Friday, January 20, 2012


He was good-looking and very bold. I was wearing a striped black and tan, tight-fitting jersey dress. Great dress -- on a world tour with my dance company, I had to wear things that didn't get wrinkled.

In England and Scotland, my Dance Drama Company presented only four ballets. I appeared only at the end of the evening in "Romeo and Juliet," which Todd Bolender choreographed for me. I was training myself to be a stronger artistic director. Using a small tape recorder, I sat in the audience every night, watched the first three ballets, and whispered notes -- notes I'd give the dancers the next day. Not easy notes -- I expressed my real feeling, preparing to tell the truth to each dancer about what he or she was doing poorly and how to improve it.

At intermission, I'd race backstage -- don my costume, check makeup and hair, and head for the stage.

My "Juliet" got raves in Scotland, but in England the major ballet company had just premiered a full length version of the famous tale of star-crossed lovers, and London was in love with another Juliet, a famous new prima ballerina.

I needed morale boosting. After the show in Edinburgh, I sat with a few of my dancers in the hotel lobby, and had a drink, before phoning my husband, John Cullum, in New York. He was in a show. The time difference was weird. It was very expensive, but two minutes of I love you would cheer me up.

In the hotel lobby, the good-looking guy said "Hello --you're beautiful!" and after less than a minute of conversation, he smoothed my dress. Yes! He ran his hands down the sides of my striped tight dress as if he were molding my shape out of clay, and told me very nice things about the look of me. The specifics? I don't remember them, but he was very direct about inviting me to sleep with him.

I ummed -- probably mentioned that I was married to an actor in NY, but I was drinking a martini. What I do remember is that he was playing "Romeo." He named a famous theater in Edinburgh and suggested we meet after his matinee in his dressing room.

Did I say yes? Did I say no? I thought YES I will. I thought WHY NOT? Every evening after his show, my husband went out with his fellow actors and actresses. Was I worried, and jealous -- YES -- if you're married to a John Cullum, the best looking man in the world, you worry.

So I hemmed and hawed and murmured "maybe" to Romeo, and excused myself. I phoned NY. John was home. We talked and talked -- the bill was $76.00.

What happened? Well, I still have the striped, black and tan, tight-fitting jersey dress and it still looks good on me.

Yes, the next day, I thought about Romeo. I wasn't sure what his name was but the local papers raved about the young actor playing Romeo and said he was on the way to becoming a major star.

I spent the morning going over my taped notes, and delivered them to my company in a strong voice during the rehearsal that I scheduled for 3 to 5 in the afternoon.

I didn't know who Romeo was -- not really, not for sure, until I saw movie "Damages." Here's the trailer.

Yes, Romeo in Edinburgh was Jeremy Irons. (Like JC says, " Win some, lose some, some rained out.")

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


A well-known actress we know is suing a major movie website because when it revealed her age, she started losing jobs.

My husband, a legendary performer, is currently being offered jobs for dying grandpas, and great-grandpas with Alzheimer's. Why? Because his age is more or less known, because producers feel if you're over sixty, you are old. (JC would probably do better if he gained 20 pounds and walked with a cane.)

So artists are concerned with age. There's Picasso's haunted looking self portrait on the left. Here's a little Shakespeare: "Friends, Romans, Countrymen," keep away from the numbers.

Keep away from any food, food supplements, pills, talk shows, advisers, therapists, knowledgeable friends, counselors, TV doctors, real living doctors -- keep YOUR BODY & SOUL away from humans who say, "At your age you should ... At your age your shouldn't ..."

Keep away from I should be earning a good living. That's deadly. Also historical summaries: At age ____other artists in my field were already established. Beware of "a person my age shouldn't wear...." Beware of "a person my age can't ... "

If you' trying to sell a book, play, or style, or painting -- or trying to land a job, or go to college and get a degree, or learn a new language, craft, skill, technology, do not think about age. Do not wonder if anyone else has tried -- AT YOUR AGE -- to become a famous, successful, income-producing whatever ... Just do it.

Watch out for age-cliches, age-rationales, age as a factor.

NEVER think at my age I need a flu shot, vitamins, must keep my weight down, exercise, walk, jog. It's okay to be aware of bladder control, but why am I forgetting things? why didn't I hear that? -- THAT will get you to conclusions about how often you need to see the doctor, the dentist, the optometrist.

See doctors if, or when you absolutely need to.

Also, if you're registering or joining something that asks your age, lop off a large chunk of years. If you can't lie, then skip whatever it is.

A world science panel recently said "Age 90 Is the new 50.”

I don't think 90 is the "new" anything, but if age 90 IS the number that says you are old, think of Betty White, 89, and Warren Buffet, age 80, and if you're actually approaching that 80's, don't utter, mutter, or murmur it to anyone, including yourself.

So what about celebrating your birthday. I suggest DO NOT. If you get birthday cards, get the return addresses from the envelope, and throw the cards out. You can't stop people from saying "happy birthday, " but a bunch of people singing "Happy Birthday to YOU!" should be studiously avoided.

Aging is easy if you do the things I've mentioned above, carefully, discreetly and gracefully. If you can't lie, or avoid your loved ones, well ... you will age a little -- not a lot, if you wisely, carefully, cautiously keep eyes and ears open, keep on your toes, and steer clear of the pitfalls listed above.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Facts, trivia, worldwide who's-who, wrong doings, war threats, nuclear, poverty, pandemics ... yowie.

I can't think.

Am think-IRKing, not working, just fumbling, mumbling.

Yes, CRUMBLING, while pronouncing names I never heard of till today -- people, places so down under, I can't even locate 'em on a map.

I'm not a sap, but gee, what I can't retain gives me pain, not just a headache, a sense of woe that won't go away, not today! Not when I'm in an overload mode.

It's a deluge of information -- constipation of a mind that can't find or see what's the priority for me.

OWS? POW'S? NOW issues? Candidates yapping and scrapping. The do nothing congressional freeze? I can't sputter, mutter, sneeze, shout, spit out what's worse, or who to curse.

Overload has corroded my brain's neurons, sensors, cells -- anything that tells me that my conclusions are delusions.

I'm confessing that I'm obsessing -- I'm out of whack! Despite my agility, I lack the ability to stop who's who-ing -- drop what's doing.

Yep, I'm thinking in rhyme because I'm not fine when I can't make sense of this nonsensical mishmash of trashy WHAT?

A ton of news --
Tons of views --

A lot of rot ...

It's doodley squat!