Thursday, May 24, 2007

I attended the Tony luncheon this afternoon. It was really wonderful. A day when everyone was a winner and there was no press or publicists to spin the event. Everyone, especially me was just glad to be a part of it. They announced everyone’s name and the category they were up for and presented them with the official nominee certificate. Mine will be on my wall in Los Angeles in less than 24 hours.

I happened to sit next to Julie White who is nominated for “Little Dog Laughed.” I reminded her that when we first met she was only wearing a towel at the Gypsy of the Year competition. Ah, show business.

At the end of the event I found myself waiting at the elevator with Swoozie Kurtz. Swoozie is a friend from LA and we shared an elevator at the Tony interviews last week. She accused me of being a stalker. Could be.

The "30 Rock" elevator stopped two floors later and in walks Boyd Gaines, Frank Langella, Christopher Plummer and Liev Schreiber.

I jokingly said, “If this elevator falls it will be a great boost to the career of Brian F. O’Byrne,” who was the only one missing in the Best Actor in a Play competition. I think Christopher Plummer smiled but it was a very tough room to work.

Recently I got this note from my friend Joe Beck who is the electrician at the Helen Hayes. Joe was one of the backstage players of “Name the Monkey song” when we did “The Two and Only.”
Here is what Joe had to say:

I have an interesting story for you. We're teching a
new show at the Hayes this week. There's a spotlight
operator sitting in the back of the mezz and, since
it's tech, he's all by himself. He came down for a 10
minute break looking spooked. He asked if there's any
ghosts in the theatre. I said, "Did you see something
near the SR Box Boom?" His answer was yes. I told
him how you'd seen the same ghost in the same spot. He
described it as a grayish apparition.

I wrote about that ghost in the blog when it happened. Those who believed, believed and those who didn’t thought I was just an imaginative, superstitious actor. I think my credibility as a ghost hunter is now justified.
As you were,

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I have become unabashedly shameless about flaunting my Tony nomination. It feels like I just got a degree from a prestigious university. I don’t know why one needs to feel accepted or acknowledged by their peers but that feeling is great. Besides this is a once in a lifetime event for me and I plan to suck it dry and enjoy every second of the ride.

The day after the nominations comes the publicity mini junket. On the top floor of the Marriott, hundreds of reporters and thousands of press agents engage the nominees in a flurry of interviews. It becomes a cross between the trading floor at the New York Stock exchange, and a hooligan riot at a soccer game. Each video crew has a draped cubical which serves as a mini studio. Each publicist with client in tow tries to squeeze maximum face time with each interviewer. The questions become the same. The task for the nominee is to come up with different ways to say the same thing over and over. “How did you hear?, Where were you when you heard?, Who first called you?, What does a Tony mean to you?”

Everybody gets their turn in the order they show up until Christopher Plummer appears. The crowd parts and Mr. Plummer trumps everyone in line. The same thing happens when Angela Landsbury arrives. Frank Langella walks through with purpose going only to the reporters he wishes to talk to. You see there is a difference between nominee and legend.

At the beginning of this tour through press-land they give each nominee a lapel pin that has the Tony emblem and says Tony Nominee 2007. It is a beautiful pin and one that I will keep forever (in fact I have only taken it off to go to bed each night since I got it). In this smile fest of interviews the game is to acknowledge each person sporting a lapel button with a heartfelt “Congratulations”. It is fun, akin to calling the bride at a wedding by her new name.

So the game now is to keep my expectations managed until June 10th and realize that the honor has already been bestowed. Some one asked me if this was a dream come true? Actually no, I have never even dared dream about a Tony nomination. There is a line from the film “Broadcast News” when the William Hurt character says to the Albert Brooks character, “What do you do when your life exceeds your dreams?” Brooks says,
“You keep it too yourself.” Good advice and enough said.
As you were,

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Okay, so this morning I woke up to Paul Kreppel on the phone telling me that "Jay Johnson:The Two and Only" had just been nominated for a Tony Award. The category is Best Special Event. We all are very excited. Tomorrow the original Bob puppet will be inducted into the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Sandi and I are in New York celebrating our anniversay.

All in all I would say this is a week that I will never forget. There will be more later. But for now, I am so grateful for everyone who has sent support and good thoughts. Rick and Cherd you guys are the best.
As you were,

Friday, May 11, 2007

I did some looping on my CSI episode yesterday. This is usually first time an actor gets to see part of a finished film production. I didn’t get to see much but what I saw looked good. The production team is excited about this episode. After seven years it is difficult to be excited, but this script seems to have done that.

This is CSI in Las Vegas, the original, not Miami or New York. The title is Living Doll and it will air next Thursday May 17th. Announcers used to say, “Check you local listing for time and channel” but now I think we just say, “Set your Tivo.”

It is an exciting week of New York coming up. Bob is ready for his trip to the Smithsonian Institution. I am a little sad to see him go, even though I think this is a great honor for him. This is beginning to sound like I’m sending a kid off to college so I’ll stop.

I have my fingers crossed that the Tony committee will decided to include “Special Theatrical Event” in their nominations this year, and have my toes crossed that we get a nod if they do.

It is a tough mental place to be. I want to put all the energy I can into believing in the nomination, but do not want to set myself up for another disappointment. Since these two ideas seem to be mutually exclusive it is difficult to even contemplate.
As you were,