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Laughing For a Living
Most Thursday or Friday nights for the past decade I could be found hard at work -- laughing in an aisle seat.
As a theater reviewer for The Grand Rapids Press, I spent my evening enjoying great theater from the best seats in the house. During the day, I interviewed the stars who were coming to town, including Jerry Lewis, Tony Curtis, Bette Midler, Molly Ringwald and more. Laughing for a Living is a behind the pen look at the stars, the rude ones and the flirty ones and the ordinary every day ones.
“I know I have the best job in the building,” I told Press editor Mike Lloyd when I decided to retire early in 2009. Although I’m being weaned gradually while continuing to write about theater on a freelance basis, I know my life of laughter has been too perfect to let it fade away without sharing a few behind-the-scenes stories. Such as meeting master comedian Jerry Lewis and seeing his rude and angry side. Or finding out that quintessential charmer Cary Grant was a little paranoid. Imagine having to put up with Tony Curtis rubbing your leg or Bette Midler calling you at home. And you’ll never believe the shape-secret of Julie Newmar that I kept under wraps for 35 years!
Laughing for a living has been fun and frightening. Sad and silly. Inspiring and irritating. But dull? Never.