So, here we go:
Dear Erin Markey,
Will you direct my Patti show?
As I mentioned to you, I was really inspired by that thing you said in that interview about that thing you studied at Michigan with Holly Hughes (“Holly was/is really into helping young artists discover that whatever bizarre thing they already do is interesting enough to perform, showcase and investigate artistically.”) When I told you how fascinated I was by that quote, you said, “You need it.” You get me.
You certainly got me when you encouraged me to join you for that artists’ salon a few weeks ago. That was one of the best days I’ve had all year, and I’ve never felt more like a writer, more like a performer, more excited to create something.
As I attempted to explain in my last column, I was getting some major Garland from you, and I want you to know that, in general, you’ve been on my mind, and lately I’ve been thinking about you as I’ve taken in the work of other artists (READ: female musical performers – it’s not you, it’s me).
Even before I read that wonderful interview (kudos), even before I saw your wonderful Puppy Love (you don’t need any granola bars from me), I thought of you for my director. As different as we are, we are kindred spirits, both simultaneously enthralled by and irreverent toward our passions — we can laugh at the very thing that we find most compelling (a very important sensibility for my Patti show).
I know this about you from our wonderful friendship and from my work as your director on your musical, The Dardy Family Home Movies. But because of that, initially I worried that having you direct me was a bad idea — I wanted to maintain one dynamic in our relationship. I treasure our collaboration, and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize it in any way for anything unrelated to your brilliant musical. But seeing Puppy Love twice in the last couple of weeks, and thinking about you and your work so much, I realized that our relationship is mutually respectful, comfortable and safe (but not undangerous . . . ). I guess you can bullshit a bullshitter. JK.
This past Sunday, I went to see the amazing Wendy Ho, in contrast with her name, giving it away in a no-cover, no-minimum greatest hits concert at Bartini. She’s been working on some exciting new songs since she moved to LA last year, but I was struck by the fact, that among all the brilliant parodies she reprised – including the song that is probably my most romantic memory of the old days at Therapy. her Patti-LuPone-flawless “Fuck Me” to the tune of “Get Here”– the jewel of her crown has always been her screamingly funny and fabulous first original song, first video, and fan favorite, “Bitch, I Stole Yo Purse.” It really is all about telling your own story. And it’s time for me to tell mine. Wendy was so thrilling to watch and it made me think of how thrilling you are. Slanty-Eyed Mama Kate Rigg’s parting words to me at Wendy’s show were, “You have excellent taste to come to this show. It speaks very highly of you.” Imagine what she would say if I told her Off Off-Broadway’s new It Girl was directing me!
You’re obviously very busy, but you and I are good at carving out odd hours in a day (the crossover between work and play is fluid and 24/7). You know over the next few weeks we’re VERY likely to be spending a lot of time drinking wine, eating pasta and watching Patti – might as well take it to the next level.
I’m looking to book my show for a one-night-only, no press, no promotion, invite only performance at some small venue, maybe in Williamsburg, probably in the end of June. I think that will force me to get to work as opposed to waiting around for the second draft to materialize so I can move forward. The timing is right, and I want your help on my piece.
Whaddya say? Do it. For me.