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2014-08-24 - 2:38 p.m.

In A New York State of Mind...

I've been procrastinating writing this next part for so long. Though it was a time of adventure, fun and freedom it was also a time of change and an angst-filled one in my memory for sure!

Lorna and I had muddled around with the idea for a long time, that was, heading off to New York together. I don't really remember how much thought or preparation we'd put into it. I do know that on July 21, 1976 we headed off to New York without a definite place to stay. I believe we'd had tentative plans to stay at Doug's while he was on tour, even though he had already sublet his apartment to another dancer. And we were arriving several days before he was expecting us anyway.

On Our Own

Oh to be young, spontaneous and fearless once again!

Lorna and "some" guy she dragged into the picture during a our connection at "some" airport.

Mostly all I remember on our arrival was schlepping all our suitcases across town from Grand Central to the Picadilly Hotel in Time Square (this was long before the day of roller-bags!) where we checked in for $28 a night! We enjoyed the first day or two with abandon, exploring the city, seeing shows and me sharing with Lorna this incredible town in which I felt such a personal connection!

And then we decided it was probably time to call Doug before we completely ran out of money.

*I just want to share here a very vivid memory I have of our last night at the Picadilly. I woke up in the middle of the night and could not go back to sleep for anything, and as I laid there I began having these thoughts of such utter fear and doom that it was everything I could do to not wake Lorna up. It was probably one of the longest nights of my life and I have never again, before or since, felt anything like it. Sometimes I still think about it and wonder where that came from.

And maybe it was just a foreshadowing of the most impossibly difficult day to follow...

We tried calling Doug all morning and couldn't reach him, but since we were now at the day where he was "kind of" expecting us, we figured we'd just schelp our stuff down to E. 28th St., show up on his doorstep and most likely he'd be home soon...

Several hours later (after exhausting every other possibility) we were dragging our bags back up to Grand Central Station to deposit them in lockers in order to be able to explore our possible options "bagless."

The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out at Brew Burger, calling every 15 minutes and having a major con·nip·tion. Then we walked 50 blogs to the Baronette to see "Murder By Death" because we couldn't figure out anything else do to...

Later, after calling again and again and again, we headed back to Grand Central.

... Where we got a busy signal! And then finally, an answer! Off to grab suitcases from lockers!

Lorna's locker was empty!

Sheer panic! All of her earthly possessions gone!.. (or at least all the ones she had brought to New York!) We called a policeman over while Lorna continued turning whiter and whiter!... only to discover that while she'd stashed all her belongings in one locker, she'd taken the key from the locker above. All that time her suitcases had been sitting in an open locker, unguarded in Grand Central Station!

Finally, it was off to Doug's!

On Our Own Again

A few days later Doug left for tour with Paul Sanasardo leaving Lorna and I alone with his place for the rest of the summer. Or at least until Piper Pickeral would arrive the next week to join us... To this day I still don't remember how we managed to fit 3 girls into that (tiny) one bedroom (no closet space) apartment. Again, oh to be young!

The things that stick out in my mind the most during that hot summer month in New York I can probably count on one hand:

  • Seeing "Pal Joey" at the Circle in the Square Theatre with a cast I was so impressed with!.. (many of which would several years later become my peers of sorts.)
  • Playing Backgammon.
  • Taking ballet and jazz classes at Morelli's on 14th Street.
  • Listening to "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris".. (If "Pippin" had been the soundtrack of the Winter of 1974 this was definitely Summer of 1976's)
  • Seeing "A Chorus Line" for a second time with Sandahl Bergman as Judy and suddenly having my eye on that role!!!

  • Oh and also (moving onto the second hand) waiting for the audition listings to come out in "Backstage" every Wednesday...

Meanwhile we did alot of hanging out around town as well...

About three weeks into it Lorna decided to head back home. I remember at the time thinking she was "quitting" but in retrospect now realize she knew what she was doing. She'd end up in only a few short years having quite the television career!

Anyway, I'd given myself a month (July 21st to August 21st) to land a job and if I didn't I was prepared to head back home as well... and back to school.

On August 13th I had exactly $3 in my pocket... (I don't really remember how I managed to fix that. Most likely my mom fixed it. :)

During that final week I had 5 auditions with callbacks for most of them. At the "New York Telephone Industrial Show" auditions I snagged one of the five non-equity callback spots (which means since it was an Equity union show, non-union dancers didn't usually stand much of a chance.) And then, I also grabbed one of the eight non-union callback slots for the upcoming new Broadway show "Hellzapoppin!" Unfortunately both of these callbacks were scheduled to happen sometime in late September! And keep in mind, I also had no idea how many official Equity members might be up for these shows!

So putting on the most colorful "brave girl" hat I could find, I cancelled my return plane ticket and scratched this on Douglas's kitchen chalkboard!

By the way, Piper Pickeral was long gone by now but, if I remember things correctly, it had all somehow worked out with the arrangement.

And then I found Melanie...

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