Monday, December 11, 2006

For several weeks now I have not been sleeping through the night. I wake up and look at the clock several times. Often, I have to get up and walk around the house to clear a bad feeling I wake with.

First, I thought it was just the uncomfortable bed of my New York apartment. Then I thought it was the stress of the show closing so abruptly. Now that I am home I have run out of reasons why this should be happening.

The strangest part is waking up and not knowing where I am for a few seconds. I forget I am home. I try to remember what hotel and what city I’m in. My own bedroom doesn’t look familiar in those moments. It compounds that feeling of being disoriented. Sometimes it feels like I wake up because I don’t know where I am. That is perhaps the worst way to be disturbed.

Many times I wake up thinking I over slept and I am late to the theater. I also have those actor dreams of standing on stage or about to go on with no clue what the lines are, or what show I am doing.

It is difficult being back home this time of year. Everyone expected the show would run through the holidays and I would not be here. I think we have eight parties to attend in the next two weeks. Friends want to talk about my Broadway experience. But they approach me like there has been a terrible accident in my life. They are glad to see me, but sorry I have to be back home. They want to tell me what an awful thing it is to close a show, but how happy I should be about it.

What I hear them saying is, "You were lucky to get this far with a ventriloquist act." It is couched in polite phrases, but the message is clear to me. Doing what I do I shouldn’t have expected much.

One can neither justify nor defend the show, particularly to those who didn’t see it on Broadway. I quickly tire of trying to be as grateful as they think I should be. If we were still running I wouldn’t have to be here for this. We are not, I am here and it is depressing. “Depressed to be home for the holidays? Why you should be grateful the show closed so you could be home.” The world is a series of conflicting opposites for me right now.

Perhaps that is why I wake up at night trying to figure a way out of this situation.
As you were,


the other one said...'re in transistion. Letting go of attachment is the hardest lesson to learn. We can't live in the present until we let go of the past. No more shoulda, woulda, couldas and only ifs. You already know this but putting it into practice is a whole other story. Don't worry, I know you will get to where you need to be.....

Anonymous said...

It's sort of like to tv show with J Love Hewett, "The Ghost Whisperer," about the deceased souls who are still on earth waiting to "cross over" to another place and time, certainly a better one than we have here, I hope! You are certainly not "deceased," but you are like them in a way. You have completed one journey and are in a "transition period" waiting to, as it were, "cross over" to the next adventure. How lucky you are to have all the journeys and aventures you have had, and more to come. So many of us wish we could say that. What an extraordinary opportunity. And in the meantime, all those people all over the world who love you, are disappointed, as I am, and we all are, that you are not still in the Big Apple, but want to let you know that all is well. It's difficult for them as well since they care so much for you and know your feelings at this point. I am rambling, but you are not a kid but a smart young man. I feel badly that I told you to go to all of my favorite Christmas haunts in NYC at Christmas time, but know that you are ok. Do what ever it takes to get back on that JJ track and let Sandi and family assist you, but in the final accounting, you are the one who can do DO IT!!! Remember that I am coming to see you next week and I will not hesitate to kick you in the seat of the pants and tell you to get on with it, bucko! If you will just CALL ME, I have a business proposition that you just might enjoy and will be a fun part of the "JJ transition period."
Get with it, Roomie,
and CALL ME!!! Messages are on your c phone.
Grumpy and Grumpette (who will bite you if you don't muster up.)
Carry on

Pat Kelly said...

You ended your previous post by saying "I forgot how beautiful it is and why I fell in love with Los Angeles long ago. What a great Christmas home coming this is." Forget about the people who don't know what to say ... they are just trying to make you feel better. Just like if you broke up with a girl and they all say "We never liked her anyway!" Enjoy the holidays. Don't sweat the small stuff ... you did a great job. You made it to Broadway and you went out on top ... "Artist of the Year Award from the New York YMCA" (I work for the NY YMCA!) Have a happy and peaceful holiday!

the other one said...

Would you please call Grumpy!

"Don't make me come down there!"

Grumpy and Grumpette- it he doesn't call you, will you kick his seat for me as well?

Paul Iams said...


I was in the audience the last night of your show (Saturday, November 25th).

At the time, I had no idea that The Two & Only had been cancelled.

BTW, I was the guy in Row N crying his eyes out.

Like you, I’m in my late 50’s, married for over 30 years, father of two grown children and a performer.

Specifically, I’m a singer who was smitten by the craft at an early age.

Like you, I get to do what I love for a living.

I saw you on Letterman and thought you were great. Then brought my extended family to see you when we came to NY for Thanksgiving.

Don’t get me wrong. Your ventriloquism is unbelievable. And deserving of all the accolades. You were inventive, amazing and very funny.

But the ventriloquism was, for me, "the act". The heart of the show was YOU. You were educational. Your short history of ventriloquism was wonderful. And your life story was touching. Your biographical vignettes, particularly the one about Squeaky and his maker and his widow and saying good-bye to the maker’s original dummy still bring tears to my eyes as I write this.

That night, you reduced me to a quivering blob. It took me some time to compose myself just to leave the theater.

You are a powerful, poignant storyteller.

But most important, your show touched on themes that have been significant in my life: the influence of mentors, the passing of the torch and -- above all -- Belief.

You are a gifted entertainer and a major talent. Nobody can take that away from you.

All things happen for a reason. Maybe this experience will re-focus your producing associates to make sure the traveling version is more adequately supported and promoted. I hope that your show is a tremendous success and rolls as long as you want it to.

Thank you for a hilarious, wonderfully cathartic and magical evening. Everyone in my family came away from the theater excitedly discussing the show and trying to do what you do. Laughing and having a great time!

When you come to Chicago, I’ll be beating the drums for you.

And remember: Sometimes we just need to believe.