Category Archives: Hillary Clinton

Something for mom: Femme Feast

This Sunday at 3PM the Waverly Writers, Wanderlust Productions in association with The Playground Series at Manhattan Theatre Source will present “Femme Feast”, a veritable feast of female performances. With short plays by Bekah Brunstetter, Lisa Ebersole, Lara Gold, Laconia Koerner and Laura Rohrman (me) it’s sure to be outstanding! This is truly a labor of love and since I am one of the producers, I am certainly urging you to attend…and yes, bring your mom! Tickets are $15. Reservations: (212)501-4751 or order online.

Manhattan Theatre Source 117 Macdougal Street New York City between 8th Street and Waverly Place

Wonder Woman in a Cat Suit

Sadly, today at midnight I am going to end my “project” which has been to interview one person a day until the election.  Today when I went to vote I stood next to Patricia Keaton in line.  She is very nice and civic minded, but she really didn’t want to be interviewed for the blog.  Meanwhile, I am quite behind in my interviews and will be spending election night writing about the many cool people I met with instead of focusing on any poll numbers.  People are coming over to watch election results around seven.   My house is usually some sort of center of activity….

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Old New York

Lately I’ve been running into people who have been openly telling me about vintage New York City.  From my mom’s best friend who sold her apartment and still regrets it, to an ex-convict who is just happy to be free.  Old New York was a city full of large two bedroom apartments “with a room for a maid”, a place where gangs were stabbing people as part of a right of passage, a city where cabs cost .85 cents, a city where “all my friends died of AIDS” — a city where “I hung out in the theater all day.” Some of these things are still true, some have changed.

I’m behind in my interviews.  So I’m playing a little catch up here.

Who: Alan Brown
Where: Grounded, NYC
Occupation: Screenwriter
Alan has lived in New York City since 1981, but he left in 1987 and lived in Japan for seven years.
“It was good that I got to leave,” he says.  “I learned to appreciate it.”
“Wasn’t it bad when you came back in 1995?” I say.
“No, it was much better.  New York went through such a dark time, you have no idea,” he says.
“My first real trip to New York City was in 1997.  I saw some plays and went to Times Square – I took photos,” I say.
“See, that was after Disney and Giuliani came in.”  Before Giuliani Broadway was dark – it was gloom and doom,” he says.
I hear differing opinions of the pre-Disney post Disney Broadway, but one common theme I hear is that New York is cleaner and safer than it ever was in the eighties.
“I left right in the middle of one of the worst times – it was the Crack and AIDS epidemic, there were many places you couldn’t go.”
“So many people hate Giuliani, but he really cleaned up New York,” I say.
“Yes, he did.”
Alan Brown is very political.  In fact, he was just in Pennsylvania campaigning for Obama this past weekend.  He’s from Scranton.
“Just like Joe Biden and Hillary,” he says.
Alan was a Hillary fan (like me) but has jumped over to Obama’s camp (like me).
“Hillary will be fine,” he says. “I’m very happy with Obama as our candidate.”
“So what’s your favorite thing about New York?” I say
He thinks about it for a little bit.
“Everything.”
I laugh.
“New York is the only place in the world where your life might change depending on which way you walk, or who you walk into.”
“Isn’t that true for everywhere,” I say.
“No, nothing is like New York, this is the place where dreams really can come true.”

NYC Train Interviews: Thursday and Friday

NYC Train Interviews
Thursday is the day I go to White Plains to take care of my aunt, so it’s not usually very exciting.
I asked the mustached train conductor what the craziest experience he’d ever had on the train.
“Oh lots of things,” he says.
“Like what?”
“People having fun.”
“Fun drinking, fun what?”
“You know, having fun.”
Oh, I get it.  Okay.  Having “fun.”  I say this while I am imagining the scene from “Risky Business.”
“Can I take your picture?”
“No  way.”
The lady across from me who was wearing sexy smart glasses and an interesting animal print dress and high brown boots asks what I’m doing.
With a smile ear-to-ear she came and sat next to me and we chatted the rest of the way back to New York City.
“You know I have to interview you now, right?” I said.
“Oh no. I’m so boring,” she said with a smile.
You know, I’d rather interview someone who says that they are boring than someone who is supposed to be exciting who ends up being boring.

She could be Molly Shannon

She could be Molly Shannon

Who: Jackie
Where:  Metro North, heading back to New York City from White Plains
Occupation: Research Pharmacist
Jackie is a self-described optimist; the book she was reading about “Change” was just proof of her desires in life.
“I tried to be a real-estate agent once, but that didn’t work out.”
Jackie wants to be open to change, but obviously it hasn’t been in her past.  She stayed at one job for 13 years and when I asked her how long she’s been living in NYC, she said: “19 years,” before telling me that she was born and raised in Brooklyn.
So, really she’s been in NYC her whole life.
“Most people aren’t open to change, but not me,” she says with a renewed freedom.
Jackie loves to travel though and through her work, she’s been all over the world.
“Thailand was my favorite.  I just loved the people there.”
Of all the people I’ve met, Jackie had the least to say, but was the most happy and optimistic about life.  She reminds me of Molly Shannon in “The Year of The Dog.”
“Change is good,” she says with an even bigger grin than before.
There was something about her. She could be an actress. I can see her in one of my plays.
“Really?” she says.
“Yes, absolutely.”
Hopefully this is a Democratic change.
I took some photos of some people on my way home to watch the debates.
My husband wanted me to wait for him, but I couldn’t.
Here’s a weird thing and I’ll just say it.  I can’t keep my eyes off of Sarah Palin.
Okay, I said it.
Onward.
It’s really horrible that she uses her charisma and hotness to get ahead, or is it?
The things that Tina Fey makes fun of about Sarah Palin — the winking, the kiss blowing, the effusive goofiness, the hairdos, the hot outfits, I don’t know.   Is that really wrong?  Just look at what America appreciates.
As a woman and a feminist, it disgusts me that she’s chided for this. Obviously using her good looks is something that’s gotten her ahead in this world, why should she stop now?
Hillary was booed for her poor outfit choices and harshness.
We are either not pretty enough or too pretty, but that’s what people talk about with women instead of what’s really important.
Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president.  That’s the only thing that’s important to know about her.
Anyway, I had all kinds of plans, but ended up lying around my apartment all day hoping to feel better.  It never happened.
Finally at 3PM Beatriz came by and this would force me to leave my den.  Beatriz is the daughter of Maria our once-a-week cleaning lady.
Maria, Beatriz mom, put both of her daughters through school by cleaning houses for a living in NYC.  We inherited Maria as our cleaning lady when we got our apartment six years ago.  If you are wondering, “oh she has a cleaning lady” – I married into the cleaning lady deal.  I never grew up with one and never had one before.  It was my husband’s thing, but sure, a great idea.
Maria’s set of keys proves to me that she probably has 40 clients.  So over the years her daughters have come in and cleaned in her place; secret-cleaning genies who did things a little more detailed than their mother.  I often hoped that these girls would grow up and take good care of their mom; she deserves it.
Laura the elder is now a Police Officer.  Beatriz, the younger is an up-and-coming filmmaker, and I hadn’t spent any time with her until recently because she was studying in Spain.


Who: Beatriz
Where: My apartment
Occupation: Filmmaker
Beatriz is a like a little wind-up doll filled with extra batteries.  She talks a mile a minute and is doing a million things at once, including cleaning our apartment.
“Did I tell you that I got a job working with a production company that does gay sit coms?”
“Great,” I say as I get out my tape recorder.
I’d like to interview Beatriz.  I think she’s full of hope and excitement, but she talks too fast, even for my tape recorder.  Or maybe I am just too slow today.

Here’s some random photos I took of people around my hood.

One Person a Day till November 3rd!

One person a day until November 3rd.
I love talking to people.  Despite myself, weird, interesting and lots of times incredibly smart, magical people have been drawn to me my entire life.  I suspect the reason for this is that I am to write about these fascinating folks, which I do with ease in my plays.  Characters such as the Dutch photographer living in Paris who is going off to Kenya to shoot the Masai (The Witch of Ile St. Louis) and the advertising executive who speaks like a poet (My Life As You) are based on real people in my life who I have known.  But lately I’ve wanted a simpler outlet, something that’s just fun.
With the election coming so soon, I thought it might be an eye-opening exercise to interview random people once a day.  Let’s see if I can do it.  This will force me to be present – to ask questions and to listen.  So often, we shut the world out and just listen to our own voices, the ones in our heads.
Interview 1: Melody Olsen.
Occupation: Student, Aveda Institute.
Location: NYC
When I went to the Aveda Institue yesterday to get a cheaper-than-usual haircut and highlight job, I didn’t expect a.) it would take so long and b.) I would run into the likes of Melody.  Melody O came out around a corner and asked me softly if I was “Laura.”  I nodded, put away my book and walked towards her station.  Melody looked annoyed and an unhappy grimace turned the corners of her soft round face. With her blond bob and her broad shoulders, she reminded me of someone I knew before, in another life, someone who was “extremely type A” and from the Midwest. So that’s where I put Melody in my file of people.  I did all this before she uttered a word.   I was tired and not up for lots of conversation at first. Next, Melody and I discussed my new gray which appears just around my ears and it’s starting to make me look like Dracula.  Hmmm….what to do next with my hair? Nothing super exciting, just some low lights and a shorter cut.  Then, Melody and I set off to chatting as one does with a hairstylist.  We talked about “going to school” and what Melody thought of the Aveda Institue.  She candidly admitted her frustration was emanating from “school.”  I could relate to the drudgery of school.  I went to a three-year graduate MFA program filled with just the people I’ve been trying to avoid but inexorably drawn to my entire life “drama queens.” We also talked about finding it annoying how many times in our lives “high school” would repeat itself.  And being a good bit older than Melody (I guessed), I assured her that high school stuff happens all the time.    Turns out, the more we talked, the more I found Melody interesting and not quite like anyone I’d met before.  Her Midwestern familiarity came from her hard working background, not from Illinois as I guessed.  This 23-year-old, Independent voter came from a Republican, “hunting”  family and grew up in Nome, Alaska a town of about 3,500 that just got cell phone service two years ago.

When I asked her about Sarah Palin her face lightened, she was a fan, but admitted she preferred Hillary (uh, me too).   I asked silly non-cultured questions even though I might already have known the answers.  I asked about hunting, Wolves, Bears, Caribou (apparently Caribou is what her family hunts), Polar Bears, Grizzly Bears, Whales, Eskimos and even Igloos.
“The Alaskan people all hunt – it’s normal,” She said with a serene calmness. “A  hunting and gathering people, they feast on the land as our ancestors did,” she said with the authority of a school teacher.
Then, this blond haired blue-eyed beauty told me about  her grandmother’s Eskimo village and always knowing that she wanted to be a hairdresser and taking the chance to move beyond her small town and to NYC.   What courage!

We had that in common.  I also came from a small town of 100.
Looking at Melody, with her soft radiance, it reminded me of me when I was first  getting to know this city.
My hardest question yet:  “What’s your favorite New York experience so far?”  She had to think about it awhile.  Nearly an hour later as she washed my newly colored hair, it came to her.
“My favorite memory so far is a sudden rain storm.  We don’t have them in Alaska. There was thunder and lightening – and it was pouring.  We were all running with our black aprons on.  I was giggling….”

Thanks to Hillary…SATC and Brenda Starr Reporter

Now that all the Hillary hating is over, people can start missing her. In some of those photos, Hillary is absolutely stunning. Her beauty is deep within in the lines of her face.

The political landscape is far less interesting these days without her in the race.

I spoke to the Marketing Director of The Chicago Tribune today and she said: “Never in my life did I think I’d see the day when a black man and a white woman would be running for president. Together they’d be unstoppable.”

Probably.

Why was I talking to the Marketing Director of the Chicago Tribune? Well, because we were chatting about my granny and Brenda Starr — and how my granny, Dale Messick was one of the early pioneers for women, paving the way for not only other cartoonists, but for journalists. Dale Messick via her character Brenda Starr Reporter inspired millions with the “I’m a woman and I can do it” attitude.

SATC – perhaps it just proves that movies don’t have to be all about men or violence to be popular.