Letters to DD

Letter’s to DD

Madrid 1981 I’m in the pink (literally)

In 1980 I moved to Madrid to rehearse and perform in a show at the Hotel Melia Castilla. We were the first cast of this still running company and because they were behind schedule the theater wasn’t finished when we began rehearsing.  They were building the theater during the day so we had to rehearse from 8pm-4am every night.  It made for some very interesting times as the multi functional stage which included various elevators, stair cases, fountains, and skating rinks all had to have the kinks worked out.  It was winter so it was cold, but it got better when they finally got the roof finished.  At least it kept the snow out.  I was one of only four American’s in the show and we all lived together in an apartment at 347 (that’s tres, quarente-siete) Bravo Murillo.  It was a life changing experience for me.  It formed my work ethic, my way of looking at the world and most of all my humor.   I was highly influenced by these much much much older and experienced roommates who I love to this day.  (who? whom?)

Roommate Linda returned to the States and after a few more years dancing returned to law school and became an attorney.  David returned from Europe a few years later and became an attorney as well.  I think both of them got tired of being pulled through too many contractual loop holes over the years.  Roommate John is the Artistic Director of the Diamond Head Theater in Honolulu.  I was fortunate to spend a very formative twenty first year with three of the smartest funniest people I have ever met.  
David died of complications from AIDS over twenty years ago and I still think of him almost every day. The following is an excerpt from one of the many letters David sent to me after I left Madrid.  I am compiling a book of our correspondence for John and Linda and I wanted to share a bit so you could know DD (David) too.  
November 23, 1986
East Lansing, Michigan
Let’s just avoid a lot of argument and admit that this is, after all, just another Christmas Letter.  This is my second attempt at penning this missive.  The muse who accompanied me through the birth process of last year’s edition has been conspicuously absent around here lately.  I’m sure it has everything to do with the new, boring and jurisprudent persona I am now in the throes of acquiring.  Surely it could have nothing to do with the fact that I wrote last years effort while nibbling croissants and guzzling vin rouge as I contemplated the continental panorama from my charming Parisian Garret window.  While in contrast I am now searching in vain for a flash of inspiration among the parked cars of my midwestern condo parking lot as the thermometer takes a nose dive toward Wuthering Heights.  Is it any wonder the Bronte girls couldn’t come up with any good musical comedies?
Linda and David  Principal Dancers Scala 1981
I’m in the pink -always

When last we spoke I had just decide to take the GREAT CAREER PLUNGE… well I did it.  And came up spluttering.  What a brutal awakening!  What a cold shower of reality.  For the first month of school I felt like an out of place toucan that had mistakenly been swept up in the migration pattern of a flock of barn swallows.  Instead of the Amazon jungles of my natural habitat I found myself perched in a chair in a climate- controlled lecture hall with numbered seats, 1-160.  An intimate room grouping.  And I was surrounded, not by colorful show folk chattering away in their many native tongues, but by real average people all bundled up against the winter cold and all speaking English.  As you can imagine I was reeling from the shock when the enormity of what I had done began to set in.  And the homework!  I who had not cracked so much as a Time magazine in ten years now had to write something called briefs (written, not apparel) about contracts for bushels of wheat and reluctant tomato farmers and boxcars of coal at wholesale prices.  Week after endless week until I reached my own little, “Turning Point” and wouldn’t you know, Shirley Maclaine was responsible.

To Be Continued…  I will be happy to post more if ya’ll are interested.