Its Day #42 of the Lockdown here in Los Angeles. On almost every one of those 42 mornings, I have thanked my lucky stars I live in a state that takes the COVID-19 threat seriously, and that puts human life above capitalism.
On a national level, our alleged leaders continue to lie and block and desperately attempt endlessly to paint a pretty picture, when the reality is anything but optimistic. (Go to my Facebook page if you need to read some of my rage.)
Meanwhile, in Cass County in Indiana (where I went to high school), a Tyson pork plant is a hot spot with over 600 confirmed cases (probably many more by the time you read this).
My elderly parents live just minutes from that location. One of my nieces lives nearby and is an RN at a hospital; another niece lives even closer to the plant and works as a social worker for local at-risk youth. And a great-nephew is a guard at the State Prison in the next county.
And since my parents lost Tammy, my only sibling, last year, you can imagine why I feel an extra-added reason to stay healthy and vigilant!
So what does one do with all this generalized, floating anxiety?
As show biz hibernates, the powers-that-be deliberate when/if/how to resume production, and whether/how to incorporate our new world into their old story lines. And a city full of artists and craftsmen (and women) have been keeping themselves busy (and a mostly locked-down populace entertained & inspired #AloneTogether) with at-home concerts, daily Shakespearean sonnets, Zoom table readings of plays & TV shows, and the like.
I'm so inspired by what I'm seeing. But I'm also very frustrated. Not being a musical artist, I can't pluck a guitar live on Facebook, or produce the stunning musical parodies of my friend Amanda Gari.
But one does what one can with the tools one has at hand.
Laurence and I had a blast at our "virtual book party" for SUB-LEBRITY last week on Facebook. Its been great fun sharing my "almost-live" readings from the book, and posting daily Old Dogs & New Tricks episodes, on social media.
Since we're not out of this nightmare yet, we're just getting started with on-line offerings!
Tuesday, May 5 at 8:30 pm PST, Arvin Bautista (the wunderkind who helped me bring ODNT to life), Laurence and I are hosting a live Zoom "ODNT Watch Party!" We're sitting down and watching the first season of ODNT, and answering questions from guests. I've never actually sat down with Arvin and just watched the show, so I'm really looking forward to it. I hope you'll join us! Click HERE to get all the poop!
And that's not all! I'll be doing one last "almost live" reading from SUB-LEBRITY soon. This time, I'm reading "You're Nobody 'til Somebody Hates You," the chapter in which I share (and finally respond to) some of my post-Cindy Brady hate mail. Since the language contained within those notes is just too vile, too evil, for innocent me to read, I'm recruiting some of my favorite actors (Mo Gaffney, Ray Abruzzo, Wendy Worthington, Curt Bonnem, Bruce L. Hart, Amanda Gari and many more) to help me out with this one! Stay tuned!
And finally, later in May, the entire ODNT cast is reuniting (virtually, at least) to perform a Zoom table read of three never-produced, episodes! More info on that is coming soon, too, as soon as we work out all of the technical details!
And, of course, the e-book SUB-LEBRITY *The Queer Life of a Show-Biz Footnote has been doing pretty well on Amazon! Thank you to everyone who's purchased and read a copy, and bless those who've taken time to post a reader review. On top of everything I've listed above, I'm busy preparing the paperback release which, hopefully, will still happen on June 14. But only if those printing press workers can go back to work with confidence in their safety. And then, the audio book, and then. .. and then ...
I'm beyond grateful to be healthy, that my loved ones are safe, and that I have so many things to keep me occupied, to keep my mind from playing "What if...?"
How are YOU filling your time at home? Which artists are keeping you entertained online? What shows & movies are you streaming?
Let's talk! I'm not going anywhere! ;-)