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  1. When we left off last week:  During a pay-to-meet session with a respected casting director my mind kept drifting to the married lifetime I’d left behind (seriously, I’d been married longer than most open mic comics have been on the planet!) and my now altered life. I didn’t “change horses in mid-stream.”  I got off the horse, walked into the stream, got pulled into an undertow and there was no lifeguard on duty…  I should have had a snack before this meeting with Twinkie Byrd, even her name makes me hungry.

    Divorce was a heart breaking, game changing monkey wrench in my family, income and eating habits.  Tribeca offered everything just outside my door, or within walking distance: dim sum in Chinatown, brunch in the Village, lunch around the corner at Nobu, dinner in Little Italy, birthdays and anniversaries celebrated right across the street at Tribeca Grill.  My gastronomic choices off Brooklyn’s Malcolm X Blvd. were pretty much limited to a proliferation of plexiglass protected Chinese fast-food take- out joints.  No Zagat rated restaurants, designer name boutiques, or comfy new movie theaters nearby now.  Within walking distance, I had street after street sporting a two per block minimum of store front churches and African hair braiding shops.

    Don’t get it twisted.  The heart of Bed-Stuy boasts wide tree lined streets with the occasional mansion dotting row upon row of brownstone and limestone landmark homes.  And THAT is why in spite of her riotous history; Bed-Stuy was slowly but unmistakably becoming the go to gentrification destination of white folks fleeing $2,000 - $3,000 a month Manhattan shoebox size studios shared with 2 roommates.  Black long time brownstone owners were cashing in selling their homes in a bubble inflated market.  Or they doubled (sometimes tripled) the local rent on the gentrifying influx happy to finally have space, ornate woodwork, no roommates and a monthly outlay reduced by hundreds of dollars. Through providence and timing only slightly ahead of the trend, I found in a century old brownstone, on a short street wedged between Crown Heights and Bushwick, an apartment I could afford.  BTW, time would tell, I really couldn’t afford it.


    Dollar signs danced in my head as I calculated how silence had dominated my 5 minute @ $8 per minute session with this casting director, who was going to instantaneously 
    change my career a.k.a. my life. Finally Twinkie (her real name) put down her pen and fixed me with a penetrating stare. Where do you see yourself? She asked.  That’s when one of the voices in my head did a double take.

    Just one of seven voices residing in my head, the Martha Raye  / Pearl Bailey / Carol Burnett  hydra 

    Martha Bailey Burnett

    Martha Bailey Burnett, is especially fond of  physical comedy: double takes,  pratfalls, spit takes and the like.  The pause following Martha Bailey Burnett’s double take, gave me the opportunity to shut her down before she responded (out loud) with an ostensibly comedic but obviously sarcastic rant about “having paid her dues”… “breaking back into show business”… and “a job that rendered more than a negative balance after rent, food and utilities!” 

    To be continued...

  2. 6 comments:

    1. uh oh loving the suspense...

    2. thomassaxon said...

      A lovely read! Enjoyable and informative! Flows beautifully!

    3. Sharon Renay said...

      LoL'n - :'( 'n and enjoying your journey!!

    4. Sharon Renay said...

      LoL'n - :'( 'n and enjoying your journey!!

    5. RHC said...

      Thanks. More to follow!

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