I’ll never forget my first date with Bob Brody.
We’d known each other online for years and, like everyone who has ever met him online, I was sure this was a dear friend before we ever connected in person.
Over the course of my earliest years writing for actors, we got together several times but it was our first date that I’ll never forget.
Backstory: I used to go to Dan Tana’s a lot in the early ’90s. I was one of “those girls.” And I loved that I could get a drink bought by all sorts of men in their 40s and 50s if I just rolled out my southern accent and did a little extra flirting.
Okay, so here it is 2003 and I *know* Dan Tana’s. And that’s where Brody wants to meet, after we’ve had many dinners at The Palm (RIP). He tells me, “Go in, sit at the bar, tell Mike you’re there to meet me, and I’ll join you.”
I go in, I sit at the bar, I tell Mike I’m there to meet my friend Bob Brody, and he scowls and yells, “FUCK BRODY.”
He then pours me a drink and I don’t think I paid for a single one for another few years, there.
It was as if I had uttered a magic password of some sort, unlocking the door to something really wonderful. And man, that was the truth.
Being in Brody’s life was something really wonderful.
Or maybe it was having him in MY life that was the real magic.
So, Brody shows up, looks me up and down, and says, “Of COURSE you would sit on the exact stool on which my third ex-wife sat the night I met her.”
I told him that was the best line I’d ever heard. “You’re a writer, Bobalicious,” I said. And, for a few of us who were exposed to his works, yeah, he really was.
I’m glad I got to experience that side of him.
He contributed to my POV column, he wrote a gorgeous essay for Self-Management for Actors on how we get to “paint our day,” and he referred to me as “Emerson incarnate” when he recommended that same book to actors around the world. His poetry was not just about actors and lobsters and stiff drinks… it was about family and soul and heart.
But the best times were the ones in which we talked about — for hours and hours and hours at a time — family and heart and soul *over* lobsters and stiff drinks with actors.
He truly was a friend to all actors and creatives everywhere. And he is also the reason I was ever hired to write the weekly column for Actors Access.
I had been a columnist for Backstage since 1999 and I left that gig in 2003. For months, Bob and Gary worked out a way to get me a gig with Actors Access. They didn’t HAVE a column. They aren’t a publication; they’re a casting submission service. There was no PLACE for a writer who wasn’t writing casting notices!
Basically, they CREATED the job I’ve had weekly since 2004. Brody changed my life.
As happy as I am that he is out of pain (because I really *do* understand that it’s time to go when morphine is what gives you the slightest break from what you’re feeling), I am so sad to lose this human connection.
Brody was a dear friend, a catalyst for much of my career as it now exists, and a father figure too much fun to flirt with to ever call such a thing.
Good night, my love. You’ll never be out of lobsters now.