Saturday, February 27, 2010

You're So Lame... You Probably Think This Blog Is About You

One of the greatest mysteries in pop culture has been revealed... allegedly.

38 years ago, Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" hit the airwaves. Since the release of this seminal hit, the real life subject of the song has been a constant source of speculation. Everyone from Spiro Agnew to Patti Smith has been considered to be the one with "the apricot scarf" who likes to watch him / herself "gavotte".

Despite constant winks and nods on the matter from Simon herself (like every time she releases a new album), it is has been a generally accepted belief that it was Warren Beatty whose horse naturally won in Saratoga. He in fact called Simon on the telephone to thank her for the little ditty.

Turns out that phone call was indeed in vain. The Mystery ... *ahem*... man has been (supposedly) revealed as... DAVID FUCKING GEFFEN?!!


This is such a disappointing reveal on so many levels.

First of all, David Geffen? She a queen gurl! Look, I can see David Geffen wearing an apricot scarf and when I do imagine him he is often indeed "gavotting." I also have no doubt in my mind that Carly Simon may have been a psychotic fag hag back in the day. However, the story at this point is that Simon wrote the song at a time when she felt Geffen was giving stronger promotional support to Joni Mitchell.

If Elton John had recorded this song... the David Geffen thing might make sense. Hell, if David Bowie had recorded it, it would make sense. But to think that Simon's always sort of obnoxious but playful post break up dirge is actually about resentment towards Joni Mitchell?

All of this has come about via a new recording of the song. Apparently, if you play the newly recorded version of the song backwards, you can hear Simon whispering the name "David".

Now here's where I am coming from with all the "supposedly", and "allegedly"... I have listened to this clip. To me, when played forwards you hear Simon say the words "wee wee". When you hear the song played in reverse, it sounds to me that Simon is again, saying "wee wee".

Ummm..."Wee wee".

If you are like me and are just not technologically hip enough to have a record player, you can listen to the clip here.

I don't want to believe that Geffen and Simon were ever romantic. I don't want to believe that Simon was ever that resentful of Mitchell. I don't want to believe that Warren Beatty isn't the one who put those clouds in Carly's coffee.

So for now I'm just gonna keep hearing "wee wee" ... and continue to enjoy Carly Simon.

Love Me,


You can buy tickets for MY AiDS at

Friday, February 26, 2010

Danny's Sense of Snow

It has been snowing non stop for over 24 hours. Traffic is curbed, commutes are extended, people are trudging through the streets, plows are swiping, shovelers are grunting and I... am loving it. I love a good dumping of snow. And I do not get to sit inside my cozy little apartment, sipping hot cocoa and dreaming up blog poetry while watching the flakes gracefully float to my windowsill. I hafta leave my apartment shortly and get on a very slow moving subway, schlep across 2 city blocks and then go into work in a HOTEL where I will have to deal with very angry travelers who are immobilized and will treat me as if I had something to do with it. And I will wish I had by the time I am through with them...

My tolerance or even enthusiasm for snow is definitely a sign of having been born and raised in Buffalo, New York. My history and experience with snow is a pretty joyful one. I love snow because I have such wonderful snow memories.

OK, picture it, Buffalo, winter, 1980 something...

I feel like there was just a lot more snowfall in the 80's. In my memory every day between November and May up through 1990 is recalled with mounds of thick, wet heaps of snow piled everywhere!

After a heavy snow fall our neighborhood often became a veritable winter wonderland. Now summertime was always a time for a late night game of hide and seek or a tent sleep out in the backyard but winter always brought you in right at supper time and then you stayed there.

I remember one night (back in, oh we'll say '87 for the hell of it), after a long period of heavy snowfall and pretty well into the evening, the whole neighborhood for whatever reason came out to play. The clouds had cleared and now a bright moon shone making the perfect unmarred, sparkling, mounds of snow look like something from a Rankin - Bass Christmas special. Parents helped each other shovel driveways and dig out cars. We kids, after bundling up into ten layers of clothes AND THEN putting on snow suits and moon boots (can't forget the moon boots!), took the 'hood by storm. We ran wild through the snow filled, partly plowed, traffic-less streets.

I remember being thrilled and terrified as my bestie, Julie Inglut and I sat in the long orange plastic sled while her brother ran as fast as he could, the rope of the sled attached to his waist. This resulted in a collision with a pretty well packed wall of snow created by the plows. This collision of course resulted in tears from both me and Julie. Quickly recovering, snowball fights ensued. Forts were erected and razed, snow was tasted and deemed "really, really good" or "kinda salty". Laughter and screams shot across the crisp, dark blue night air over the whirr of a snowblower and the clack, scrape and dump of many shovels up and down the block.

Of course the evening ended wet and tired, parents remarking on the Campbell's soup-ness of their children. My sisters and I were peeled out of layers of damp clothes and slipped cozily into footy pajamas and warmed up with Swiss Miss.

Buffalo claims to be the 'City of Good Neighbors". It certainly is in a blizzard.

Enjoy the snow and just try not to eat it.

Love Me,


You can buy tickets for MY AiDS at

Friday, February 19, 2010


One other thought on this not so nice review...

If I can take it up the butt... I can certainly take it on the chin.

I think I'll be just fine.

See you at the show!

Love Me,


You can but tickets for MY AiDS at

So First I Get AiDS... And Then A Bad Review!

I had an absolutely lovely opening weekend. Yes, the house could have been a bit more full and yes I could have done without the couple of technical snafus, but all in all I had a really good time. I really just enjoyed myself. I enjoyed telling my story, connecting with the audience and having a good laugh with all of those around me. Most importantly everybody else seemed to be having a good time as well… or so I thought…

Tonight my roommate Nick and I had big plans: dinner and Kathy Griffin at MSG! So before the show, Nick and I sat down to dinner (which was totally comped – one of the perks to being a New York Celebrity hotel employee.) One martini in and before the main course I pick up my hand held device. (I don’t like to call it a phone because I have the iPhone and I always feel like calling it a phone is a little too ironic as I can never actually get phone service) I checked my email and here I blame Google... and their damn alerts. Ok, I signed up for them but still, right before some tasty risotto and Kathy Griffin? The alert was for a review of MY AiDS.

This particular review (which is sadly the only one so far) was not glowing. I guess it caught me off guard. I hadn’t considered that not only would my performance, writing and story be reviewed but my perspective, my thoughts, feelings and sort of mental state about being HIV positive and growing up would be up for analysis. I should have by all rights realized this. That is what I’m presenting… but damn it’s a somewhat bitter pill to swallow.

But not so bitter that Kathy Griffin couldn’t wash the taste out of my mouth. Nick and I headed over to MSG, we fought crowds and traffic and took our seats (second row center, another perk of being a Star of the New York Stage hotel concierge) and I laughed very, very hard.

We headed home and the conversation fluctuated between bitching about the review and laughing over parts of Kathy Griffin’s show. I’m still thinking about the review (obviously) and probably won’t stop until a fist full of Ambien takes it’s course.

There are parts of the review I agree with and a lot that I disagree with. I'm not going to get into picking the review apart piece by piece. I am a bigger woman than that.

But not big enough a woman to post a link to it.

Please note however, it did describe me as young... a "young man". That part I can run with!

It’s a lot to think about but what I do know is that I enjoyed myself this past weekend. In doing this show, I have enjoyed my life more than I have in years. And I’m going to enjoy it next weekend and the weekend after that. And I’m sure you will too… but don’t tell me if you don’t! So I’m just gonna turn off the Google alerts, put on my Chuck Taylor’s, don my signature plaid shirt and tell my story the best way I know how… by being honest.

Love Me,


You can buy tickets for MY AiDS at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tomorrow Night...

MY AiDS opens tomorrow. I am the epitome of calm. My head is clear, my muscles relaxed and my soul is filled with hope and potential. I am ready!

...And if you believe that I have a couple of dusty cases of clear cola in the basement I'd like to sell you. I am TERRIFIED. I keep wandering around my apartment, muttering my lines, and checking on ticket sales. I am chugging a lot of Diet Coke and I am trying to combat doubt, anxiety and severe indigestion.

But I'm also really pumped. Seriously, I am.

When the anxiety is at it's worst I try to focus on something that happened a little over a year ago. Once I had my first draft of MY AiDS I held a little reading for some trusted allies. One of the folks I read it for was a friend who I've known for a few years. We'd become a little distant but I really wanted to read the piece for him. I think he's really smart, emotionally in tune and I really wanted his feedback.

After I read the piece (which at that point was four hours long and included a dream ballet), this friend and I headed over to 5 Napkin Burger. I really wanted some one on one time with him to get his feedback. He had wonderful things to say and some honest criticisms as well. About half through our awesome aoli smothered burgers he says, "Well, you know I am too..."

Not having a clue as to what he was getting at, I responded with a mouth full of burger, "You are too what?"

"I'm HIV positive".

I didn't know this.

He then went on to tell me how much my piece both affected and comforted him.

I'd known this friend for years, both personally and professionally. He actually tested positive a few months after we became friends. I realized while wiping burger juice off my cheek that we could have been there for each other but we were both too busy being ashamed and insecure.

The bitch skipped town not long after to head out west. While I wish he'd stayed in town and am sad we don't get to hang out more and be there for each other, I do feel this crazy profound connection with him. We've kind of become sisters from another mister. He has continued to encourage me from afar and helped me to realize that this isn't just about me. It aint just my AIDS.

So it doesn't matter who shows up tomorrow. It doesn't matter if I drop a line here or there. It doesn't matter what the critics say. This experience has justified my even writing this piece. It has also emboldened me to move forward.

So tomorrow, my first performance is dedicated to my friend. It's also dedicated to anybody who has ever felt alone and terrified and really needs to laugh.

Hope to see you at the show!

Love Me,

You can buy tickets for MY AiDS at
MY BLoG readers can use discount code 'HIGH5' for first three shows!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Visual AiDS

Last night we started "tech" for MY AiDS. Now "tech" for you non theatre folks, is shop talk for "technical rehearsals". This is the point in the creative process where the show moves into the theatre and all the technical elements are added (scenery, lighting etc.) The fact that MY AiDS even has a tech is so surprising to me. It's also really wonderful.

Tech began with me and my roommate Nick rolling up with a car full of brand new Ikea furniture. I don't ever want to hear Kathy Griffin whining about being on the D - list ever again. I BROUGHT MY OWN SET! (if you haven't guessed I'm not in any kind of union here)But it's cool. My director Dave Solomon, our wonderful scenic designer Shoko Kambara and I all agreed on a set made up of furniture that felt like "Dan". This shit will continue to feel like "Dan" in my living room well after the show has closed!

As we began to assemble the set pieces (and by "we" I mean At Hand Executive Director Justin Scribner), our brilliant lighting designer Zach Blane and his team were hard at work. The lighting team was hanging, focusing, wiring, patching and doing lots of other stuff I know nothing about. I know they were very high up on ladders and using tools.

After some time we began to "light" the show. Zach (the lighting designer) and Dave (the director) bossed me around and told me to stand here, stand there, do this bit and do that.
Over and over and over.

I like to think I was patient but I am sure I was annoying. It was taking a long time. And we're still not done. We worked until well past midnight and we're continuing tomorrow. It's detailed, tedious technical work... but for me it was altogether inspiring. This show, my show, my stories, my story, MY friggin' AiDS is coming to life all around me. Not only do people care about what I have to say but they believe in it enough to give it a visual language.

We left the theatre last night at 4:15 in the morning.

I am very tired...

and beyond humbled.

Love Me,

You can buy tickets for MY AiDS at

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Love in the Afternoon

Before me a young woman is being strapped into a gurney against her will and electrodes are taped to her head. Electro - shock therapy will wipe her memory, thereby leaving her a blank slate who is ready, willing and able to do the bidding of a maniacal cult leader. As I witness this I dip a Wavy Lay into a vat of french onion dip and take a sip of Diet Coke. The girl begins to scream as the voltage cranks up.

This is happening on my television of course.

This is 'One Life To Live'.

I fucking love Soap Operas. I am a learned, intelligent, well read, and cultured individual... and I am enthralled, engaged and endlessly fascinated by Soap Operas. Are they predictable? Mostly. Are they poorly written? They can be. Are they filled with terrible acting? Not all of the time. When you produce 250 hour length episodes of one show a year... a LOT of them are going to be stinkers. At 13 - 16 episodes a season, there's a reason shows like 'Mad Men' and 'Lost' are so classy.

In fact I think it's the predictability I like the most. Soaps embrace our most basic and classic dramatic interests. Switched at birth, evil twins, star crossed lovers... these are not just the stories of 'Days Of Our Lives' and 'General Hospital'. These are the stories of Ovid, Aeschylus and Sophocles. At 2:00 in the afternoon the Greek Gods are transformed into wealthy American families with perfect bodies and too much time on their hands.

We know what to expect. We know where the story is going. We know that Lucky will learn Elizabeth is sleeping with his brother. We know that Blair will sabotage Todd and Tea's marriage and we know that before the final death knell is rung on daytime television Luke and Laura will find their way back to each other. We know this as surely as we know that (*spoiler alert*) Romeo will drink the poison and Juliet will stab herself with the dagger. We have no choice. The stories are ingrained in us and not just from endless, mind numbing hours of TV, but because these stories are built into the psyche. No other art form aside from stagings of the ancient classics celebrates this quite as boldly as a Soap.

So that, my friends, is why when the last back is stabbed, the last secret told, and the last shirt torn off, I will be there. I will be watching.

Love me,

You can buy tickets for MY AiDS at