I'm a rather busy gay, so I've had to watch TRANSPARENT a few episodes at a time(You know, in my day, they aired T.V. show episodes one at a time every week, except on holidays or special events, so sometimes you'd have to wait three weeks to see what happens next!) I finished the season last night and I was so damned pleased! I really like the show. If you'd seen my face, you might not know that. At the last scene in episode 9, I found my face wet with the wetness coming from my eyes.
As a Gay of a Certain Age, I find that I'll cry openly while enjoying a movie, t.v. show, stage show, song, particularly good serving of flan... It's not just sad things that'll bring me to tears, it's also beauty, happiness, empathy and lately, it's been simple acts of kindness. If you'll remember, FUN HOME really kicked my ass and I left that show puffy eyed and emotionally fragile. I love when that happens! Once in awhile, I'll let vanity win out and I'll try to hide the fact that I'd just cried at a Paul Rudd buddy movie, but as I get older, I'm starting to wear my tear stripes with pride. So, as I took a walk with Ed at the end of episode 9 and into the final episode of the season, I was puffy eyed & red and thinking of my own Ed-ness, especially in regards to this blog. I cried a little more the next half hour, but most of that was happiness for Alexandra Billings. I was so happy for her and her success and the great response to the show that gives her a chance to work and touch us with her performance. I met her while I was an extra in a movie called SOCKET and she was playing a doctor. We had a scene together where she was being a doctor and I was being unconvincing as guy with surgical mask and cotton pads. She was a very nice actress lady. It wasn't until I was a guest in her stage show KATIE'S CORNER that I found out what a hoot she is! This woman is a KOOK in the most wonderful way. Since then, I've done a few more Katie's Corners with her, as well as a few staged readings as fund raisers for AIDS/LifeCycle (All of this is thanks to Sean Abley, who continues to use me in stuff). Alexandra is also a beam of light, I love the way she spreads beauty and wisdom in her every day postings. I always feel something when I read what she writes, whether it's a lump in my throat or a giggle in the back of my mouth, it's sometimes accompanied by a tear or two... she touches me like that, because i'm a Gay of a Certain Age, I guess. You don't have to look too closely to see the tracks of my tears, they're right there, next to the laugh lines. This is me with Alexandra at the Young Frankenstein reading:
And this is something I stole from her Facebook page today, I hope she doesn't mind:
I was standing in line waiting for my double dipped espresso latte vente special chocolate shmengie-pumped-something, longing for the days when all I had to say was "Sanka, please" and my caffeine addiction was fixed, and from behind me, I heard my name. I turned and saw a mother and her daughter sitting at a table and smiling at me. Both blondes and both sat, hands folded as if they had just finished saying grace.
"We love your show." the mother said, breathy and with great purpose.
I walked closer to them, moving a few people to the side as the line was getting longer and longer.
"Thank you. What's your name?" I asked her.
"I'm Margaret and this is my daughter, Anna. She's eight years old. "
Anna looked up at me and smiled and held out her hand. I shook it. She stared at me with her sea-blue eyes and then calmly straightened a curl that had fallen over her face. She then, stood up and motioned me to come near to her. We walked away from the table and over to the corner. The sun fell through the glass that surrounded us and seemed to land directly around her, as if she were radiating light and the calling for me was historic and resonate.
"My name is Anna and that's what I call myself now... But I'm keeping Mark as my middle name... what do you think? Anna-Mark?"
I stood there, holding on to her hand. I was breathless. She smiled and the light of her reflected on to me and we held on to each other, standing in the corner being seen through the glass and speaking what was true for us. I then heard a clear "Alex?" from the distance, reminding me of my own past and the years of shame and rage attached to who I thought I was and what it was supposed to mean and how I needed to hold on to it and the ownership of others and my eventual surrender to the Divine guidance of my own truth.
"I am Alexandra-Scott. I think your decision is a great gift. For you and for others. And I thank you."
As we let each other go, and Anna walked back to her table, leaving the light in the corner, I caught her moving one more time, that pesky strand of blonde hair from her face, and snuggling close to her mother. And as I heard my name from across the room and walked toward it with gratefulness and wonder, I heard Anna giggle....and I did the same.