Eight years, 16 productions, 41 members and too many fantastic memories later and I still smile when I think about it.
Molly found me in August, 2001, a month before New York City lost its two front teeth. She found me through “Backstage” on the heels of a series of career disappointments. She found me and I found her and she saved me and through that salvation Partial Comfort Productions was born.
moved to NYC to be Brad Pitt, working in soap operas as a professional
extra and under-fiver. When my services were no longer needed, I
performed in a series of truly horrible industrials, no-budget films,
and Off-Off-Off-Broadway plays, paying my dues in a most dreadful way
until the defining theatrical experience of my career when I was hired
into a remounting of Jim Simpson’s OBIE-award winning Kabuki show,
“Benten Kozo,” at The Flea Theater.
spent the summer of 1999 in theatrical heaven, working with a monstrous
ensemble on a daily basis for three straight months, my own private
version of The Group Theater. I’d never before experienced such
theatrical camaraderie (many of the folks from that summer are still
close friends, and members of PCP), and when the summer ended, I found
that I could not go back.
I finished conservatory, embarked on another series of dreadful work, and flipped the pages of everyone’s favorite trade paper open in late July of 2001. The first line of one notice stopped me cold:
"Forming Theater Company: Seeking a small group of actors and actresses in their 20's..."
I began to fill in the blanks of my usual chain letter reserved specifically for Wednesday afternoons (when the first copies of “Backstage” made their way to midtown kiosks), thought better of it, and sat down in the privacy of my bank cubicle and crafted a careful heartfelt response.
The question I’m most commonly asked is, Why a membership theater company? Why not just work with Molly to produce on a play to play basis?
answer – which I have never officially given – is a) that I have no
desire to be merely a producer and b) is that Partial Comfort
Productions is not just a membership company. It’s my home. It’s
given me my best friend, my writing career, too many important
friendships, and the most incredible personal and professional network
I’ve ever known. It’s made me smarter, braver, more assertive, more
articulate, and more intelligent. It’s given me face to face
introductions with more theatrical and cinematic icons than I could
have ever anticipated, and introduced me to the theatrical mentors who
have forever change the course of my life. It’s led me to receive a
Master’s Degree, to be greeted with a respect I’d never before known,
and to be the recipient of more warm handshakes, emotional tears, and
secret smiles than at any other period of my life.
There are rough patches, but were the see-saw from my childhood playground in front of me, balanced on one side by the cons and the other by the pros of this endeavor, I’m afraid that the see-saw would be irreparably bent. It’s not even close.
As you read this blog, this the first of many more entries to come not only from me but from the members of Partial Comfort, you will no doubt find the occasional rant, but more often than not you will find similarly voiced gushings.
My belief is that there could never be enough gushing about the single greatest, most important thing I – WE – have ever done. There simply aren’t enough words.
I shall, however, close with my two favorite words, uttered each time a new member is ushered into the Partial Comfort fold.
p.s. One other gush: Thomas Bradshaw’s new play, “The Bereaved,” is gonna fucking rock. Count on it. Rehearsals haven’t even begun and I cannot adequately convey how excited I am about this play. The Wild Project – and the Lower East Side in general – is not going to know what hit it