Friday, June 25, 2004

More name-droppin' -- Gordon Davidson

The reading tonight of Athol Fugard from his notebook at the Fountain Theater in Hollywood was WONDERFUL... lots to tell there later. But the more pressing event?

I made myself meet Gordon Davidson, the Artistic Director/Producer of the Mark Taper Forum! After we'd done a little "dance of the non-valet-parked-cars" in the parking lot, I went to the restroom, pepped myself up to say a word before going upstairs to the reception (he was sitting out with a friend)... though confident in the parking lot and joking around anonymously was a breeze, I felt like a complete dorko:

I waited for him to acknowledge me. When he looked up:

"Hi, Mr. Davidson, I just wanted to introduce myself, (sticking out my clean but cold hand) I'm Madley..."

"Hello," he said and ROSE (Swoon! does anybody every RISE anymore?). "And what do you do?"

"I've always wanted to meet you and didn't know if I'd ever get another chance. (Babble, babble, sounded like I two-year-old) Actually, I'm a playwright and my play, Carabao Bookends, was produced for the Festival of Philippine Arts..." and I faded at that because I sounded so "Hollywood-y" to myself and like such a has-been -- yuk.

"That's good."

"And I've just been gun-shy about picking it up again, so I when I saw you I thought I better just make myself say hello."

"Well, don't you give up."

(More babbling) "Oh like with Mr. Fugard -- he was so inspiring."

"Yes, and cuts through all the lines. Universal."

"He does! It's just hard because Filipinos and Filipino-Americans don't have a strong theater-going tradition yet." (I guess I'll just kick the dog myself while I'm down!)

"Do you know Chay Yew?"

"I've not met him, but I know a lot about him." (I'm so lame.)

"He's written about the Filipinos. You don't give up, all right? Just don't give up."

"I won't." A quick thank you and my audience with The LA Theater God was over. Whew. Chay Yew too.

I sauntered over to the stairs for the reception, took a deep breath... and tripped on the top step.

It was a good night.

(About wonderful Athol tomorrow... "I didn't know if Pumla Lolwana was barefoot or she had shoes on her feet as she stepped out in front of the train." (Sorry, Athol, I paraphrased. Please forgive.) Man, is he the consumate storyteller... and wowee-zowee: I got to see him/hear/feel him! Talk about lucky.)