The Unlikely Baby of fringe, NYC

One of the best things about being a writer and theatre producer is that people randomly send me things to read. 
Also, one of the worst things about being a writer and theatre producer is that people randomly send me things to read. 
Let’s be honest. Most of the things we write are mediocre at best. That’s why those things don’t get read by the masses. We save the good stuff for people outside of our private circle of readers. But when you’re INSIDE a private circle of readers, you end up reading a lot of really awful stuff. But you do it, because people will read your awful stuff and tell you it’s awful except on the rare occasion when it’s not and then you know you really have something. 

In the winter of 2009, my friend Tom sent me his script for a play called “The Unlikely Adventure of Race McCloud, Private Eye.” And I knew he really had something. 

“Race” was funny and smart and colorful and something I wanted to spend time with. So I offered to do a reading of it with my company. The day of the reading, Tom found out “Race” had been accepted into the NYC International fringe festival. I don’t know if he asked me to produce it, or if I asked if I could produce it (although it’s likely the latter, as I’m fairly aggressive about these things. I may or may not have taken my engagement ring out of the box myself and put it on my own finger.) but regardless of how it happened, it was established. I would produce Tom’s show in the fringe.

And it was great timing. I had lots of free time those days, as I had just left my job teaching music theatre at a local college. We were in the adoption process, and we didn’t know when we might get “the call.” So I was free as a bird. 

You know. As long as we didn’t suddenly get a phone call saying we were going to become parents. 

But that was highly unlikely. We’d only been approved for 3 months. 

(You see where this is headed, yes?)

A few weeks after that first reading- yes, just a few weeks later- the phone rang. My life changed forever. I became a Mom. And I can’t think of those first few months of Motherhood without thinking of Race McCloud. 

Tom gave me an out. He’s a Dad. He knows what it’s like to have an infant. But I knew we could do it as a family. And so, with the help of my husband, I produced a show in the fringe with a baby strapped to my front. 

It started with rehearsals. Lily had lots of great ideas. 

  
Then, we had some photo shoots. Her PR rep was very demanding. 

  
We hit the streets of NYC to pass out postcards and meet the fans. She had a lot to say.  We called it the No-Shame Marketing Campaign. 

 
She was famous. My husband was carrying her down the streets of the East Village when he overheard someone say “hey! That’s that baby from the fringe!”

And after a highly successful run, we were able to relax and enjoy some time together.  

We even took in a show!  

Cute pictures aside (but come on. They were pretty cute.) Race McCloud will always have a special place in my heart. It was part of my baby’s first summer. It helped plant theatre seeds in her heart that are really starting to bloom. (She’s appearing in her first show at the end of August. She plays one of Snow White’s dwarfs. Her character name? Nin-com-poop.) And it gave me the confidence to know that I am not “just” an actor. I can do things. Even big scary difficult exhausting things. 

The thing about theatre experiences is that they end. Even long-running Broadway shows end. It’s the toughest part of the process for me. But there’s exciting news for me and Race McCloud fans everywhere. You can now read about his adventure in a series of novels available on Amazon. Ok, so the books may not weave their way into your own personal narrative the way they did with my daughter. But they are an awful lot of fun. 

 The Unlikely Adventures of Race & Cookie McCloud (Book 1.1): Awkward Introductions by Tom Hoefner et al. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XVI8USW/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_64.Nvb4MV8ENS

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XVI8USW/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_64.Nvb4MV8ENS 

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erin
    Jul 10, 2015 @ 13:47:55

    This is such a fun story! And the second to last picture killed me. How cute is that little baby hand. She looks so pensive.

    Reply

    • Thoroughly Modern Mommy
      Jul 10, 2015 @ 13:52:56

      Well obviously she’s trying to decide whether to have the pad Thai or the coconut shrimp.

      Reply

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