. He lived in the next building from me, was about 5-6 years older. I was always playing slug and baseball in the streets. The guys would see this mat with a funny looking bag – it was a dance bag, and we all made fun. Hey wait a minute, stop playing....as this guy walks in fron of the game. So it was kind of like he wa th subject of our humor, or lack of humor, or lack of understanding certainly. But I could see a lot of you guys in that kind of situation. Because I had this dualism going. I had approval. I was like a vanguard in a lot of ways, because I was the best athlete in my neighborhood...my father taught me how to play ball, and that kind of thing. Anyway, so Neil Schwartz was in this tap dancing school downtown. Loid Prime had this thing uptown at Ellsmere in the Bronx, I used to go on Wednesday, she came over to me and said Listen you’re very good. I was about 10 – why don’t you come study with my downtown, because you’ve obviously gone as far as you can go here. You have to take some more tap dancing. I spoke to my mother and she said ok, so I started traveling I was about 11. I was traveling downtown. Sometimes my mother would take me, but then I started rejecting that trip, because it wasn’t the thing to do so I’d go by myself. So Neil, some other guy, and Jerry....your Friend. Right, Greg, I keep calling him Jerry. Anyway, we wound up at 82nd and B’way at the Lois Palm Dance Studio. I happen to live on 83rd and B’way right now, which is kind of moving back to your hotel across the street. Anyway there I was. Neil was straight, Neil was straight and Danny was straight, and Gregg was straight, as far as I know. I was not conscious of the sexuality of it. It’s just the dancers I talked to were rhinestoned and that trip. They were not different from myself. Also where I had come from – baseball trip and all that, going to Performing Arts, and you can’t make the school. So it was a dare. If anybody in my neighborhood dared me to do anything I did it. Jumping through basketball hoop straight through....I did it. Captain of the baseball team....president of my class in junior high, captain of the football team, captain of the basketball team, even though I was the shortest, and the guy that belonged to Christian Kings....I took over his club, also his chick. I had that kind of life. It kind of wove, I didn’t have to work hard for any of these things, they were just kind of there....so I auditioned for Performing Arts, at that time I was president of my junior high class, and Dr. Yokum, another landmark in my life. I auditioned in January, it was really strange – Bruce Becker was auditioning and several other guys. I remember Bruce did a modern dance trhat to this day was the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen, his aunt, Helen Timiras, choreographed it for hin and Danny Megran, was there, he was on the board. I was watching this kid and he was unbelievable. So I did my tap dance...da...dadada...da.. I remember this blone, about 5’6”, she was a senior and they were keeping with the auditions. I was smiling at her. This chick is really far out....Sherry something....really gorgeous. To this day I remember....anyway Performing Arts is a trip, as Chris will tell you. Obviously they needed male dancers, so we were very good. Do. Yokum comes over to Bruce and I. Bruce was in, he was in. I was checking this out, you know you start on a baseball team you know how to case out the guys who you’re up against. I cased him up and boy he had it made. So when I got called over with him it was like an audition, I see it now clearly. You get called with the guy that’s terrific and you’re really in. So Yokum called to me, and said you’re pretty good. We need some dancers in here, and we want you to come in right away. I didn’t want to go in right then because I had it knocked in junior high... Jordon L. Mott 22, I was president of the class captain of the teams, and I had already choreographed little shows and it wasn’t like hey he’s a dancer. But the chicks were coming my way, and I was still into that other world. That’s the dualism. I guess it’s different than the rest of us. I said to Dr. Yokum, I can’t come in because I’m carrying this very heavy curriculum in Jordon L. Mott. So she said, you’re full of shit. That’s why I loved Yokum, she really had me. She said you’ve got to come in because you’re already six months behind. In other words I was coming in as a freshman 6 mon. later than all the other freshman. So I couldn’t kick her around anymore. She said she’d get me out of the other school and, that’s what happened, I had to give up my presidency at Jordon L. Mott, it was really heave. I went back to graduation too. At that time I had split my head open because I had a fight at performing arts. If you’ve ever been in that place, the staircases are really short. I was having a fight with this sr. ripping him apart, I started chasing him, I jumped at him, and hit my head on the front of this ledge and whew, right out. I get up and I’m stunned. I put my hand on my head and I’m bleeding like a sieve. One of the teachers came over and said: You alright. I said sure. And OUT. Eight stitches in the head at Polyclinic, 50th St. There I was in P.A. from the Bronx and when we danced I wore pants. Like all those recitals you go to. I had sailor pants. So what they did in P.A. which was good, regimented. There was a trip for all the students that went there. They put you into tights. Now I didn’t care about the tights, but I didn’t like wearing the dance belt. I used to wear a jock strap. So Neil Schwartz sells me the first dance belt. I didn’t even know what it was. Neil was about 34 around the waist and I might have been 21. He sold me his dance belt. I didn’t know what the hell I was buying. So I put on this dance belt, the thing just came down to about here. There we were in a ballet class, and I’m running around, jumping. And somehow these chicks are looking at me like I’m some sort of freak. My thing was hanging down a little bit. I keep looking at these chicks, and they’re very cool. They had those tights pulled down here with the cleavage, and pulled up in the French thing. They’d been dancing 10 years and they were already 12. So I’d get an erection every now and then. Running around doing split jumps with _____ and ______. It was a trip. In a small room no less. It was rough for me. John Mineo, Michael Stewart. All these guys as ar as I saw were straight, so there was no dealing with someone other than Ray Sagara. I’m in the dressing room one day...we’re like the freshman and sophomore class and he comes into the dressing room one day, and he’s kind of casing me. I didn’t know what was going on, maybe I do. Anyway he’s checking me out – and he starts making motions toward me – and I do a number on him. I beat him up. Fran Weissman who was the hippest of the ship started yelling at me because they pulled Ray Sagara out. I was going to kill hi. She says, in the middle of the room, I was so embarrassed. I was furious from the fight. I was ready to do a number on this guy that I didn’t understand, obviously I didn’t care about, and he was doing a thing to me. And she’s yelling “What are you afraid of him, you afraid of homosexuals, are you afraid you’re a homosexual.” I was like, WOW this is really nuts. And so I was ready to kill her too. There were a lot of girls around, and a couple o guys around, but I wasn’t worried about the guys. So Fran Weissman and I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and then said Fuck them. They’re crazy. The guy was trying to grab my nuts. Priscilla I love it. Steve I grabbed hold of Fran, about three days later and said, you got to talk to me. I was hung up about it. I said why did you say that to me. We started talking so there would be no more heat about me beating up Ray Sagara, but we were friends. She explained the whole trip, and I promised myself I’d never beat up homosexuals out of that kind of frustration. Voice Bullshit. Steve That shot was difference. I apologized to Ray Sagara. But in that dressing room was Wesley Penza, and Mike Nesta. We used to play shot for shot in the arm. You really were pent up. We played ball in this rectangular. I tried to start basketball teams. I ran around with ______, _______, _______. These were the guys that were in Mean Streets these were the exact same guys. From different schools who wanted to dig the chicks at P.A. We were the monitors to keep them out. We’d toss twice to see who was going to beat this guy up. We were so call. There was this guy shitting in his pants. And there’s Joe Reynolds tossing a coin: Heads you beat him up, tails I’ll beat him up. SO this kid’s standing there, and he pulls a pistol on him. So Joe wants to kill him right there. The next day Joe comes back, his father’s in the Mafia, and he now has a 45 right? I says wait a minute, let me get out. This is 13-14 David Wood wants to throw me out of P.A. I came into P.A. not knowing what was going on. I had never taken Modern Dance, didn’t take ballet. I liked ballet, but funny kids go to ballet...I didn’t mind the tights so much as the ballet shoes. Voice They do such funny things to you feet. Steve Right. Right. And my feet were so good at that time. Well David Wood was what I pictured to be a male dancer. He was so strong, he jumped and his feet were fantastic. I was a little rebellious of that. I would start with anybody, if they didn’t do what I told them I’d beat them up. It was that simple. I hardly ever lost. Well David Wood read me very well, he understood my whole thing. You know Lonnie Yokum...he’s married to Barbara, Shari Lewis’ sister. David Wood wanted to throw me out of P.A. because I was starting fights with everybody. Finally he got me together with a girl named Vivian Bachrach and we did a dance called The Initiate. A unbelievable dance, made for me, aggressive, put down...this chick had to get into a group I was in charge of. It was my whole life, just like it was. Everybody wanted to get into my group, a group that I was in charge of. So I did the initiate, and it was fantastic and I loved it. And David wanted to throw me out because he caught me balling some chick on the back stairs. And It wasn’t Vivian Bachrach. So I cried. It was a big point for me. I wanted to do the dance with Vivian, and we wanted to do it for our graduation. Everybody was there. Martha Hill Gertrude Schere. They were all there. Clive Barnes. It was a panel that had to pass you out of P.A. Anyway I got all A’s. the dance merit. I graduated. Jose Ramon came to see the graduation and he asked, Bob Remer, Louis Falco and myself to join his company. The next couple of years were interesting. I met some strange chicks that worked from the Café Bizarre. I went through a whole pot thing when I was 14. I was pushed very exclusively into a cultural thing in Greenwhich Village, which was very different than my Bronx background. Again there was my dualism of life, extended another echelon. So then when I went with Jose Ramon it was noather extension for me, he was a student of Doris Humphrey for who was a peer of Martha Graham. This is big time. Lucas ______. Voice This is so intellectual. Steve I toured with Jose Ramon in South America for about a year. I was 16 ½. My parents wanted to see me go because I was hip on going to SA for a year. I was in the SP in jr. hi. My marks were terrific, and I wanted to go to college eventually. I spent my 17th birthday in Mexico. I came back and got a scholarship to Julliard. I studied from 9am-6pm six days a week. I was in Ramon’s company doing concerts. I was really tired. Really bored. What was lost was my Bronx trip. I was living in the Bronx, commuting all the way down to 123rd. Beside that I was making $49/week. When I went to S.A. I was making $480 plus per diem...it was a state sponsored tour. I said Jose, I can’t put my eggs in one basket. I was taking every course possible that one year, because I decided I was breaking up with that chick. She was in Julliard, Dawn Baker. A real rich chick. So I left again for the far east. I came back, dropped out of college, and got drafted. That was ok. I didn’t mind so much, because at this point it was let me leave her and go onto something else. It was 62-63. The Berlin Crisis. I didn’t dance in the Army at all, I fought a little bit. With the enemy whoever that was. I came out of the Army and wanted to get involved in several different things. I auditioned for the road tour of Camelot. I did 3 weeks in Houston as a construction worker and came back and auditioned and Pat Reilley hired me. It was about the last 2-3 max in Phila-Wash. Now all my background was in Modern Dance. The audition was modern dance, that June number. What happened interestingly enough in Camelot was another homosexual thing. I was 21. I came into Camelot. There were 15 male dancers besides myself, and 14 of them were gay. The other guy was Barry Preston. He knew my name from P.A. He had heard my name, you know how your name kind of drifts out for a couple of years, and then dissolves. This was my first Broadway encounter. Nick I mean being around a lot of gay dancers, as opposed to straight. Steve Yes. Even in Jose’s company, there was a jocularness about it but nobody was trying to make anybody. There were a lot of chicks looking to get laid all the time. At one point, there was a blackout after the main number and we had to clear the stage down stage left. There was this chick that always grabbed my ass and carry on. And so one night someone grabbed my ass, and it wasn’t the same kind of grab, so I hung onto the wrist. And I turned around and looked, and it turned out to be Stirling Smith...Hayden Smith. So I slammed him up against the light board, I put my hand around his neck and lifted him up about three inches off the ground and was going to kill him on the spot. Because it really wasn’t that kind of a grab. The Ray Segara trip came all back. I released him and said don’t ever do that again. That was my recognition of understanding. Chris, your punch was a reaction...At one time in a show, we were kidding around, he punched me, and hit me hard. Chris I didn’t punch you. Steve You stepped on my foot. I went OOH...and that’s when I crippled Chris... Denise At 12. When I think back to high school it’s a whole head thing of years, and are you accepted. The garbage that goes on. My mother always said she’d never go back to high school. Not if they paid her to be young again. It’s really a mess. You want to go on, but at the same time I really felt strange. I’m 12, I’m living in a nice house. Little Women and all that. The area we lived in, Irwin H.S. had a bad reputation. The chicks, there were always ambulances coming up for pregnant chicks. Girls were always getting laid in closets. Bad school. Mom wanted to get me out of there, we moved. We moved into the house of a man she’d been going with for umpteen years. He was like my father and I guess I related to him. I didn’t like him very much. He was a pilot in A.F. and was transferred to Montana, he gave us his house to live in. It was in the area of a very social high school. So I’m in my freshman year, it was a fantasy. The only time I pick up memories from high school is when I was 16 and that summer I got West Side Story in Festival Theater. And all of a sudden everything started clicking. I started having a ball in high school and I was like a looker and watcher with the sororities, and cheerleading. Candy was the chick I enjoyed watching, and listening to. I was in a sorority, I don’t know why, but I really dug all the girls, sitting around, and I was always listening and watching. Modern Dance club. Majorette...I wasn’t a majorette, but I loved to twirl a lot. Dancing was always there, I was always going to classes and stuff. But it was never like I’m going to be a dancer, until my senior year. I started thinking then, I’m going to graduate, where am I going to go. What am I going to do. It’s decision time. You try to be accepted by all these kids. That was my big thing. My mother always told me I was older than the other kids. That’s why I couldn’t understand them, because they were always going off and getting drunk and everything. I didn’t want to get drunk but I would go with them and watch. But I didn’t dig it, I really dug the theater. At night we’d go to the Festival Theater, a couple of my friends were involved in it too, and we’d go there and help them make props. Joke with all the stage hands. The guys were like queens and they’d always joke that way. I took one of my girl-friends who wasn’t in the theater, down to listen to these people – because they were really funny – they were more entertaining than the kids at school. She took one look at this guy, Billy, he was the King of the Festival Theater. She was so offended with the homosexuals talking like that. So my mother said it’s all relative to the way you’re brought up. You can live in a certain area and be educated in another area. Me, I was very innocent. I was 16, never dated, never kissed anybody, never did anything. My mother said I could go out when I was 16. So I started going steady. Carrying on...Dancing was always there. Remember the dance teacher with all the beautiful costumes? Well I got to a certain point and she said she couldn’t teach me anymore. I’d have to go to this other lady that was like the Civic Ballet teacher. She taught at the college, she was Miss Perfectionist. Ingebor Hoiser. She’d take you to class, and I started learning discipline. With Virginia Weaver I learned to love to dance...who cares if you’re turned out. Ingeborg...you turned out. Really point that toe. And you work hard. She taught me discipline...and she also said, I’d never be a ballet dancer. I said you shut up, you can’t tell me. So I started working really hard at this. My senior year, I was going every night, but still didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere in El Paso, Texas. I’m in the civic ballet dancing Waltz of the Flowers, toe shoes. And I’m gonna be a ballet dancer. I graduated, and still didn’t know how I was going to use that ballet – how I’d get into dancing, or how they’d ever pay me to dance. In h.s. you always take typing and shorthand, so I got a job as an insurance secretary. I was really a mess because I could never get the papers right or anything. I’d go from work at 5:30 to ballet class. One of the guys I’d graduated with Jimmy Boyd had taken off from high school and gone to North Carolina School of the Arts, and majored in dance. All he had was take dance classes, all the time. So I said that’s where I’m going to go. The audition was in February, so I worked as a sect. until February, flew to No. Carolina I’m auditioning for this man, Robert Lindgren. Ingebord used to be his student, or something. I flunked the audition and they weren’t going to let me in. So my friend told me to go to the Modern Dance audition, anything to get in. So I took that audition, it was great, more suited to me. I got in and spent two years there. In Winston Salem. That brought me closer to New York. I left all the high school business behind. I kept thinking New York is the next trip. My mother kept saying college, the degree but I had to take that next step and see what was going to happen. So she gave me $200 and I came to New York. I lived at the Rehearsal Club and started at Martha Graham the Junior Chorus. I had to figure out how to stay here. Priscilla I wanted to go back just a minute before 12. Listening to everybody it seems that it was always the mother that was the stronger, who was right there. The father seems to be off somewhere working. That was my father too, I don’t think he was off fooling around, and but was always off working, working, working. Never had nay, and to this day doesn’t have any regular hours. He just comes home when he’s finished. He was almost stranger to me. My mother was always, oh if I have to marry someone else...etc. So I got into this whole fearful thing of men. Going into when I left Minerva Novay...what I did learn was that performing thing. We had to perform from the minute we got there. Overcoming any fear of audiences. The whole thing I was saying was coming into the city and taking lessons. I started coming into NY when I was 11. An 11 year old kid isn’t that old, riding the schmucky subways. People...I was a nervous wreck after a while, afraid to tell my mother that people were exposing themselves and grabbing me and all sorts of things. One time it was Easter, and she always made these gorgeous dresses, she was sticking the pins in me and by this time I’m a nervous wreck ‘cause I know the man’s going to come back and rape e or take me away. I remember this guy followed me. I was on my way to confirmation class. My curch was the church next to Joe Allens. So I was on my way. And I could tell, people would look at me and look at me, and I turn my eyes away and pretend I didn’t see them. I was aware that one day I’d be faced with having to deal with this. So one day this man came up to me “Where are you going little girl” I said I’m going to my ballet class and like a schmuck I told him everything the address. I was terrified. This is 42nd St. off the A train waiting for the local to Fifth Avenue. The CC comes in and I jumped in. Ever since then I was petrified of the subway, and was followed from that day on, every day of my life. People doing things I couldn’t deal with. I’m saying this because of the thing with my father. Not knowing him. Being afraid of all men. When I was little I was another one of these movie kids. Always seeing the movie. If you get in before 5:00 you get in cheaper. People always said what are you going to be when you grow up and I see now that I kind of labeled it a movie star, now I see now that I kind of want, I like live performing theater. Film is so dry. If you piece it all together you can look great. But I like the now here, do it. But I could never say I wanted to be a movie star. My mother worked so her kid could have lessons. The singing teacher recommended me to this woman who would give acting lessons. She was just a big time operator who’d try to get work so she could get commissions. My mother worked for her, typing. The first thing she sent me on was an extra for West Side Story. I was 12, you had to be 14, so I put on the long earrings, high heel shoes, hair up, and little girl dress. And they picked me. (this next part if on other transcription) Every time I would do things like that it was all very positive. Time comes to go to high school, and not coming from a very nifty neighborhood, it would have been a bad school. In West Side Story there was this guy telling me about this school – Performing Arts: How you could get into it, who to go to. So it was Gertrude Scher. I go to this woman’s school, two years before I’m ever going to high school. So I can get into her training. So I get into the class and she had a bunch of schmucks. Fat people who couldn’t do anything. Here I am trying my best. Well I’m the kind of person that if you want something from me just tell me, I’ll do my best. But she was really terrible. (she starts crying here...silence). This is my group therapy. Well, anyway, I went. She was really shit... “Aw your terrible, you stink.” Really shit stuff. Well one day, she never used to call me by my name... “Well Lopez”...Which I don’t mind now I kind of like it...since ethnic is in I’ve accepted it. So she said “well if you don’t improve don’t come back here any more.” It was like the worst experience of my life. I wanted to get in that school so bad. So, the lady my mother used to type for (crying). I had to do these monologues, so I went in for acting. Strangely enough, although I didn’t know this until later on, I passed instantly when I did the monologue. But I did go through the whole waiting period. So I went there. It go through the whole waiting period. So I went there. It was very bad. I hated it. I had the drama thing. Everyone from the Bronx and Brooklyn... “dey was talkin’ like dis.” I was totally mortified. I refused to play the game. The first day in acting class we’re in the auditorium. They put us on the stage. Ok, we’re going to do improvisations. So he puts us on the floor with our legs around everybody one in back of the other. It was the schmuck Olving. Steve He died. Priscilla Thank God. He puts us there and says ok, you’re on a bobsled, it’s snowing out. O.K......GO!! So I’m the last one in the row and everybody is going WOOOOOOSSSssooooooow. And I’m sittin there saying what am I doing here. So finally the 3 minutes are up for the improvisation. So he says ok, now what did you feel? Their hands shoot up, I felt the snow, the cold, the air. So they said, what did you feel (to me). I Said I didn’t feel anything. Well that was it. He was ready to slit my throat. From that day on I could do no wrong. In that school they let children criticize other children about things they knew nothing of. Usually their criticisms are just what they think the teacher wants to hear anyway. So they knew that I wasn’t on his good side. So everytime I got up there I was torn to shreds. I couldn’t do anything right. One day I did a monologue on the Bad Seed, I was the crazy girl. Well he was truly impressed. So when they asked the class, their hands shot up: I didn’t believe her, she thought she was pretty good. They just went Ummm. So he wanted me to leave the school, and I told him. I told him I’d have to go to Girl’s High, that was the worst you can’t get any worse. So he said, well I think there’s a little spark there. Maybe something will happen. So I said, well if there’s a little spark and I leave the school, how’s this little spark ever going to burst out? I did miserably the rest of the year. I was very unhappy and then he suddenly died. And I’m telling I was so happy. I didn’t want him to die. But I felt wait this weight was lifted off my shoulder. O.K. It was better. The next year I ad a teacher who didn’t really care, so I felt free. Then my last year Vinette Carol was my teacher. She was the most beautiful wonderful lady. Voices (Mimicing the teacher Vinette Carol)...It behooves me. Priscilla I just said, Miss Carol, take my soul and my heart. It was that kind of thing, like my salvation. So in my three years there I was embarrassed that I never tried out for the Dance department. That was the big thing I got in and never went out for dance. I would run from the halls everytime I saw Gertrude Schere thinking she’d recognize me. When you spend all this time talking about school, it’s such a trauma. If you can survive it you can survive anything. If you get through it it’s all worth it you can use it for acting sometime. So comes the Christmas show, I decided I wanted to do my Spanish dance. So I did another number, with a more elaborate costume. They were all shocked. The drama kids wer all klutzes, so how could they dance. But here I got out and kicked the legs and did the whole thing. So that schmucky teacher, who had totally destroyed me came up to me and said: Well darling why aren’t you in the dance department. Well, y last year there was really good because I met Vinette Carol, I graduated, they gave me acting awards, they gave me money. Guilty conscious I guess. So I was scared, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t want to go to school, because I wasn’t really good. The school system in N.Y. was bad. Jr. Hi was a big joke, it’s a waste of time, all you learn to do is get 90’s and have a good time. You think you can really do it. So I went to P.A. with a 92 average, and slid down to 65, and never recovered. I graduated with about a 75 average. I applied to all the City schools. And they all rejected me. I was really happy about it I’d say, well I tried. But I was scared and didn’t know what to do. So Alexander’s on 59 was just opening up...All during school I was still taking dancing lessons, very heavy. I considered myself a dancer who couldn’t get into performing arts. Which I’m really happy about because it opened up a whole new area for me and I said hey, I don’t want to just dance. I want to do this too, and kind of get it all together and do it all. So I was working there.. Before that my first job was as a jr. in P.A. I got into a summer stock job as an apprentice. They wouldn’t hire me as a regular dancer, so I was paying my way and seeing these people who were being paid, and couldn’t do anything. The worse thing was the choreographer’s niece who was doing all these great parts, while I’m cleaning toilets and she’s going the part. So one night I had the spotlight...you know I controlled the spots: I felt great. The good thing was that the next year that same choreographer, was doing Lambertville, and I got a letter saying come to the audition. I thought well I guess I’ll go. It was the first time after all these millions of auditions and seeing all these girls walking in and go “Oh, Hi.” And they got the job while I’d been there three days killing myself. And so this was the first time in my life the tables were turned and someone was saying “Ohhhh, Hi.” To me. And I got the job and it was an open call and that was hot I got into Equity. It was that summer and I thought Oh, shit. Now I’ve got to compete with Equity people. So I came back, and it was my first audition as Equity, for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And when I got there and saw all these people, I thought these are all the people from the open call. It was like magic. Well Tony Mordante was assisting Michael Kidd. Wait, wait, wait, I had something else to say before that. Oh Shit...Anyway, I just wanted to say that...that oh, I know what I had to say. Once I graduated high school and started going out for jobs, I wasn’t secure then at all, in the acting. I couldn’t see myself going out and earning money acting. And since I had all these years of dancing I felt strong, so that’s why I went for the dancing calls. I was always saying this is not what I’m always going to do, there’s more to do, but working in children’s theater. Summer stock. One of my real likes...I couldn’t just say I loved dancing. I do but I love it with a little bit of this, and this. My first show was _______. Donna I feel like I want to skip over my life right now. I have written down here, the firs bikini on Coney Island. I think they kicked off me and my girlfriend. The fats are certain things, and there are other things. Dancing school, teaching when I was 13, repression in Detroit. It gets very involved. I realized how driven I was, the course was driven, which blocked out all those years of growing up in Detroit. I couldn’t let feelings connect. There were no emotions. The emotions are coming out now in my life. There’s incredible guilt about taking care of my family and making it up to them. I was a little adult at 12 and 13, I was supporting my family, I was making $75/week, from teaching in my basement. I guess it was difficult from them to accept that, especially my father. I t must have been so difficult for him to take that money. He couldn’t go on welfare, he was self employed, so for those yrs. 12 and 13 my formal education was not related to it. Got by it. I was very involved with teaching. When I was 13, Wayne Dollar came to Detroit and stared a ballet co. with the JaquetiCouncil there. So I was doing rehearsals at night. Doing my homework at 5 in the morning, getting up and going to school, cutting school early, coming home to teach my classes and taking my own lessons. Then taking the bus to Detroit for rehearsals. For a few years I was very responsible, very dedicated. I really hated school, it was an interference. So finally 12, 13, 14 – I don’t remember anything other than doing that. But something else must have been going on. But a friend of mine took me down to Detroit to audition for a series of shows. Winter stock. The stars and dancers were from New York. David _____. He was in education. I knew nothing of the world or of myself. I was sitting there watching and my friend said why don’t you take the audition. They were looking for one local dancer. I said no. I’ll just watch. But she said she had extra tights, and leotards. It was ballet all the way. All of a sudden I get in line. All the girls from ballet schools in Detroit are there. I’m doing leaps and turns. It was so easy, and I kind of liked it. Well I got chosen and she didn’t. I haven’t seen her in years, and I just got a letter from her, she married a trumpet player and lives in New Jersey and has four kids. I still feel so guilty that I got the job and she didn’t that I couldn’t answer the letter. But now I think I’ll go home and write her. That was an experience. I’d go to the dressing room and this couple were making it on the floor. I was very shocked. And one night I was waiting in the wings to go on and I saw two men kissing. And I thought: They’re kissing! It was very strange, but also wonderful in a way. It...was a wonderful connection. It made me realize I had to leave home, I must leave home and go out and work. I had to get out. I got a call from David Martin (This part is on other transcription) I don’t know how I did it, that naivete, that up against the wall survival. I felt guilty about it for years. But it was probably up to that point the healthiest thing I had done. Luckily I had all that background, all that training. That connection with the work. (Next part is on other transcription) So I got there. There’s another three act play after that. Nick Is anybody sorry about being a dancer, about being in this business. Cause however it happened, wanting to be an actor or whatever, I’m very happy now in this business. We’ve been around long enough, we’ve done it and we understand it. And we are still committed to it. It’s not here we are, we’ve been doing it for a while. I’m very happy here. Michael Well we’ll get to that later, I think everybody has thought of alternatives, and what would they do if. What are they going to do when. That kind of thing. Voice Well I’m just happy we all made it. (Laughter). Yeah. (NOTE: Here they list the shows they’ve done) Michael Okay, let’s talk about the auditions. What’s it like to get it up to go to an audition. What do you hate about auditions? END OF TAPE II Miscellaneous Files Michael So where did you come from Mitzi? Mitzi 36-22Voice What’s your name? Mitzi Mitzi Hamilton______ _______ Ann Mary. I was born in Chicago. Pisces and Aires, on the cuspid. That’s why I can never decide anything. Michael What influenced you to start dancing? Mitzi Red Shoes and Dance Ballerina Dance. Yeah, Vaughn Monroe. I was 5 and went to a little neighborhood dance school. In one hour you took them all, tap, toe, baton twirling. I have 2 brothers and one sister I’m second, which is the black sheep of the family. My father was always against my dancing, but I did it anyway. I stopped dancing for sometime, around 11 and 14 – 15. Not until I got into high school did I start. And then I started doing dance shows in school, and they’d just throw me into all these shows. And didn’t get back to studying until my jr., year. Then I was working to buy my own classes, because my father wouldn’t pay for them and all that shit. I could only afford to take one class a week. I took one ballet class a week, that’s why I have no technique. I was real close with my older brother. I used to follow him, I was like a shadow. There was 2 yrs. difference between us. I was always with the boys. Well, always there, behind them, in fact when they were playing baseball one day I got hit in the head with a bat. Knocked out. Then he got married. I never got along with my other brother. I used to take care of my little sister because there was 11 yrs. difference and when she was born my mother had to work, so I took care of my sister and was like her mother, so that’s her whole trip with me. I went to an all girls catholic H.S. when the boys school would come over to do the cantatas in the show. One Xmas I did the Xmas cantata, and we performed the Night Before Xmas...and I played the father. My sr. year. was the turning point for what I really wanted to get into. We did South Pacific, and I played Nellie Forbush. When I was in high school I was hanging around with the girls in the street and I was just into ballet. That was like the first musical I did. I don’t know. Maybe The Sound of Music, some boring show like that. I really got off on it. Then I did dumb things like dancing in a line with 16 girls, doing fair tours, $75/week. Hits of B’way came in when I was 19. That was lots of fun too because we used to do B’way excepts. ________ gave me all kinds of breaks. I got to sing ___________. Voice And here’s Mitzi, from St. Mary’s H.S. Mitzi How did you know it was St. Mary’s High School? Voice I didn’t. I swear to God. Mitzi My father and I did not speak for 3 years, from the time I was 16 to 19. He really did a number on me.
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