I have shot a lot of video here, and I promise to upload it, especially for our friends who love just hanging out with us on this amazing time here in the City.
But the problem with video is that when you whip the thing out, it changes everything. Suddenly everyone feels like they have to be on their best behavior and they start performing for the camera. In many ways, reality shows like The Real World, and especially The Real Housewives, where the wives in each city seem to be competing with each other for which can do the most outrageous things to each other in order to make good footage.
Whether it's upending a table and yelling, pulling at wigs or snidely commenting "behind their backs," it's all a big show. They're performing for us. I don't want that. I like it best when we're all just being ourselves.
Real life happens off-camera.
Still, I love having these home movies, and I love making them. There's another little snag, too. It's not just "us" anymore. Now we're around a professional production with Union rules. Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-Union. I'm just saying it's more difficult.
Anyway, I'm saying all that because people have been asking for more video. I promise it will come.
Missed: Frances Sternhagen, one of the great actresses of our day, came last night. I knew it in advance but didn't bring the camera. For some reason, it felt wrong to make this into a video event. This was her first time to see "Zero Hour," and we were anxious to know how she really felt because she worked with Zero on Ulysses in Nighttown, mentioned in the play, where a bunch of blacklisted actors, led by Burgess Meredith, put on a show for themselves.
I mean SHE WAS IN IT. She was THERE.
She told me a funny story before the show. Zero had a reputation for pulling tricks and stunts on people during the run of a show, to get them to break up. Brochu did this to me all through "Big Voice," you might recall.
She told me there was a scene in Ulysses where all the actors in the cast except Zero were sitting on chairs facing the audience. Zero stood before them with his back to the audience. He would do whatever it took to break them up, especially because the audience couldn't see a thing that he was doing.
Franny Sternhagen has a twinkle and glimmer in her eye that just never seems to die out. And she was so gracious. She said Jim really captured Zero perfectly, and she agreed to participate in an event we have coming up on December 9th at the Barnes & Noble across from Lincoln Center. Copies of the play, now published by Sam French -- they have just begun using "publishing on demand" to get their licensed plays out quicker, and be more flexible with changes -- will be available.
There hasn't been an official press release, so I don't want to say too much, but it should be fun. Several other guests who knew or worked with Zero will be telling stories and possibly even reading scenes from the play.
Speaking of fun, that discussion I wrote about a few days ago, the "Survivors of the Blacklist" panel discussion is getting some heat. The seats were snapped up in an instant. No matter how far away you get from it, there are still people around who were greatly hurt by the blacklist, and it's like an open wound. You start picking at the scabs and it all comes out.
Officially, Zero Hour opens Sunday night. But the audiences are finding us, and we've already had a couple of sold out houses. The reviews will hit next week.