Disability Pride Parades Matter II: people with disabilities are the most unrepresented minority in Hollywood, #22 of #52essays2017

Last year I wrote about why Disability Pride Parades Matter, from a bookish perspective since I unfortunately did not make it to the parade. This year, I did make it and was very pleased to run into friends including my old pals from Lighthouse Guild Music School! They may never forgive me for flubbing my chance to distinguish the Lighthouse… Read more

Bobst Library, the Education of the Blind, and The Buffoon of Saint-Ovide, Essay 21 of #52essays2017

When I started my grad degree at NYU, I was given, for my nearly exclusive use, a little padded cell in the basement of Bobst Library where, in the beginning, I read books on the history of the education of the blind alongside postmodern theorists. It was black, or I remember it as such because of the black acoustic foam… Read more

From Derrida to Diderot: The Philosophe’s Dream, Essay 20 of #52essays2017

Thinking back to where The Spectator & the Blind Man all started–and by all I mean dissertation, stage production, literary endeavor–it was probably with Diderot. And I believe I discovered Diderot in the pages of Derrida: “I write without seeing….. This is the first time I have ever written in the dark . . . not knowing whether I am… Read more

Ylang-Ylang: Calming the Panic of Love & Memory, Essay 5 of #52essays2017

When I first read about ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata), I’d no smell associations, but I was intrigued because it is included in so many aphrodisiac blends. It is both relaxing and stimulating, which is a fabulous combination when you’re trying to get it on. Then I smelled ylang-ylang out of a labeled essential oil bottle, and I realized I’d smelled it… Read more

Hannibal: From Acting to Aromatics, essay 4 of #52essays2017

Two winters ago, I got a call from my agent in LA to tape an audition for Hannibal, and it led me on a journey from stars in my eyes to a brand-new appreciation of smell. I was, as an actor, thoroughly green. I did not even know that for TV/film auditions you sit or stand still with the camera… Read more

In the Beginning Were the Eye Doctors, essay 1 of #52essays2017

Before the base closed to make way for the National Park, Lucasfilm, and the Thoreau Center, my mother and I drove regularly through the Presidio to buy cheap groceries at the commissary or to the Letterman Army Medical Center for visits to the pediatricians and then many eye doctors. My dad was in the military, and as a dependent, I… Read more