I’m excited. And nervous. Monday, I start workshopping my solo show. The first assignment from the coach? Write your life story in one page or less. The glorious thing about an assignment like this at my age is that it is all in the edit.
My Life Story
The most revealing thing about me, in terms of my life story right now, is the fact I don’t own a cell phone. Not owning a cell phone in an age and a world defined by that device, probably speaks volumes about a certain disconnect—a disconnect that dates back to childhood.
I was born, the eldest of three, in a small Connecticut town. My father was a hugely charismatic and ambitious man who made a fortune selling shoes while my mother inherited a fortune from a family that made hats. Despite this peculiar affinity and a shared passion for reading, they did not get along.
Like my mother before me, I left home at 10 years old for the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Albany, NY. This was a boarding school for young girls that also functioned as a nunnery. I did not become a nun. Instead, I left hurriedly (I seem to have left many places in my life hurriedly) for Simon’s Rock, an early college now known as Bard, There I remained until my departure for a spring semester in Paris. A spring semester that soon turned into summer, fall, winter, and yet another spring and summer before a belated return home.
I left home, again hurriedly, to finish college—a blessedly lengthy process that entailed a short, depressing stint at Mc Gill in Montreal and at N.Y.U where I majored in French medieval poetry. This was a subject that inevitably led to a career in advertising. I loved advertising. Not only was I paid to think—the greatest luxury of all —I also earned more money for a three word tagline than I would later earn for a 60,000 word book.
My memoir, The Nearly Departed or My Family & Other Foreigners, was published to very quiet acclaim in 2004. My satire/novel, The Craigslist Murders, was published to even quieter acclaim in 2011. I long for somewhat louder acclaim—the kind I associate with 20,000 screaming fans at a concert venue.
I have been married for thirty years to the same man and am the mother of two extraordinary ‘adult children.’ All of whom own cellphones. I am currently working on a show, Jay Z and me, a Talking Memoir, which I hope to perform at some point before I am on a walker.