The Linnet's Wings Summer 2014 - Page 118

“You look German, the gray-blond hair,” he added, motioning to my full head of hair, a legacy from my maternal grandfather. “Got the portly wife already, the two adult kids, yeah,’ it might work, “a few lines.” So after all these years, my first role in New York was ten lines, and Terry always the perfectionist behind a camera, had also hired a German tutor so our coming onstage was authentic, things a German family on vacation in wartime Mexico would talk about: sunburn, hot weather, the spicy food, and the lack of decent cold beer. He even had us learn, the Lorelei , the ancient German folk song, and sing it off stage, as the Reverend Shannon character drank whiskey onstage. Joyce Faulk who played my German stage wife was a lovely woman, and an imposing figure at two hundred pounds in her late forties with a skirted period bathing suit complete with a white turban. In one moonlit scene at the mythical Casa Verde hotel built onstage, we waltzed to Mexican radio music very much in love, and at the same time shamelessly celebrating the Nazi Luftwaffe firebombing of London. The woman who played the Eva Gardener lead role of Maxine had taken a leave of absence from the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera where she’d been singing for eight shows a week for the past five straight years. “I had to get away!” she told me as we were waiting for the stage manager to call, ‘places’, “so, I wouldn’t go nuts!” She joined us for the two month run, and then returned to Broadway. A beautiful woman, all the men in the cast agreed, but strangely enough, married to a man who brought to mind the Adams Family TV series character, Lurch. After Iguana as we called it, a few roles started to open up, parts for middle age drunks, abusive husbands and fathers, priests, ex-colonels. I played an Off-Broadway father of one of the Columbine killers, a best-selling novelist who has an affair with his daughter-in-law, a broken down abstract painter talking to dead artists, a renegade CIA agent who kills his Russian agent, a journalist in Cairo. To fill in the gaps I started to do bottom-feeder television, low-budget horror and paranormal fare that I promised myself I wouldn’t but did anyway. I did one TV series playing a dead relative of a well-known British film star who returns to haunt him on set, almost ruining his career, until I’m exorcised by an aged Long Island Catholic priest. One TV series I did had a broad range of horrible parasites attackin r