What I Did This Decade

I’m not sure if I’ve ever done a decade-specific review of my own undertakings in the past, but social media is saturated with such-like at at the moment, and the results of my little survey being most satisfactory, I share them here and now. In rough order of personal importance, not chronology, some things that happened to me this decade:

I. I began the decade by finding my other half;  we married a few years later. Domestic happiness has to top the list. If it weren’t so, I’d probably be much more successful, but I’m old-fashioned that way.

II. Midway through the decade, I directed and produced the world’s first revival of the Marx Brothers’ first Broadway show I’ll Say She Is — my proudest professional accomplishment in the theatre. Thanks to Noah Diamond for making it all possible!

Also in this decade: 

III. Bette Midler plugged my book No Applause in Entertainment Weekly. My work was also plugged this decade on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, and a Jason Zinoman article in The New York Times, and in books like Richard Zoglin’s Hope: Entertainer of the Century as well as Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him by the Henry Brothers.   I appeared on The Halli Casser Jayne Show with Dick Cavett and Harpo Marx’s son Bill, et al. 

IV. I published my first article in The New York Times, and made my first appearance on BBC radio.

V. Major artists I interviewed for articles included Bill Irwin, Neil LaBute, Austin Pendleton, Fyvush Finkel, Mink Stole, Loudon Wainwright III, Penny Arcade, Michael Musto, Mat Fraser, Julie Atlas Muz, Everett Quinton, and dozens of others.

VI. I recorded a political op-ed video for Now This that has received 3/4 million views.

VII. Pageviews on my blog Travalanche approached 4 million; 2 million of them over the last 2 years. Thanks to the Patreon supporters who make it all possible!

VIII. I directed Angie Pontani’s Burlesque-a-Pades at the Soho Playhouse, culminating from a stretch where I presented large scale runs of my American Vaudeville Theatre in the New York International Fringe Festival and the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Other editions of the show were presented at the Players Club, the Slipper Room, Coney Island USA, the Metropolitan Playhouse, etc. Dozens of New York’s top variety performers were presented at these events, many of which were done in collaboration with Broadway producers Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley as benefits for the Theater Museum.

IX. I had no fewer than three productions at La Mama as director and/or playwright this decade, a longstanding dream of mine, one of which starred Everett Quinton and Molly Pope, and one of which was a collaboration with Dick Zigun, founder of the Mermaid Parade and Coney Island USA. Other venues and groups who presented my legit plays this decade were the Axis Theatre, Dixon Place, Opera on Tap, Here Arts Center, the Kraine, and the Brick.

X. I am especially proud of work I did as an actor this decade, especially in the award-winning independent horror film The Moose Head Over the Mantel, and as the lead in Edward Einhorn’s The Resistible Rise of J.R. Brinkley , and roles in several other Einhorn plays, including his adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.  I also enjoyed my roles as David Ferrie in Jason Trachtenburg’s Me and Lee, and as “The Teller” in Peculiar Works Project’s world premiere revival of America’s First Play Androboros

XI. I published my second book Chain of Fools, and wrote liner notes for the Archeophone Records releases of recordings by Van and Schenck and Weber and Fields. In addition, I co-produced Marxfest, Fields Fest and West Fest, three celebrations of classic comedians, and began to increase my profile as a public speaker considerably, including such venues as the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, the Players Club, et al, a process which accelerated over the past year with a bi-coastal tour. More details on that in my year-end wrap-up tomorrow.

There’s much I left out, but you can’t put everything. Anyway, you’d be far less impressed (if you’re impressed at all) if you knew what I got paid for all this. My goal for the next decade? Get paid.

Circa 2010.