Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Often you will see a blurb at the bottom of my blog that reads: "sent by my
Verizon wireless Blackberry".

These are not my words nor is it an attempt to inform, illuminate or brag. Rather it is a high tech alphabetic leech that attaches itself, without my approval, to every email I send via the Verizon/Blackberry network. When I make a blog submission on the road via Blackberry email that obnoxious phrase invites itself onto my page. In some cases I have edited it from the blog once it is published, but that defeats the whole convenience of emailing the blog in the first place.

It irritates me and although there are Blackberry users who claim a way to eliminate it, I have not yet been able to dislodge it from my communications. I know it can't be done on the Backberry itself after hours of trying. If anyone has the secret let me know.

Neither Verizon nor Blackberry pays me for that advertisment. I have never seen a rebate on my wireless bill for "email endorsement". They assume I am an evangelist for their product by virtue of my purchase and usage. Once you have paid for a product isn't it your right to remove the label?

I would rather the blurb be more informative than just a crass piece of commercialism. It should say "written with my thumbs on a microscopicly small two inch Blackberry keyboard". It would still give that brand identity corporate types seem to crave, and it would help remind recipients that m-sTa}es and typos on such a small scale input unit are inevitable.

Since only humans can type with their thumbs, it would also insure that no one mistakes it for a message that was sent by, let's say, chimps.

So readers of this blog. Although you will occasionally see that tiresome verizon/blackberry ad at the end of my blog, ignore it. You should disregard anything written after my standard signatory salutation " As you were, Jay"....except this time.... I'm not yet done writing.

That phrase at the end of my blog entry simply means I am not at home on my desktop computer; I am on the road and need to communicate with my blog world in the best way I can.

Okay, now I'm done. Here comes the signature tag... It means I'm finished. I have said all I intend to say for this entry.
As you were,

You can stop reading.... Really the rest of this entry is just capitalism at its worst. Nothing I can do about it. When I stop "thumb typing" they will cut to commercial. Those Blackberry bastards and Verizon vermin. Mac Iphone doesn't stoop to this level. Here it is.... Warned ya...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Most of the time when someone asks me about the whereabouts of one of my characters I give them the answer I think they want to hear, "Bob is at the bar" or "taking a shower" or "floating in the hot tub". It is second nature to me and I don't think much about it, Sort of a smart ass knee jerk response. This has gotten me into trouble more than once, and now once more.

I'm on a ship and my cabin attendant, Lilly, is from some country I never heard of before. What little English she knows is much more than my knowledge of her native tongue. Communication is very limited to say the least. But then again, long complicated conversations in this temporary association are unnecessary.

Since I am performing on board, my picture appears in the ship's daily newsletter to announce my show. In this case it is a picture of me and my monkey, Darwin.

Second day out Lilly asks me in very broken English if I am the one with the monkey? I am used to such inquiries and say, "Yes."

She says, "He is in cabin?"

"No," I say, falling back on my repertory of smart ass answers, "I think he is on stage rehearsing with the dancers".
"Then I clean room?" She says.
"Sure," say I and continue on my way. It seems to me a normal exchange between ventriloquist and cabin attendant given our limited ability to exchange complex ideas.

Later, I return to the cabin. The room is clean, bed is made, towels are fresh and there is a banana on the dressing table. This is not a cruise line that usually provides in room "snack fruit" like some do, but this doesn't register with me at the time.

Later that night I get hungry and eat the banana.

The next day I pass Lilly in the hall. She says, "Your Monkey like banana?" I rightly assume she has left the banana as a joke. I laugh, pat my stomach and say, "He loved it." She is confused by my body language but says "Monkey backstage now?"

"No, he's napping in the cabin." There is probably a word for "smart ass" in her language but she says nothing. Once again I am on my way.

When I return there is a banana on the deck just outside the cabin door, but the room is not done. The "make up room" sign has been flipped to the "do not disturb" side.

This should have been a tip off to any sane person, but needless to say that's not me.

There is another day of this banana game and I figure out what is happening. When I say Darwin is "out" she cleans the room. If I indicate he is "in" she doesn't. I wonder if she thinks I'm working with a real monkey who demands his privacy?

The next time I see her I try to explain what a puppeteer is, what a ventriloquist is, and what an idiot is, with the idea that I am all three of those things. But these are not concepts which resonate in her limited English vocabulary. The best I can manage to communicate is that the monkey is in the closet.

I don't see her the next day, but that evening my room is done and there is a banana in front of the closet door.

I don't know if she is joking with me or if she thinks I keep live monkeys in the closet. I may never know since we won't be able to work this out bilingually in the short time we have together. My guess is, by now, with the total lack of monkey droppings in the cabin, she knows Darwin is a puppet. I am tempted to keep the ruse going and tell her the monkey is toilet trained. But I am sick of eating bananas just for a joke.

It just goes to show you... I'll never learn.

As you were,
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No, you haven't come to the wrong blog. I only changed the main title name. You probably didn't even realize there was a main title. After you have seen it a couple of times it really disappears. It was "Hell and next Phase" now as you can see it is "The World's a Stage." I think for now that expresses my feelings and more accurately describes the tone of this blog.

"Hell and next Phase" was a play on the former main title, "Hell and Haze" which was a play on Helen Hayes - the name of the theatre my show played on Broadway.

Today I opened the blog and realized that the play on a play on a play on words is just too much of a stretch. I think any comic would agree. I still love the Helen Hayes Theatre, you never forget the theatre where you won your first Tony, (see Tony Picture below) but there are other theatres in the future of The Two and Only.

(note: Okay, I know publishing a picture of the Tony, or MY Tony, on my mantel is a little obnoxious. But I still have to pinch myself every time I walk past it in the living room. I look at the engraving very carefully to make sure it really does have my name).

Soon I hope to be delivering a nightly blog from London's West end. Thus... The World's a Stage. (only a trained writer like myself can get two paragraphs out of the simple act of changing a title - over-explanation is a gift my children say is my natural talent)

I bought a map of London today. The big selling point of this city map is the words "water-proof" written almost as big as the name of the city. Perhaps I should take note of that fact and pack like I am going to Portland.

As you were,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Several times a week people will say to me, "Tell me when your show is playing where I can come to see it?" The truth is I love to perform this show for anyone, especially friends. Some of my oldest friends worked with SQUEAKY years ago and are delighted to see him again.

Early on in the tour I would call or email friends to let them know when I was in their area, but no more. I've pretty much stopped doing that, because they rarely come when I let them know. The friends who do come to see my show are generally the ones who surprise me, not the other way around. They usually let me know they are coming, rather than me telling them I am going to be performing.

For example, I have a friend I've known since my first year of Six Flags shows. She lived in LA when I moved out here and we were close then, but she moved away years ago. We don't get to see each other very much now, but I let her know about my show both times it was in LA. I also let her know when it was on Broadway. She never came but every time I would run into her she would say, "When can I see your show?"

Our last stop was Albuquerque. This happens to be where my friend currently lives. I wrote her to tell her about the show at Pope Joy Hall in her city on April 11th. I didn't hear from her until the day before the performance. She emailed me to ask,"When are you coming to New Mexico?". I wrote back and said, "I am getting on a plane today, and the show is tomorrow, Arpil 11 at the Pope Joy Hall. Can't wait to see you." As it turned out I was not the only one looking forward to seeing her. David Wylie another Six Flags friend who knew her from the same year was coming to the Albuquerque show. He was a surprise to her.

She never showed up, nor sent a message until the day after the show. She forgot it was Friday but wanted to know, "when is your show playing where I can come to see it?" I wish that was a rare occurrence but it happens a lot. I now figure if you are supposed to see my show, you will. I perform it. Other than that I really don't have much control over who comes to see it.

To sum up: Two cousins and their families, and eight people from Abernathy came to the show in Albuquerque. One cousin drove all the way from Roswell. I didn't know they were coming and it was a great joy to see them. Thanks DJ, Cherri, Max, Kathy, Horton and families for making the effort. I would rather be excited and surprised to see my friends and relatives, than disappointed when they don't show up when invited.

My friend David lives in Arkansas and has seen the show three times, Broadway, Dallas and Albuquerque. He tells me he is even going to surprise me in London. I will be excited when that happens. Wylie attended the shows post mortem and was unanimously voted a member of the TAO Teddy Bears. Congratulations David.

The Pope Joy was a special performance. The Wiz was back to call the show. Her last time for awhile. Union rules keep me from taking my crew across the Pond. It was just Lori, John and me. The Atlantic Theatre unholy three. The original pirates of the production. It recalled the fun and excitement of the off Broadway days.

As your were,

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

For those who don't know my act with Darwin, this may not make sense. But here goes.

I am on a ship and finished with my shows for this run. I am now not crew, not passenger, I am cargo being hauled to Grand Caman where I will be off loaded and sent back to Los Angeles. As I am killing time looking around the duty free shop, an Asian man approaches me with his camera. "Nice show, I enjoy monkey velly much." (Writing pigeon English is not my strength). He asks if he can take a picture of me with his 5 year old son, sitting on my knee like Bob. I have no problem with this and the kid could care less in any language.

As we finish the picture the man's wife and daughter walk up. They are clueless as to who I am and why the little boy is sitting on my knee in a liquor store. The Father then says something, which taken out of context, becomes a felonious offense. He says, "Look it's Jay...you know, Don't touch my hiney" and he laughs hysterically.

Without a word, the mother takes the boy by the hand and leads the rest of the family quickly away from me as the man keeps laughing and repeating, "Don't touch my hiney".

I only hope that later the man is able to explain it is a call back to my act with Darwin and that I am not a catholic priest on vacation.

It supports my theory that ventriloquists don't go crazy, those around them go crazy.
As you were,