Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Where Do The Good Boys Go To Hideaway?

I'm a bit obsessive about keeping notes regarding all my professional dealings, so I can say with absolute certainty that it was June 3, 2016, when Boys of a Certain Age entered my life.  
It was on that date that I ran across a casting notice on, a site I pay dearly for but rarely access.  
The show's description caught my eye, as did the description of one of the characters: "age 60, came out when he was 20; he is gay; playfully dramatic and vocally open about sex; a veteran of many movements, scenes, careers and love affairs; he is now mostly retired and has a cane."  Those last three words are in fact what encouraged me to submit for an audition: "...has a cane."  I was on occasion using a cane at the time, as back surgery was on the horizon, so performing the role WITH a cane would not be a problem.  I did wonder, though, why such a detail was included in a character description for a casting call.  Was anybody worried that an actor might be interested in playing a role UNTIL he discovered he would be carrying a cane, a detail which might cause him to up and quit?
I submitted myself, auditioned, and was cast in this brand new play. There were, at the time, to be only 3 performances, to be presented during one of NYC's thousands of summertime  creative arts festivals.  This particular festival celebrated gay theatre (and artwork and music and so on) and was rather preciously called the Fresh Fruit Festival.  Yes, we get it: for two weeks in July, it was all gay, all day.
Playwright Dan Fingerman created four
interesting and dynamic characters and
placed them in a fairly traditional setting,
a beach cabin during a weekend. Think
Love!Valour!Compassion! without the
pond, or Lips Together, Teeth Apart without
the straight people, or Boys in the Band
without the self-hatred. That was us.

Though we rehearsed for weeks, I have to confess that it was not until our first public performance that I learned that the play had something substantial to reveal, and moreover, that I had been given a very showy part.  (Full disclosure: I have NEVER been any good at reading plays, even established classics. I just do not have the skill to picture the action onstage while reading. The lack of this skill has always hindered my career). 

I learned, during those three performances at the Festival, that I had been very lucky to play Ira in Boys of a Certain Age.  Director Dan Dinero had cast me into my strengths, as the role carried a lot of the comedy of the piece, but it also displayed an emotional depth which I don't often get a chance to play. Ira's quick wit was on display throughout the play, but in the second half, it was sprinkled among his heartfelt (and sometimes harrowing) memories of the past. 
Ira's loss of so many during the early AIDS crisis thickened his skin but did not harden his heart, which remained compassionate and loving.  He was a very rich character to play.
Our brief run at the Fresh Fruit Festival was sold out, and was a hit with the audiences (largely gay men.  Our production won the Audience Choice Award, voted on by the public at large, and we were told our show was also the biggest box office draw of anything ever presented in the history of this festival).  The company held out hope that perhaps a full run of the show might follow; I know all four actors were eager to explore these characters in a fuller way.  Playwright Dan began the task of putting together an actual run of the show.
I don't even want to know how expensive it is to produce small theater in NYC, but our playwright did it. We had a fundraiser at a local watering hole to announce the run.
Fast forward to the fall of 2016. The Boys team booked a theatre in the Village, one usually occupied by Soho Rep, one of the more venerable of the smaller professional theaters in Manhattan.  
Brian Gligor played my nephew Christopher, a gay
Republican. He had the toughest job, I think, making a
Trump supporter likable.  Even back in Feb, it was hard to
accept anyone with a brain defending Trump.
Brian made it work. One of my favorite BOCA memories
is the night I enticed him to my place after rehearsal, where
I plied him with martinis and forced him to build my website. is proof that booze works.
We were to perform during one of the host theatre's dormant periods. We were all excited about this chance to revisit the material, and the dates dovetailed nicely for me, as I had committed to do A Christmas Carol for Titan Theatre for the holidays. 

The best laid plans, right? Soho Rep abruptly shut down all operations at their theatre, there were apparently certain building codes which they had been ignoring (and violating) for many years. Our contract to sublet was yanked.
Joe Menino played Larry, my first love who remained in the
closet for most of his life. His arrival triggered memories of
love and loss and regret and lots of recrimination. Joe was
the only hetero in the cast, and needed footnotes
to decode the script.

This disappointment became a blessing in disguise. Another space was found, and our remount was rescheduled for February, 2017.  This gave the playwright time to rewrite a sizable chunk of the script, a chunk which dealt specifically with the 2016 presidential election.  During our summer run, the campaign had been in full swing, and it seemed assured that Clinton would win.  
Every gay play needs a shirtless scene, Marc Sinoway
provided it, as snarky metro-sexual Brian. His was
a thoroughly unpleasant character; Marc deserves kudos
for grabbing this role by the balls and not letting go.
In the end, we like the guy, as did the critics,
one of which mentioned his thighs!

It was logical, and even necessary, to include current politics in the text of Boys of a Certain Age; four educated gay men could never spend an entire weekend together without ever mentioning the current state of affairs.  But with the play now taking place after the election, this dialogue had to be rewritten.

We went back into rehearsal; we were a lively bunch.  We embraced the theme of the play: the clashing perspectives gay men have with different generations of their own tribe:

We now knew we had something special to which audiences would respond, and we were eager to improve the piece. Both Dans (director and playwright) were open to collaboration, and the actors took full advantage of the fact. 
Here is the "black box theatre" in which we
performed. Notice anything? Yep, it's all white. Not
a problem, but the permanent pole in the center of
the playing space was <ahem>challenging. 

Moving into the theater was particularly challenging, as it always is in such situations. Because the space was being rented, the only rehearsals we had there were technical. Actors hate tech rehearsals, as we always feel we are in the home stretch before the audience shows up, and we want the time to polish.  But there is no time for such fine tuning, and in our case, our tech rehearsals were commandeered by a set which arrived more complex than anticipated. 
I loved our modular set, which strongly suggested the feel of a beach house, but it became the most controversial aspect of our production.  The railings were movable, so they were adjusted between scenes to reflect the living room, deck, beach, even a local bar.  Some folks loved the way the cast swept around the set rearranging things, while others wondered why all the fuss. These transitions had only been marginally rehearsed beforehand, so tech rehearsals were swallowed up by choreographing this Banister Ballet.
Further consternation was felt when, after several preview performances, edits to the script were delivered which were more substantial than expected. Tempers flared, and our opening weekend had lots and lots of <ahem> adrenaline.
We opened to lovely houses and nice notices from the critics (shows such as ours do not attract the attention of the larger main stream media in New York, there are simply too many of us). Neighborhood papers and online sites all delivered glowing critiques, and we had a great three week run.
Our audience included a few distinguished
folks, including this guy in the middle: Jack
Wetherall played a large role in Queer As
. We were also visited by Broadway
director Jeff Calhoun and actor John Benjamin
Hickey, an original player from Love!Valour!
, to which we had been compared
All good things end, so I sadly said goodbye to Boys of a Certain Age on closing night in February.

The show was to reenter my life a few months later, quite unexpectedly.  Our show had been submitted to the New York Innovative Theatre Awards, which celebrate Off-Off-Broadway productions.  There must be hundreds of such productions in NYC every year, so I was stunned when this happened: 

Playwright Dan Fingerman and I represented our show at the
NYIT awards. I did not win the award, but it's true what they
say: it's an honor to be nominated. Our show did not have the
support of a large producing organization, our 3 week run was
under the radar for most, but somehow, the judges concluded
that my performance as Ira was worthy of notice.
The NYIT awards cover a large swath of art, including solo shows, performance art pieces, as well as traditional plays and musicals, but there were only six of us nominated in the Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role category.  This nomination was a very nice cap to put on the experience of Boys of a Certain Age; by the time the awards were given, all of us had moved on to other things. But I will remember Ira very fondly;  his belief that there are things in the world worth fighting for was admirable.  

Ira's sass was infectious, his compassion was humbling, his humanity was undeniable.  I will always be grateful for the part he played in a year of my life.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Crown's Jewel

I haven't written an obit/tribute in these pages since last year (when Patty Duke died, go here to read that one), but when this gent died last Friday, attention had to be paid.  
Tim Pigott-Smith
Our hero had a career spanning six decades with success on stage, screen, and television.  He never stopped working, though his career had a couple of high points.  One of those was very recent, as he introduced the world to one of the most admired new plays of the past few years, King Charles III.  
Truth be told, there's not much physical resemblance between Pigott-Smith and the royal he portrayed in King Charles III, but everyone thought he nailed the role. He was nominated for both the Olivier (he lost to Mark Strong in View From the Bridge) and the Tony (he lost to Frank Langella in The Father).
Written by Mike Bartlett in iambic pentameter, the piece takes place in the very near future: upon the death of Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales finally assumes the British throne, after 70 years waiting in the wings.  
It was great fun to watch this fictionalized
portrait of the royal family with struggles
right out of Shakespeare and O'Neill. And
there was some great Hat Acting being
done by the actress playing Camilla.
I saw the play in its regional theatre debut at The Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC, but I wish I had caught the original West End cast when it transferred to Broadway last year.  Pigott-Smith (let's call him P-S for convenience from here on out, no disrespect intended) received rave reviews and a Tony nod for his work.  He received an Olivier nomination for the performance as well, he lost them both.  But his career was continuing non-stop;  he has several films in the can, including a TV version of Chuck 3 scheduled to be shown on PBS in May.
P-S's contemporary work included this production of Albee's A Delicate Balance; do you recognize the woman he's playing opposite? That's Penelope Wilton, Downton Abbey's Cousin Isabelle, though I knew her work decades earlier, beginning with the PBS taping of The Norman Conquests back in the mists of time.
No, it's not Equus as directed by Bob Fosse. It's our hero as
Prospero in The Tempest. I'm guessing his co-star is playing
Ariel, though I suppose it could be Caliban by way of Bowie.
Standing over six feet and with a booming, majestic voice, our Tim excelled at playing authoritarian characters.  His Shakespearean roles included two crowned heads, Polixines in The Winter's Tale, and King Lear himself (as well as the pseudo-Shakespearean Charles III). 
Tim made a splashy West End debut in the early 70s in this Hamlet. He played Laertes (here dead) opposite the Hamlet of a very young Ian McKellen.
American classics were fair game to P-S. He was scheduled for
Death of a Salesman before he died, and here, he tangled with
Dame Helen Mirren in O'Neill's monster Mourning Becomes
Tim's Broadway debut in a Sherlock Holmes play (he played Watson) was well received.  His stage resume includes Shaw, Albee, and lots of playwrights in between;  he was due to begin rehearsals as Willy Loman, if you can believe it, a few days after he died.
Tim Pigott-Smith is not in this picture, but fans of Downton Abbey will know why this particular screen grab is displayed in a tribute to P-S. If you need a further clue, the person in bed is Lady Sybil. The episode in which the youngest daughter at Downton gives birth, then acquires a disease which ultimately kills her, is one of the pivotal moments of the series. Our hero guested on this episode, as the pompous London doctor who misdiagnosed Sybil, over-ruled the family doc, and caused her death. Not surprisingly, P-S's character never returned.
I mentioned his career had a couple of high points, one of which was his recent success with King Charles III. Decades ago, he achieved an even bigger high point as a central character in one of the most respected television programs in the history of the medium.  

P-S spent some time on Doctor Who, I'm told (don't watch the thing myself), as well as several other British programs which did not jump the pond to the US. But everyone agrees his greatest fame came from his pivotal role in The Jewel in the Crown, the 1984 mini-series which is regularly included on lists of the best television programs of all time.
This love/hate triangle dominated the first episodes of Jewel in the Crown, and affected the later episodes in more subtle ways.
It was this series which first brought Tim Pigott-Smith to my attention.  I tuned in every Sunday night as this huge story of the last years of the British rule in India was broadcast on Masterpiece Theatre (I still miss Alistair Cooke's urbane commentary, don't you?).  
The plot of Jewel in the Crown hinged on the brutality which
policeman Merrick inflicted on the Indian who dared love a
British woman. There was a hint of homo-eroticism in this
interrogation scene which I bet many viewers missed.
I knew almost nothing about the British Raj (that's Hindi for "rule") and was fascinated by the Indian struggles for Independence while World War II raged. Sounds pretty, ahem, "educational," but the series itself brimmed with life. The show was based on a quartet of novels by Paul Scott, which explains the somewhat jarring shift of prospective the program underwent. 
Peggy Ashcroft and Tim Pigott-Smith did not work
much together on the sprawling series, but they
walked off with the biggest kudos, well-deserved.
The first three episodes concerned the forbidden love affair between a British girl and an Indian expat, who had been educated in a British public school before returning to the subcontinent. A love triangle (of sorts) developed when the British lass caught the attention of a brutishly ambitious police officer, played by our P-S. Ronald Merrick was perceived to be the villain of The Jewel in the Crown, and I wouldn't argue that point, but P-S's performance was never one-note.  
Early in the series, Merrick had a soul and a
conscience, just look at those eyes. They
reflect a longing to be accepted and a
deadening of the soul, simultaneously.
His role was actually an illustration (or perhaps symptom) of the actual theme of the show, the violent animosity between the Hindu and Muslim religions as India struggled to become independent from Britain. Mix in the animosity between all Indians and their British rulers, and you've got a real pot-boiler, and our P-S's Merrick was in the thick of it.
Susan Wooldridge as Daphne Manners, who had the bad luck to
fall for an Indian, then get gang raped, get pregnant, give birth to
a baby of uncertain paternity, then die. And in only 3 episodes!

The defining moment of the series (spoiler alert: it's a rape) occurred in the second episode, and by the fourth episode, this romantic triangle dissolved, and the focus of the series shifted to the Layton family, Brits who left England's middle class to settle in India and become part of the ruling elite.  
These star-crossed lovers gave way to another ill-fated couple.
This storytelling shift was pretty abrupt;  the characters we had met in the first 3 episodes, characters the viewing audience assumed were the stars of the series, receded into the background of the story, with the exception of our anti-hero Merrick. The remainder of the series centered on the Layton sisters: compassionate, level-headed Sarah, and Susan, whose sanity becomes more and more suspect as the series progresses.  
Turns out THIS was the central romance of the series.
Geraldine James and Charles Dance received big career boosts
from Jewel... Their roles were understated and a bit subdued
compared to the flamboyant performances surrounding them.
Judy Parfitt played their chilly mother (in what I think is the best performance in a series full of them), and Charles Dance played a young military man, whose life becomes entangled with Pigot-Smith's Merrick.
Judy Parfitt's gin-fueled Mildred
was brittle,tense, and unlikable
(I loved her)
Everyone on the show did yeoman's work, there are no shortages of stellar performances in this epic, and a few true greats wander through. 

Dame Peggy Ashcroft as lesbian missionary Barbie Bachelor was a series highlight. After a prestigious stage career spanning decades, Jewel in the Crown catapulted her to international stardom at age 77.  She won the BAFTA for her performance (everyone in the category that year was her co-star from the series, she beat them all).  The same year, she won the Oscar for another trip to the subcontinent, A Passage to India.
Rachel Kempson's serene Lady Manners
sailed through several episodes. She is better
known to American audiences as mother to
Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave.
But in my mind, the series belongs to Tim Pigott-Smith's performance as Merrick. His journey was a violent one, and though he evolved into a pretty nasty degenerate, at the beginning of the series he was a devoted friend and hardworking officer of the law who, regrettably, allowed his personal bigotry to affect his character.  
Merrick performs an act of heroism which disfigures him
for life, and begins his descent into degeneracy.
Ah, those Brits really know how to put on a show with performances such as these. Pigott-Smith is one of those British actors who bursts on the scene with a pivotal performance for which they will be primarily remembered.  He had a thriving career both before and after Jewel in the Crown, but his renown has always been linked to this performance. 
P-S as Prof. Higgins brags to his housekeeper, while his creation looks on.  It's Pygmalion, of course, but take a look at the gal playing Eliza.  It's Michelle Dockery, star of Downton Abbey.
There are a handful or more British thespians who never quite escaped their breakout performances, like Derek Jacoby in I, Claudius , David Suchet in the Poirot series, and  Keith Michell's Henry VIII.  Even including his recent international success as Charles III, Tim Pigott-Smith's Ronald Merrick was one of these career-defining performances.  

He died last week at the age of 70.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Magic That Makes Things Grow

As I undecorated the Christmas tree the other day, I had to admit that the holiday season just ending was a very melancholy one.  It hadn't started out that way;  I spent all of December, and much of November, immersed in the Dickensian world of Ghosts Past, Present, and Future.

I suppose you COULD be melancholy while appearing in A Christmas Carol, if you're playing Jacob Marley, but it would have been impossible for me to feel anything but jolly while playing The Ghost of Christmas Present (above).  I also played Fezziwig in this production at Titan Theatre in NYC; both roles lent themselves to raucous laughter and robust attitudes. While there was some tediousness to the commute to and from Queens, the experience certainly was not melancholy.
Just a few days after closing A Christmas Carol, I flew down to North Carolina for my family's usual holiday.  It's always a low-keyed affair, which suits us fine.  It was while at dear ol' Dad's that, miles away in DC, this year's holiday turned frightening, then ugly, then ultimately melancholy. 
Tricia McCauley was a DC-based actress, yoga instructor, and herbalist.  Back in the 60s, these descriptions might have made her sound, well, "Hippy-Dippy".  She would have embraced that label, I think.
The day I first met Tricia, years ago, remains vivid in my memory. I was asked by my grad-school buddy Steve Carpenter to appear in a staged reading he was presenting for his theatre company, the Washington Stage Guild. 
An outdoor Shakespearean performance,
early in her career.
I had worked with the WSG previously in Opus, after which the company lost their home and began many months of presenting these readings of interesting plays while they hunted for their next digs.  (I wrote a bit about this reading series here.  And I wrote about appearing in Opus here; I used to write a lot in these pages...).  Anyway, we were to rehearse this reading only once, a day or two before the performance.  I arrived at the home of WSG's executive director Ann Norton and was introduced to Tricia.  With a wide grin and completely unabashed manner, she told me to sit down and show her my tongue.

Trish was working on her masters degree in Herbal Medicine when I first met her. She was tortured by severe allergies, and the medical community didn't seem to be much help, so she took action on her own.  Her training in medicinal herbs helped her overcome her own allergies and led her down another career path. When she demanded to see my tongue at our first meeting, she was completing a homework assignment to examine various tongues.  She never told me what my tongue told her about my diet and lifestyle, and I certainly never asked.
My first glimpse of Tricia, years before
we met, was this production of Major
Barbara, in which she played the title
role. I was drawn to the show because
my grad school buddy Steve Carpenter
was in it. I was later to become friends
with many members of this WSG cast.
I did more than a dozen staged readings for the Stage Guild during this period, and a lot of them included Tricia. Our group spent a lot of downtime together, after rehearsal and before performances, and we had a habit of walking around the corner from the little black box used for these performances to some cafĂ© or other to grab a bite.  
Though a regular with Washington Stage Guild,
Tricia worked all over, including Olney Theatre,
where she played Sorel Bliss in Hay Fever.
These instances illustrated Tricia's constant (at the time) battle with food.  She was allergic to everything, even to some things she hadn't even encountered before, so dining out with her was a challenge.

Tricia created her own line of herbal "lotions and potions," designed to give all-natural relief for various ailments and conditions. I admire the way she met the challenge of curing herself, leading to a new career helping others. Her company was called Leafyhead, which was a nickname she acquired when she appeared at some herbal event wearing a crown of leaves. Maybe she was working on a monologue of Ophelia's? The moniker stuck.
On stage, Tricia was particularly adept at various accents, a talent she was to use quite precisely in the only full production in which we appeared together.
In Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, Trish played several roles, all with different accents. At various times, she impressed with her Scottish accent, her upper-class Brit, and, in a truly hilarious turn, her role as a Russian soldier (above). This show ran several years ago, but last fall, the cast gathered for a bit of a reunion.  The Washington Stage Guild was presenting staged readings of plays they had produced in each of the five performing spaces they have inhabited over their 30 years. That reading of Lord Arthur was to be Tricia's final stage performance, and as fate would have it, an audio recording of it was made. It's now a treasure.
Rubbing elbows with a Royal, here's Tricia introducing HRH
Prince Charles to the urban garden she helped to maintain.
While I have spent most of my Christmases with my family in the South, there have been two occasions when that did not happen.  Those were the times I was able to accept the annual invitation I receive to dine at the home of WSG artistic director and friend, Bill Largess.  He hosts this event every Christmas Day, and there are many DC folks who attend every year as part of their holiday tradition.  Tricia was one of those folks.
Bill's annual Christmas Dinner is held in the basement of the home in which his grandmother once lived. The table takes up the whole room, so I'm not sure the basement is used for anything else, but once a year, it comes alive with flickering candlelight and dazzling conversation, as a dozen and more folks gather to celebrate the season. It's reminiscent of Dickens, or at least, of "happy" Dickens, perhaps Christmas Dinner at the Cratchits, after Scrooge has surprised them with a turkey as big as Tiny Tim. Even with Santa's Marching Band playing obnoxiously in the background (don't ask), it's a truly memorable way to celebrate the day.
I was to learn the following details (such as they are) a little later.  Apparently Tricia made her traditional dish for the dinner (Brussels sprouts, I've had them, delish) and sent out word that she was on her way, around 5 or so Christmas evening.  She did not show up at the party.  Her absence was noticed but did not arouse too much concern.  Apparently, one time in the past, Tricia had planned to attend the dinner, then slept right through it. 
It was not until the following day that alarms started to go off.  Tricia had planned to fly out of DC to visit family the day after Christmas;  she never got on the plane.  Missing a dinner party was one thing, but Tricia was not the kind of person who would miss a flight without alerting her family at the other end.  Something was wrong.
I learned of these frightening developments late Monday afternoon, as word was sent out that Tricia was missing, and the internet exploded.  I posted a notice on my Facebook, as did countless others.  In DC, search parties were formed to scour Tricia's neighborhood, and the police entered the picture.  Sometime during the day, they searched her apartment and found nothing amiss.  Tricia's car, which she usually parked on the street, could not be located.
It may have been Tricia's car which cracked the case. This little two-seater is fairly uncommon, and may have attracted her killer's attention at a stop sign or traffic light, who knows? The bumper sticker reads "Plant More Plants." Pictures of this car circulated all over the internet and the media, the day after Christmas, and the vehicle was spotted by someone walking his dog. Tricia's killer was driving the car at the time, and apparently hollered out the window at the witness, who notified the cops. The suspect was apprehended shortly afterward, and the car was located, with Tricia's body in the back seat.

I went to bed Monday night with the same sick feeling which everyone else must have had.  I awoke the next morning and logged onto the Net;  frankly, I was hoping Tricia had been found in a ditch someplace, injured but alive.  That was the most positive hope we could hold onto, under the circumstances. 

Surveillance cameras picked up this guy
driving Tricia's car. His family reports he is
homeless and has mental problems. His
numerous arrests led a judge to require him
to wear a tracking device, which he never
showed up to receive. No one followed up.
Our justice system at work.
The police had alerted Tricia's family that her body had been found.  Details were sketchy, but apparently she had crossed paths with a homeless drifter with mental problems;  this guy was seen driving her car around town on Monday, and was apprehended after robbing a CVS hours earlier.  Recovery of her car (and a later autopsy) confirmed the worst: this monster had raped and strangled Tricia, then tied her up with a seat belt and stuffed her in the back seat of her own car.  He then drove around the city, using her credit cards and even picking up a prostitute.

I'm haunted by these images.  Tricia was a force of lightness, and positive energy, and the webpages set up to honor her have focused on these attributes. No one wants to focus on the violent way she was taken from us, what does it solve at this point?  But I'm not evolved enough to be able to ignore the horrific events which ended Tricia's life;  I'm still wracked with questions. 
Tricia was also a Life Coach, both professionally, and to any
friend in need.
Though we now know what this animal did to her, we still don't know exactly when, or where, or how.  How and where did Tricia cross paths with this creature? Was this a carjacking gone bad?  Did this guy have a gun, preventing Trish from escape (there has been no mention of a firearm involved)?  As a petite woman, she could probably be overpowered, but she was in peak physical condition;  what happened which prevented her from running?  Judging from the pictures of this criminal, she might have outrun him if she'd had a chance to get out of the car.
This is Tricia, on the left and up in the air. Her career as a yoga instructor brought in a steady paycheck and also kept her in great shape. In fact, when the media released descriptions of her as age 47, I was sure they were wrong, she looked about 32.  This picture, so full of life and fun, adds to the distress of her violent end.  She was in terrific physical condition; what did this psychopath do to her to keep her from escaping? These thoughts don't help anything, but I'm still haunted by them.
These questions are torturous, and don't do anyone any good, but I'm afraid I can't help myself. 
This candlelight vigil was held for Tricia on the Tuesday after her death, focusing on the positive way she lived her life.  This weekend, a more formal memorial was held, with friends speaking eloquently about the effect Trish had on their lives.  I didn't, or couldn't, attend either of those events.  I'm ashamed to admit I remain consumed with anger, unable to release the negative feelings Trish herself would advise are useless.
When all of us woke up on that Tuesday to that terrible news, many people in DC noted the rainbow in the sky that day:
Tricia's pathway to the great beyond? Who knows, but it was a beautiful image on a truly ugly day, so perhaps it helps us to think so.  We should follow Tricia's own words; believe me, I'm trying: 
 Look up.