Archives For Acting Class

08_boom_boom

I blame this play for EVERYTHING.

I met her in an acting class in New York city.

Do you know how many stories I could start like that? I met some of the most fascinating people of my life in acting classes.

In 1990’s NYC, I was studying acting with Betty Buckley. She was a “big deal;” you had to audition to be granted entrance to her class.

Betty Buckley won the Tony award for Cats. She was the original Grizabella, the shabby, decrepit old feline who plaintively meows her way through the song “Memories.”

She’s starred in a number of Broadway plays and a whole slew of movies. Before Cats, she spent several years portraying the stepmom in the television equivalent of swallowing ground glass, a banal series called “Eight is Enough.”

She was an amazing teacher but incredibly strange.

She began every class with a new-agey group guided meditation. You know, so the Solar Logos would take us on Astral Flight and we could all experience a Paradigm Shift. That.

Once, in the middle of it, she came up behind me and whispered, “I don’t know what you have going on with your mother. But if you’re going to be an actor, you’d better go into therapy and get in touch with it.”

I spent the next 5 years in psychotherapy. Thank you, Betty.

Nicolette distinguished herself from the rest of the class instantly, by the sheer scope of her physical beauty. She was stunning.

Her hair. I could write a whole post just about her hair. Her glossy chocolate brown hair spilled down beside her face, framing it perfectly. It was a curtain of brown silk.

She had enormous blue eyes, cupid bow pink lips,  and the golden proportion of perfect white teeth. Her body was cartoonish perfection with a tiny waist and oversized breasts.

Betty zeroed right in on her. She was known for having young female protegés who do all her errands, and take a lot of abuse from her. Nicolette quickly became her new handmaiden, which later irritated me to no end. She once sported a torn up lip where Betty’s insufferable bird bit her, while she tried to feed the feathery fucker.

Nicolette was so sweet. I couldn’t believe anyone THAT beautiful could be so sweet.

She wasn’t.

We were assigned to do a scene from “In the Boom Boom Room,” a renowned play about go go dancers in a sleazy night club.

Betty was relentless when it came to scene study. She demanded we bring in the same scenes repeatedly.

The scene Nicolette and I had been assigned took place in the dressing room, as one dancer, played by me, tries to seduce the new girl – played by Nicolette.

Because I was a method actor, I convinced Nicolette to perform the scene in our bra and panties. Method, schmethod. I wanted to see her in her underwear.

In the scene my character asks hers, “Have you ever made love to a woman?” I was so smitten with her I decided to grab her and lay a big old kiss on her. And because I wanted her reaction as real as the character’s – I didn’t tell her I was planning to do that

We rehearsed together all that first week, sans kiss. And then, we brought the scene to class.

When walked on stage in our underwear, mine jet black, hers, blood-red – there was a collective sharp intake of breath.

Actors are FREAKS. But still. Two nubile 20 somethings, in almost nothing? And Nicolette, with her breasts spouting all over the stage.

When I leaned in and kissed her, I thought her character would jump back in surprise.

Her character probably would have. Nicolette didn’t. So we just stood there, sucking serious face, for waaaay too long. Like, absurdly long. Like, “this isn’t even about the scene” long.

The kiss started from the neck up. A minute in, our bodies were pressing together.

And kept pressing…

“SCENE!”  Betty pussy blocked me and ended a kiss that tasted like dessert. Bitch.

And that’s how I found out Nicolette was a lesbian.

I felt like I had won the motherfucking LOTTERY.

The next time I went to her apartment to “rehearse” we did absolutely NO rehearsing.

How do women have lesbian sex? Ohh. I didn’t TELL you?

Must have been NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.

We did rehearse, on subsequent visits. Betty the big dyke made us rehearse that scene for 2 months. Finally she could find no fault with us.
“What do you say, girls?” she asked. “Should we call it quits? Or do you think you want to bring in back in one more week?”

“No, Betty,” I answered. “I think Eight is Enough.”

I was besotted with Nicolette. She was the first ultra feminine, girly lesbian I’d ever known.

She was flowery mini dresses; I was a black leather skirt. She was brunch, I was “Is this breakfast? Lunch? Fuck you!” She wore her lustrous brown hair in a French braid. I dyed my hair to match hers but when I put it up it looked like a Hefty bag with a twist tie.

She was a talented dancer. I played drums in a punk band, without knowing how to play drums.

But vive la différence, right? We became a Thing.

Nicolette’s personality was no flowery dress. She was a BITCH. And not your Basic Bitch, either. A prize-ribbon wearing, Grade A, Queen Bee DIVA bitch.

She was completely self absorbed. If I was sick, she would whine about missing a pedicure to bring me soup. She was a half hour late for every thing, every time. With NO apologies. She constantly one-upped me. If I had a headache, she was dying of a brain tumor. She was rude and impatient with waiters and waitresses. If we were out to brunch God forbid she didn’t get a bread plate. She was programmed to receive attention, and expected all of mine.

We might have survived all of this – had it not been her refusal to accept I wasn’t a lesbian.

Lesbians invariably try to convert sexually ambiguous women. According to Nicolette, I was a full throttle lesbian in unequivocal denial.

Yeah, NO. I like penis too much to be a lesbian. Sorry. I wasn’t quite ready to drive a U Haul truck to Lilith Fair.

We ended our relationship amidst of storm of emotions, talked about it until my ears bled, and eventually parted friends.

Nicolette and I lost touch for the next 15 years. Maybe, I just didn’t want her to know I’d gotten married, moved to the suburbs, had a kid.

Maybe,  I didn’t want to know I’d done that.

A few years ago, she found me on the Book of Face (where else?) and eventually we made plans to get together.

We had dinner in Manhattan. Nicolette was still beautiful. Maybe more so? And BITCHIER, if that’s even possible.

She was now running an ultra trendy club which cuts a wide swath in the currency of bitchiness.

After dinner we went to a club to scout some acts she was thinking of featuring.

We ended up on the dance floor, because some things never change. Neither of us can be in a place with a dance floor and not dance. There was also alcohol involved. Many of my bad decisions have been alcohol-fueled.

“When I’m Small” by Phantogram came on.

Oh, C’MON! That song sounds like the soundtrack to two women grinding on a dance floor together, kissing passionately.

I am NOT suggesting that happened. Her list of neuroses make me look like a stable, calm individual. And that’s scary.

So, she’s in my life again, this lesbian She-Devil. Demanding, critical, self-centered, spoiled.

Gorgeous. Charismatic. Brilliant. Effervescent. And those breasts…

I’ve tried to end this post for a few days now. I can’t. I just realized…it’s because, the story hasn’t ended. 

“I think choosing between men and women is like choosing between cake and ice cream. You’d be daft not to try both when there are so many different flavors.”
~ Bjork

“I’d rather die, than to be with you…”
Perfect lyrics. She’ll eat my soul, this woman. Who, incidentally, looked exactly like the woman in this video when I first met her.

Have you ever had a friend who was impossibly bitchy? Do gorgeous people get away with that easier?
Can someone like women and not be a lesbian? 
Talk to me.  I’m listening.