We'd already recorded Simon & the entire rest of the cast up here in November the day before Neil's birthday, so of course he couldn't be there, and brilliant producer/director Sue Zizza - whose idea it was to ask Neil in the first place, as she's a big fan of his Audio work - gave him Special Dispensation to record separately later this month. (Which meant, sadly, that he didn't get to meet Tovah Feldshuh and see her amazing work - she's playing our lead, Rivke, and is utterly breathtaking. She made grown authors cry.) Simon Jones (whom you may remember as Arthur Dent in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio drama . . . or even as "Bridey" in iTV's Brideshead Revisited) is such a pro. He not only did all his lines over again so Neil could read into them, but he picked up everyone else's as needed, as well - I'm perfectly prepared now to re-cast him as the teenage female love-interest . . . ! The man's a vocal genius, and he can turn on a dime. I guess that's why we [are not] pay[ing] him the Big Bucks -- Bless his heart, he's also a perfect sweetie & is doing it at Public Radio rates as a favor to Sue, I think, as they're old friends (as Neil & I are). Neil & Simon had great chemistry - turns out they're even from the same part of UK - though we asked them to do a mid-Atlantic accent, as they are both playing Poiish noblemen (!) . . . Neil has such a beautiful voice, and I even got to direct him a couple of times on lines I felt strongly about (which was very nice of Sue, as usually the Author is told to be silent on pain of death when the Director's speaking to the actors) - and it worked: I got shivers a few times, hearing him speak our lines, infusing them with feeling & insight.
Trax done, I hied me uptown to present books at the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Club of NYC's annual Meeting & Holiday Party, where I re-connected with longlost college pals, and met some fine younger alum's, and bought some appealing books, as well. I also realized, there, that I have taken to shortening my words & my sentences when around other people, assuming they wouldn't always understand what I was saying, otherwise. That was sobering - I'd had no idea I was editing myself like that, until I caught myself relaxing & not worrying about it, with a quivering of gears as the clutch eased up around folks I knew could handle it. I'm going to see if I can't stop it.
Tomorrow, off to Philadelphia for PSFS talk (all are welcome, and there will be books for sale, which I'll gladly sign). . . Heigh-ho & pack up the luggage!
And if you think I've gotten any writing done this week, you will be sadly disappointed - as am I.