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That sinking feeling: Waiting for the epithet (Or, “Frickin’ Faggot!”)

From my So few critics, so many poets blog

So few critics, so many poets

In my 1930s Hollywood play The Dogs of Foo, the character Paul Lehrmann, based slightly on George Cukor, confronts his leading actress on the set of the movie they’re shooting. She’s just ordered Paul’s young assistant, whom she suspects, quite accurately, is also his lover, to carry a note for her. Paul steps in, reminding his star that “Johnny takes orders from me, Lita, not from you.”

“And what else does he take from you?” She snaps back. “Dick-tation?”

PAUL: Sooner or later, it always comes out, doesn’t it?

LITA: Paulie—

PAUL: Who needs vino for veritas?

LITA: I didn’t mean it, Paulie. I’m upset, I’m sorry.

PAUL: They always are—after they’ve said it. Never before, never during, but always, always after.

If you, as they say when pussyfooting, happen to be gay, much of your entertainment life is spent waiting for that insidious other shoe to drop. Especially…

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How I learned to stop bitching and hate Broadway musicals

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Do I even need to write the essay?

Text copyright 2014 by Scott Ross

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Marquee value?

Marquee value?

The playwright as a young(er) man, in front of the Thompson Theatre marquee at NC State University, where my play “The Dogs of Foo” premiered in 1995. (Photo: Patrick Watters)

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December 21, 2013 · 7:48 pm