DELUSIONS: Angels, Punks & Raging Queens Long Forgotten

UNFORGETTABLE:
Angels, Punks & Raging Queens

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By Angela Theresa Egic

(my original title)

A few weeks ago, someone I used to call a friend, posted in a public forum that I, Angela TheresaCurry’s AngelCollins-Egic, am just “not that memorable”; also, I apparentlylack charismato boot.

Since I originally penned this article (last week) — a little glitch in my life [an abnormal mammogram and upcoming needle biopsy to see if its benign or malignant] has caused me to think about memory, being remembered, etc. Two and a half years shy of my half-century mark, I’m having the longevity conversation with myself . So, as I chronicle my life, up to now and hopefully well into the next fifty or so years.

The person who said this does need a little introduction, because to most of you, he’s not that memorable, I would think. To most of my readers, he’s unknown, in fact:

 He was born Andrew Martin Arnold but solely uses the stage name of Andrew Martin now. It suits him well.

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When we met, back in 1985…I thought he was a 17-year-old girl. Andrew would tell you the same; that he looked like a 17-year-old girl.

For a few of those youthful years, Andrew did start wearing women’s clothing, taking my hand-me-downs, in fact; and marketed his transvestite image. He utilized my talents and Susie “Squeaky” Schwartzberg’s talent to do two cabaret acts at a venue called Jason’s Park Royal. The first one titled: THE LADY AND HIS MUSIC.

He was Miss Andrew, in every sense of the word. A talented, off-the-wall and interesting young gay man.

To some degree, he and I were as close as any two friends could be. Andrew and I met at an 8th Street pizza joint called Bennie’s [worst pizza ever – yet we ate a slice every week]. The day I walked in there, across the street from 8thStreet Playhouse in NYC; on my way to see the NY showing of ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: I met these two girls, [I thought]; when the very thin, flat-chested one told me her name was “Andrew”. I was a little taken aback. The shorter one, with a tomboyish charm [yet, was obviously female] was “Barbara”.

Really, they didn’t even look related. Nevertheless, they were: fraternal twins.

Barbara Arnold
 It didn’t take long to figure out that both Andrew and Barbara were talented, intelligent teens. In fact, wise beyond their years! I instantly adored them. Through them, I met some great people, many of whom are still friends today; including Barbara and Andrew. Except, the friendship with Andrew has ended a few times and we are, as of July 2011, not on good terms . . . which is what I’m writing about.

In 1985, though, Andrew, Barbara and I, and a few others became a gang of misfits, at a place where us misfits fit in. There was the “8th Street Gang [Cast]” and “us”. “Us” who wanted to be in the 8th Street cast—all of us talented enough, yet not popular enough – to Sal Piro, at least. Being that Sal is the President of the Official RHPS Fan Club and cast the floorshow (now called shadowcasts) back then. We were still misfits.

We showed up every week, though, at 8th Street Playhouse – Miss Andrew, Barbara Arnold, Susie “Squeaky” Schwartzberg, Phil Dejean, Shawn Rozsa, Mad Man Mike, Andy Grondahl, Hawkeye, A.J. and many more. Since Sal seemed to have blacklisted quite a few of us from being in the popular 8th Street cast…I found us another way!

I moved to Brooklyn and heard about a midnight showing of RHPS on Saturday midnight. When I heard the floorshow [shadowcast] was thrown out, I grabbed my mis-fitted friends and swooped in to have our own show. I wanted to have the best cast! A cast that would have people saying we were “as good as the 8th Street cast” or “better than”!

I just wanted Sal to see how talented we were and have him, finally, offer us a role in the big show in Manhattan; or acknowledge us, at the very least.

We put the show together, quickly. I had every intention of playing ‘Magenta’; no one wanted to play ‘Frank N. Furter’, oddly.  Inspired by an 8th Street idol of mine, Julie Calabrese, I molded myself into ‘Frank N. Furter’. Oh yes, and my other idol, Dori Hartley. [She, Dori, had moved on with her life before I had arrived in New York, though].

Our (really, my) cast, The Low Down Cheap Little Punks, at Brooklyn’s Marboro Theater, became known as one the best casts in the East coast – comparable to Manhattan’s 8th Street Playhouse! At least, as far as I was concerned! Sal Piro eventually took most of my cast into his cast – so, that tells you something. Some of the top cast members of Sal’s 8th Street group, in 1986, got their start in MY CAST!

As time went on, around 1987, when I began working in a talent agency – we represented Sal Piro – Sal and I started a professional, respectful friendship: I’ve attended many Rocky Horror conventions where Sal and I had some great conversations. My favorite was a Las Vegas convention, in the 90s, when Sal introduced me as “one of the most dedicated” fans of RHPS.

Sal also put me in his 2nd RHPS book Creatures of the Night II;invited me to be part of the first television showing of RHPS at FX Studios [I went as Frank N. Furter, of course]; and Sal asked me take his RHPS items to an Albany, NY convention when he couldn’t attend.

In the early years, I was at every convention from the 10th Anniversary (Beacon Theater) – and where my original costume – “Curry’s Angel” brought me Good Morning America and newspaper reporters and photographer’s interviewing me about “who” I was.

Found out, later, one of the friends’ buzzing about me told the reporters that my real name was Angela Curry . . . and that I was Tim Curry’s real-life niece!!!

I hadn’t even met Tim Curry, at that point!

Nevertheless, the next morning, as my interview aired, millions of viewers thought I was, indeed, Tim Curry’s niece as the name ANGELA CURRY was emblazoned at the bottom part of the screen. Coincidentally, when I finally did met TC, it would be revealed how much I resembled his real-life niece. I believe she, Tim Curry’s real-life niece (he has three); one resembles me [I’m older, I believe]; she, my doppleganger Curry niece, has aged much better than me, though.

About three weeks ago – on the Facebook 8th Street Playhouse page – to be told by Miss Andrew that I am “not that memorable” and that I lack “charisma”, really got up my crawl!

We must also remember, after 1987, Andrew disappeared from the RHPS fan base and refused to be part of any of our conventions, get-togethers, etc. until about 2008 or 2009.

In short, while I was involved, actively from 1983 (AZ) to 1984-1987 (NY) and then from 1988-now at conventions, another stint as ‘Frank N. Furter’ in Arizona in the 90s, made a “rock-u-mentary (1990) w/the AZ group, talked to Tim Curry and had many conversations with Sal Piro, Patricia Quinn and Richard O’Brien and too many cast(s) – all the way to England – and had a RHPS newsletter – fans from as far as Italy and France writing me fan mail . . . Really?! Not memorable? No charisma? Me?

Are you talking to me, Andrew? Unmemorable, little ole me?

Andrew claims “more people” remember him from those days. I might agree with him about that, of course. My argument is NOT the numbers; it’s the words about a personality – no charisma, not very memorable. Are those words you say to a friend? A friend so instrumental in so many memories, my own and in his, and many others!

There are people from “those days” who approach me, remember me, actually . . . whom I cannot, for the life of me, remember at all. BUT, friend or foe, I would never be so rude to say to them:  “you’re not very memorable” or “you must’ve lacked charisma”.

Hell, for all I know, they are very memorable and have tons of charisma – I just wasn’t lucky enough to see it and or get to know this great person at the time. My loss.

Which was my point with Andrew Martin, supposedly my friend … he went on to remind me and the group how “everyone remembers him” and “hardly anyone” remembers me. A snob! An ego-maniac.

A very insecure person, envious of my involvement and part of this history. Andrew missed the years between 1987-2007, when we had reunion’s, conventions and were interviewed by German, French and British TV shows and even American specials.

After I blocked him on Facebook – had unfriended him months ago when he posted some rude, jealous and snobby remark on my wall – I actually just feel sorry for him. He is, insecure. He is dysfunctional much more than most of us. I claim to have empathy.

Cabaret>>Click Here

Of course, without proper, professional diagnosis, I can say, from my experience (in life) – I find Andrew shows signs of classic Narcissist Personality Disorder. I had another friend with a professional diagnosis of the disorder – thus, I see the similar signs in Andrew.

This means, I really should be empathetic. Yet, I, too, have my ego and insecurities, as well. I guess we’re all a bit narcissist in the theatre business!

A recent scare, which I’m still dealing with calmly, made me think about . . . well, being remembered, etc. and how we are remembered.

I have no fear of death, itself, yet I don’t want to do it right now. I want to see one hundred years on this earth, I mean, if I’m capable and not crippled up, etc. Yet, as I have had friends pass on – far too many for someone my age – it makes me think about who will remember me? Who will share these memories with me, of me and our times in the 1980s?

with Susie "Squeaky"

If Andrew is right, and I’m not that memorable or charismatic — me being there was all, I don’t know, an illusion.

I thought I finally did fit in. I had found my people – the different, the misfits, the unusual – and now, maybe I am still an alien, the kid easiest to bully, the ugly one, the forgettable one.

Sure, I know it’s not true, really.

Andrew is trying to hurt me to make himself feel better – for his insecurities – yet, he succeeded. As really, no one even stood up for me!

I may understand why, though – Andrew will argue, filibuster – and would’ve pestered anyone who dares speak up for me. Because I spoke up for me and he went on and on until I ended it by blocking him! It just would’ve soothed my ego (of course, not my authentic self as “ego” is the false self) if someone had spoken up for me.

I guess we can say Rocky Horror Picture Show also attracts insecure people all around! Yikes!

P.S. I have to mention tarot cards. Why? Because it’s getting me more traffic than any other search!!! LOL! Over 400 people per week search tarot cards. And, oh yeah, I do tarot card, Archangel Michael Oracle Card & Archangel Oracle Card readings! Email me: “Tarot Readings”–AngelAura28@yahoo.com [Tarot Card Reading: $15.00 Full/In-Depth Reading]

Renthead: Meeting Wilson Jermaine Heredia

It happened Saturday, October 2, 2010

October 2010

Now, this story really begins much earlier. In fact, it is sort of full circle, or nearly full circle.

My history and story with musicals; in this case, RENT (the musical), and the cast of the original Broadway musical.

Years ago, when RENT was a workshop and there was a casting call . . . in the late 80s. I recall reading and/or hearing about the audition here in New York.

At that time, I was a skinny (anorexic thin, actually), aspiring stage star. I graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Regularly performing as ‘Frank N. Furter’ with my Rocky Horror Picture Show shadowcast in Brooklyn; attending auditions I would find in the Backstage newspaper.

1984

I’m sure I blew off the auditions for RENT. Only thing I remember from the time(s) was thinking, “A musical about paying rent? Clever!” And having read the breakdown, perhaps, at that time, I would’ve only fit the role of Maureen. I know, in those days, even though I was in my early to mid 20s, I was still being cast as 16 to 19-year-olds [I looked really young]. It made me a good age for ‘Mimi’ . . . certainly I was skinny enough, but, I am as white as the driven snow. The only thing about me that is even remotely hispanic would be brown eyes!

God knows, as a teen and into my early 20s, I dreamt of wearingMax Factor’s TV #4make-up to help me be a candidate to play ‘Maria’ in WEST SIDE STORY!

Strangely, I remember someone, who was a lot like the real-life version of ‘Angel’, a good friend–at the time.

1986_Miss Andrew

He/She called himself ‘Miss Andrew’ . . . was one of my best friends . . . in my shadowcast [as ‘Columbia’]. I remember, early in our friendship, Miss Andrew said to me, “You’d be great as Mimi in that new musical, RENT.”

Miss Andrew knows his stuff, as far as theatre goes … thus, it must’ve been very early on in the developing of RENT: Andrew wouldn’t expect red-headed/white me to play a hispanic girl, even then, when I was skinny enough to play a drug addict with AIDS.

To complete the circle . . . to this day: I swear that Jonathan Larson, previous to writing RENT, must’ve been hanging out with all of us at “8th Street Playhouse’ and ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW in the 80s. It would be years and years before I actually saw RENT; still, I feel like I knew every character in one way or another. They were me and my buddies at RHPS, etc. We lost many, early on, to AIDS, too; others still living today with it on inhibitors, etc., etc.

I dated quite a few guys who were either, filmmakers ala’ ‘Mark’ and many musicians, ‘Roger’. And like ‘Maureen’, I experimented a bit. Not quite to the point the character did — as I never had a full-fledged affair with a woman. A couple of make-out sessions above the waist was as far as my lesbian experiences went, in my early 20s.

Otherwise, to this day, I generally date 1) gay men, 2) commitment-phobic men or 3) possessive men. If I date at all. It’s been awhile! Another story for another time!

1984_Nick Atonna & I

I digress … In 1993-1997, years later, I was highly involved with Manhattan’s 13th Street Repertory Theatre. During a production of Tobin James Mueller’s musical, Frankenspell, I dated a bit. One guy, whom I had one date with only, was Simcha Borenstein. It was just dinner, thus, really, not a date — it was either his birthday or mine; we were friends and not too interested in each other romantically. Anyway, I think it was his birthday and I didn’t want him to celebrate alone … he was sort of shy, or seemingly so. Thus, we had dinner.

At that time, we talked a lot about theatre, etc. and have kept in touch, a bit, since that time (facebook). Simcha is married now and like me, still does theatre. Anyway, about four years ago (2006 or thereabouts), had dinner with him and his wife. Simcha is close friends with Anthony Rapp!!! They went to school together!

1996_Simcha & I

In 2007, I finally saw RENT on Broadway and fell in love, becoming a big Renthead. I also saw WICKED. Although, I had fallen in love with the Original Broadway recording of WICKED and had a mad lust/love and respect for Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth. In fact, I still do!!! I’d go gay for Idina Menzel [really, it’s a joke! Maybe . . .].

Time passes again, I hear Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal [I’d do anything for him!] are coming back to Broadway in the show. On their last Broadway performance, a few days before, desperate to see them perform, I go to Craigslist and find one ticket for sale — face value!!! The girl cannot go due to a job conflict.

In the meantime, this is 2008 . . . my roommate tells me that she is friends with Adam Pascal. They worked on a film together called GOYBAND. More small world coincidence. At the Broadway Flea Market earlier that year — I met Anthony and we spoke about Simcha, out mutual friend.

So, I go to the show, and despite crowds in the 1000s (it seemed), I get near enough to Adam to yell out, “Georgie [sic: my roommate from GOYBAND] says ‘hey’, Adam!”

Adam looks up, all sweet and wonderful, and says to me.

Oh, send her my love and a big kiss!”

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to him, close enough to get that kiss for her!

Then, later in 2008, I move to Hollywood, California for eight months, right? I join a meet-up group. The organizer of our “law of attraction” Beverly Hills, CA meet-up group, Marc, I learn…plays tennis regularly with . . . TAYE DIGGS!!! Idina Menzel’s husband!!! Unfortunately, Marc never introduced me to Taye and Idina. Still, closer than ever.

Wilson Jermaine Heredia

And then, just this last October . . . back in New York since November 2008: I go to the Broadway Flea Market and win free tickets to an Off Broadway play called TALES FROM THE TUNNEL. I meet the director at the flea market.On October 2nd, 2010, my good friend Jordan Auslander, another friend, Joseph and I go to see this play. I am in awe, happy and thrilled to see “Wilson Jermaine Heredia” as one of the ensemble cast!!! Wow! Full circle!And earlier that day, I was jamming to my iPod and listening to ‘I’ll Cover You’ from the film, RENT!After the show, a few of us were hanging around [bathroom etc.] inside the theatre. I went over to greet the actors and hoping to say hey to Wilson. And out he comes from backstage!”Wilson, I was listening to you today! Small world!”

Wilson smiles, “Thank you!” as he gives me the tightest, best hug ever!!!

It caught me a little off-guard, in a great way,  as I didn’t expect him to be so down-to-earth and friendly! He held really tight and wow — he has a great body [Wilson obviously works out]! Also, we must remember, I have a thing for hispanic men. So, I was in heaven!!

As we came out of the hug, he started to introduce himself and went to shake my hand.

Thank you for coming, I’m Wilson Jermaine . . .

I had to cut him off, “I know who you are! Remember, I was listening to you today?” As I introduced myself, “Hello, I’m Angela Theresa Collins. I won tickets at the Broadway Flea Market.”

Then, of course, he was off . . .

I was sort of overly excited and forgot to ask for a photograph together. At least, a cell phone shot. Still, I had a great experience!

Hmmm, I wonder if Wilson dates older women? Wilson, how about it?! I’d be a cougar for him, most definitely.

How about it, Wilson?

That night, I looked him up on facebook and found him; only later to learn it was an imposter. Nevertheless, I finally found the real one — a day or two later. He’s really down-to-earth and talented and even plays a little accordion!!! LOL!

Oh yeah, I also saw Jesse L. Martin live at the 25th Anniversary of Rocky Horror Picture Show in Las Vegas, NV. And I’ve tweeted to Tracie Thoms on twitter; although she has yet to respond! 😉

Life really is good! Soon, I’ll do another piece on all my favorite celebrities I’ve met or communicated with . . . most recently, had a short tweet from Betty Buckley! It was the night of the eclipse. My 2nd or 3rd tweet from her; after I responded to her.

Love, Light & Laughter,

Angela Theresa