Friday, November 24, 2006

Blogging is arduous these last few days since the news of the show closing. I talked to the Wiz about this very thing. Writing has never been more difficult for us both. A couple of times we have traded off or more correctly begged off submitting a blog because it was just too emotionally difficult to complete. I have written several pages that I just can’t publish. Too much candor, too much soul searching, and too much anger about what I might have done differently to keep the show running.

I don’t know the proper way to grieve because I have never experienced this before. I feel like I have been fired. I have never before been fired from a job. The levels seem to be shock, sadness, anger, resentment, acceptance and finally gratitude. I have not made it to the acceptance stage yet and the tears seem to blend in to anger and resentment. What I feel mostly is embarrassment.

The perception seems to be good shows run a long time and bad shows close. I know better, but can’t get past that universal feeling. If your show was good, why did it close? It embarrasses me to even attempt an answer to that question.

The show is a physical and emotional challenge for me to do, and especially so now. I barely get through the emotional sections with out breaking down, and it is very difficult to keep the unfiltered personalities of my wooden partners from exploding with my anger. I am exhausted from pretending everything is all right. The show is hard enough to do without all this extra emotional baggage.

To think about it becomes too painful for me. I have to reject New York so I feel in control of this situation. I quit so I won’t feel I have been fired. Some day I will remember and my heart will warm to all the great times I had here. But for now my affair with Helen Hayes is over. I just want to go home.
As you were,


FiftyNinth said...


There is no shame in the run you have had. This failure is not yours.

Hold your head up high, because you have done your job brilliantly. I hope this isn't your final post....

Pat Kelly said...

Hi ... I'm the "Frequent Flyer" Mom from Tuesday. Please, don't feel too bad. I was recently fired (for the first time) from my job (which I loved) but found a new and better job (which I love just as much)! One door closes, one opens! My "FF" daughter and I will be in the front row on Tuesday evening - laughing and crying along with you! Job well done! Keep up the good work! Pat

a grieving patron said...

I was going to see your show when I was there last weekend, but there was another show that was closing (sniff, sniff) and I had to get my fill. I promise to see your show when you bring it to my town. I know I'll love it. And I feel every word that you wrote today, as I am grieving for "The Times" That was a great show too. So what does close a show?

Anonymous said...

Your show is brilliant. I am totally in love with your show.
Do not feel bad. You and your show are great. The marketing was bad, but that is not your fault.
I hope to see your show a 5th time.

Anonymous said...

The Bird of Death should eat the Marketing dept!

Anonymous said...

Rather, he should eat Rosie O'Donnell! One little word from her...but I'm not bitter, am I?


Usher Bob

Anonymous said...

Yours is one of the most original, funniest and most heartfelt and beautiful shows to ever grace Broadway. You didn't fail, my friend. The ticket buying public failed for not realizing what a gem they had and have now lost. I love you.

Anonymous said...

You did the best show you could do. It was truly remarkable. Never be embarrassed if you did your best, no matter what the outcome.

Steve Petruzzella said...


When I first saw your show at the Atlantic Theatre I was consumed with the desire to see it again. So I did. After the second time I was so taken with the substance of the show that I had to take stock of my own performances.

Yes, I am also a vent, but one who has been merely adopted by the art, not birthed by it as yourself.

The inspiration, history, sense of responsibility and pure wondrous joy you shared through this unique labor of love has found a home in this simple school assembly performer.

I am in your debt.

Anonymous said...

You have not failed. Your producers have not failed. The head muckety-muck in charge of this very bad decision is the one who has failed. Just as one of the best tourist seasons hits town, they put themselves out of the opportunity to fill the theatre every night and grow the ticket base.

You are brilliant and the show is brilliant and now it can be taken to many more people who so deserve to see it. I have never laughed and cried so hard at any show before. You are an incredible artist and we were so lucky to see your performance.

I love this blog and hope you keep it going. Our best to you -- we know better things are yet to come for you.

Erica said...

We saw your show tonight. My boyfriend and I both cried our eyes out because it was so moving. Shame you only have a limited time because we both really want our friends to see you. We were emotionally exhausted after your performance - it felt like we shared some important moments of your life, and we send you our heartfelt thanks for letting us have a glimpse of what not too many people get to experience.

Seth said...

Dear Jay,

Very sorry to hear that your show will be closing and that it's causing you such great distress. I can tell you that I had the privilege to attend tonight's performance with my girlfriend and found it both tremendously entertaining and deeply moving. I have always been fascinated with ventriloquism and felt that when practiced by its masters, it truly rose to the level of great art. And I am doubly convinced of that after seeing your show. I would hope that you don't see the end of your run as a failure on your part. My girlfriend and I both thought your performance a brilliant success and left with the impression that the rest of the audience felt the same. We thank you for a wonderfully funny, enlightening and uplifting evening, wish only the best and look forward to a chance to see you perform again.

Sincerely, Seth, Cliffside Park, NJ

Anonymous said...

Dear Jay,

As a struggling actor trying to find work in NYC, I can relate to your fears of your show closing. Broadway is a hard business. In honest respect, Broadway is not really about talent anymore. Its all about the green and pizzaz. People don't seem to be intellectual enough to pay attention to your show, which is a better show then say Mamma Mia. Maybe our country is getting dumb because they just buy into commercialized material. Audiences don't want to learn, they want to be entertained (I find that stupid in my opinion). I would not put the blame on yourself. However, if you want to stay on Broadway, backers usually are the answer. They will be able to support you enough to extend your run. I am sure someone will be helpful to the show. Also, a commercial around the city might help boast sales. I wish you all my best and want to say thank you for a great run so far. Hopefully with enough support from the community, you could stay for a while longer. There will be a time when people come to your knees and pray to you as THE KING OF BROADWAY! - Anonymous

Anonymous said...

I sent an email to your email address that expresses my feelings, etc., in depth, and one of the thoughts was this one by Mr. Sondheim in THE FROGS: "Gods of the theatre smile on us." Well, they have smiled on you in abundance during the run of TTAO with all of the joy you have given to so many in NYC and for all those to come in an even more widespread "love fest" across the nation. Be proud to know that you HAVE succeeded in the best way.
Carry on,
Roommie and Mandy

Anonymous said...

Ms. Wiz,
Just a note from "Roomie and Mandy" to let you know that you are a wonderful person, obviously a great PSM and a wonderful friend to Jay and the guys. My former student and friend, PSM, Tripp Phillips has seen it three times and praised the entire production. What joy your talent, and that of the entire cast, crew and staff has brought and is bringing to the show. IF, not WHEN, TTAO should depart NYC, I can only hope that you will return to make your magic on tour with the company. Hope to see and meet you in BIG D.
R and M

Pambill said...

You inspired my children, you enthralled my parents, and you reminded my husband and I how true magic can exist onstage. That can't be called a failure in any way.

I am envious of all the people across the country who will see you on tour. In the meantime, my two boys have already memorized sections of the script and reenact them, this after seeing you only two times.

You left a mark on anyone who saw the show.
Best of luck,

David Robison said...


Don't look at the closing of the show's run as a failure.

Each individual performance was a success for all your fans, and attendees.

The "run" may be over, but your success is not. It lives in everyone that was lucky enough to see the show.

I have no doubt, you'll be back.

And for the future, "break a leg"


Anonymous said...

I saw your show and told many people how Great it was!!! Then they went and enjoyed it also...I was wondering if you had ever thought of filming it on video and selling it on DVD???
I am an aspiring Vent and got so much out of your show, I know I would buy one. Thanks for Sharing your Memories with us!
Keep Smiling, and be PROUD of the GREAT WORK you did and this blog was an interesting twist to add to your NYC experience! I also would like to see it stay alive.
WE LOVE YA!!! : )

Anonymous said...

My wife and I saw you Friday night. In fact I planned our trip to NYC around seeing your show.

We loved the entire show, even more than we loved your appearance with Darwin on Letterman.

This morning, I wrote an e-mail to all my family from NJ highly recommending that they get there ASAP, only to see that you were CLOSING. Aaaaack.

I hope it is true that you will begin a nationwide tour in the spring, in Dallas! If so, and/or you come to Houston, we will be there!