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FOLIO is a magazine of strange, comic, and strangely comic words and pictures published from 2006 to 2009. For back issues please contact the_folio@hotmail.com.

Issue No. 11, Actors






Issue No. 11, Actors - The Gray Lady


Rena had a bad habit of wearing her Bluetooth to bed. It put a crick in her neck and, this morning, it nearly made her deaf. “Tasha’s on the front! Tasha’s on the front!” it screamed. Rena shot up, ripped the Bluetooth off her ear, and threw it across the room. It continued to shout at her from the radiator. “I was picking up eggs and the cashier dropped a quarter and the paper was behind her and Tasha’s on the front, girl! Tasha’s on the front page of the New York Times!”

Rena ran down the hall, the screaming phone held in the air. “She everywhere!” it said, sounding something like her sister. “I seen everyone holding up that big, color picture of Tasha!”

Rena kicked the door open to Tasha’s bedroom and jumped on the bed. “Get the hell up, girl!”
Tasha raised an eyelid.

“You the most famous person in the world!”

While Tasha was pouring her cereal, dressed in yesterday’s jeans––but in last week’s shirt so no one would notice yesterday’s jeans––Rena skipped down every hall in their building, scanning the doorsteps for that bright blue bag. Most were without, having already been picked up or replaced with a Plain Dealer. Rena, who herself had never touched the New York Times, suddenly loathed the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Bathrobe billowing behind her, Rena left their building with an armful of blue bags and stormed up the sidewalk for more. She collected papers from every apartment building on their block and when she saw an old man through the window sitting down to his grapefruit and Times, she rang his doorbell and, with what little breath she had left, politely demanded A1.

The flakes left in Tasha’s bowl were a mud beneath the milk when she turned her attention from the back of the cereal box to the uncracked paperback copy of Johnny Tremain. She flipped to the ending, “Chapter 12: A Man Can Stand Up,” and Rena dropped fifty-one bags of Times on the table. She slid out the papers and arranged them right-side-up in front of Tasha, so that before Tasha could slam her book shut and blame her mother for her bad grade in English, there were fifty-one hers staring right back at her.
“Tasha Cloud, 13, a student at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, cools off under this east Cleveland fire hydrant on the warmest April day ever recorded.”

Tasha’s eyes, wanting to get the worst part over with first, went straight to the thighs. She had changed into a bikini the day the picture was taken, conceding to the truly hot temperatures but only on the condition that she walk where the other kids did not. Without a public pool to be publicly humiliated in—the last one became a graffiti gallery from lack of funds—she sought less conventional refreshment. A drop of air conditioning dew was perfect; the higher the story it fell from, the more refreshing it felt. The storm doors from a pizzeria basement opened and a boy came out with a bucket of ice. He dumped it onto the sidewalk, scattering the cubes into a field of cold coals for Tasha to meditatively walk over. And when she saw the open fire hydrant, generously gushing out and over the street, she was too thrilled to notice the photographer, perilously close to deadline and having waited behind it for hours. She ran headlong and thighs out into the fountain.

“I’m calling everyone we know,” said Rena. “Now you just sit right there. No front-pager of mine has to go school.”

Tasha was not listening. To her immense astonishment, her thighs did not appear to her as that grotesque. Allowing for a momentary relapse of her well-trained critical eye, she looked again, fully expecting to see the bulbous brown siding, like the rear of a pick-up truck with double tires. But she saw no pick-up truck. Who was this photographer? she thought. Who was it that could find the right angle and the right light to make me look halfway normal? God sent this man, and she couldn’t even remember what he looked like.

Rena was hanging Johnny Tremain above the trashcan and typing into her phone when Tasha came to.

“What are you doing?” she said, jumping from her chair.

“There’ll be no more of this sissy English teacher of yours!” said Rena. “You don’t have to spend your morning reading trash like this no more! Not when everybody else is reading about you!”

Each gripped a cover and pulled.

“You’re gonna give me a bad grade!” Tasha said.

“It’s that damn teacher’s fault your grades our so bad, giving those crap assignments! You’ve accomplished more than that man ever will!”

The phone buzzed with another text message and Rena let go of the book, sending Tasha flying back to her muddy cereal.

“Your great aunt Stacy says you made her day,” Rena said. “Grandpa’s selling subscriptions to everyone at work. Hold on, how do you spell ‘modeling’?”

“Modeling?”

“Like modeling agency.”

Tasha took her purse and squeezed into her shoes.

“You better not be going to that English class! I might have to go with you!” said Rena. “Get back here and tell Uncle Jim you love him!”

“I want to go to school!” said Tasha, walking out the door. She wanted to go to English class, not least of all because she wanted to know how to spell “modeling” too.

The bustle along the corridor of lockers was the same: thick and smelly and parting for no man, regardless of publicity. A front-page picture on the New York Times seemed no more eventful than a bomb threat. Tasha wanted to reach out and grab the nearest student, hold them tightly by the arm and describe the picture in graphic detail. But the wall between her and her classmates was insurmountable. She wouldn’t normally have so much as smiled at them, how could she brag to them? And none of the strangers took her by the arm. She wondered if it was because she was a stranger to them. Couldn’t be, she thought. I’m on the front-page of the New York Times; I’m not a stranger to anyone anymore.

But when she found someone she could brag to, she couldn’t shake the image of the disgusting girls in class who actually felt comfortable in their two-pieces. If she were as arrogant as they were, she’d ruin her newly-seen good looks. With a large gulp, she kept her fame to herself. She went the first three periods of the day without giving or hearing a single mention of the Times. The largest secret ever held was breathing its own breaths inside her chest, a secret held only between her and the rest of the world.

She thought about the salmon fishermen in Alaska as her science teacher put a map of the Arctic on the overhead. The fishermen were probably browsing through a Times in the hull of their boat right then, bottling their envy of her warm weather and fresh water in abundant laughter.

When was teatime in London? Tasha wondered in Pre-Algebra. She saw two men in bowler hats picking through a pile of newspapers in a back-alley café and quoting numbers back and forth. Then they picked up Tasha. One man pleaded to the other to change into a bikini. He demurred at first, but after another glance at Cleveland, gleefully gave in. They ran down cobblestones in pink bikinis, kicking up rainwater from the gutter.

In social studies, Tasha thought of a saried woman in India who was laying down a newspaper––stolen from the back of a passing elephant––as a mat to change her baby’s diaper on. The baby was wailing and the coos and tickles proffered by his mother did nothing to quiet him. But the second he was laid on the front-page of the Times, he wiped his tears away. The woman picked him up and saw immediately Tasha’s graceful figure and fun-loving face. She and her baby laughed and exchanged an understanding hug.

English brought Tasha back to America. “‘Reflection Journal of the Day,’” wrote Mr. Feyton across the dry-erase board. “‘What makes Johnny Tremain so brave?’”

“One page, please,” he said, turning back to the class. “You have fifteen minutes.”

Tasha held her face in her hand and twiddled her pencil against her notebook, collecting dots of graphite in the corner of her blank page.

Mr. Feyton fiddled with the dial of a radio till he honed in on some fuzzy classical music. “Ah,” he said. “Thinking music. Let it seep.” When the blurred voice of a newsreader interrupted his thinking music, he sighed and began walking through the aisles.

The Unconscious Improvement On One’s Writing By Classical Music was one of many extracurricular lectures routinely given by Mr. Feyton. He also liked to lecture on the word ‘discriminate.’ “It’s not really such a bad word,” he would say. “If you were to call me discriminating, you’d be paying me a compliment. To discriminate is to eye skeptically, to thresh through. I would never thresh through you, but I am more than happy to do so through your papers.”

Comments such as these, exaggerated and retold to parents by students angry with the amount of homework, constantly put Mr. Feyton in hot water with the administration. The latest furor was over his remark, “There are so few truly good synonyms for one’s bottom.”

“That racist mooned my child!” was the inevitable message on the vice-principal’s voicemail.

Mr. Feyton’s synonym of choice was “seating-appendage” and his was a bulbous one, like two globes shoved down his pleated chinos. The khaki stretched taut and its sheen reflected the light like the apples of Mickey Mouse’s cheeks.

By the time Mr. Feyton’s seating-appendage arrived at Tasha’s desk, the field of dots on her page was dense and black. She could sense him stop behind her and she quickly put her head down to cover her wordless page. Mr. Feyton bent to her ear and whispered, “Congratulations.”

His wristwatch beeped and he switched off the radio. “Who would like to share their journal entry with us?” he said, and without looking at Tasha, “Yes, I think Tasha would. Tasha?”

Tasha looked up from her dots. The students were sitting back, their eyes rolled up into their heads, and Mr. Feyton stared at them with a sly smile.

“Um,” said Tasha, puffing up her cheeks. “I didn’t really—”

“Stand up, Tasha, stand up!” said Mr. Feyton. “Take the stage!”

Tasha stood, leaning against her desk and kneading the bottom of her windbreaker.

“You know, I bet you wrote about the bravery of those colonial printing presses, didn’t you Ms. Cloud, age 13, a student at Thurgood Marshall Middle School?”

“I couldn’t really think of—”

“Yes, I can see that being right up your alley: ink-stained men working tirelessly with nothing but tiny, metal letters to overthrow an entire empire.” It was clear by “empire” he meant P.T.A. “Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, those are your heroes, aren’t they, Ms. Cloud?”

“…Yes.”

“The real shame of it all though was the distinct lack of photographs in those incendiaries, wasn’t it? Wouldn’t a photograph have been just the thing to win the public relations war for Independence? A candid shot of looney, old George III, perhaps? A pair of mean-faced Redcoats stomping on a flower? Or maybe just the delightful image of a carefree thirteen-year-old cooling herself on a hot Spring day?”

Tasha’s kneading fingers went still.

“I’m not sure how many of you are aware of this,” continued Mr. Feyton, “not many of my colleagues in the teacher’s lounge were aware of it this morning, but Ms. Cloud here has found herself an extraordinarily important person today.”

The class was not stirred.

“Yes, Ms. Cloud today, in all her beauty, was featured on the front-page of what is undoubtedly the best newspaper on the face of the Earth, with the exception of Johnny’s Boston Observer, of course.”

Mr. Feyton walked behind his desk and opened a drawer. An inch of bright blue plastic stuck out, and with it, Tasha’s secret. A portion of her breakfast returned to her throat.

Mr. Feyton took the bag from the drawer and, like a Kleenex, another took its place. He threw a bag to every student in the class, who kept them on their desks, unwrapped, like frogs they were about dissect.

“Go on, read the first page,” said Mr. Feyton. “It won’t bite.”

The faces Tasha could bear to peek at looked nothing like the faces of the fishermen or the businessmen or the Indian woman and child. They were just blank stares. She felt stabbed in the chest and fame, not blood, was gushing out. She wanted to sit down.

“You get right back up, young lady!” Rena was pointing to her from the window in the door.

“Get that, would you?” said Mr. Feyton to a slug in the front row.

The pupil’s pupils dilated to a fine point when his eyes rolled back to meet Rena, huffing and puffing blasts of condensation onto the glass.

“Go on!”

The student rose and opened the door. “Yes, Ma––”

Rena swung the door back, sweeping the student along with it. “We gonna have a little chat, Feyton!”

Tasha set her eight-pound Trapper Keeper up on her desk and hid behind it.

“Excuse me, class,” said Mr. Feyton, and he turned to Rena. “I’m afraid I was just in the middle of introducing our new celebrity, would you be available to speak another time?”

She was in full headset, Rena, and her most formal blacks. Her arms were laced with shopping bags, which she let flop against the dumbfounded faces of students as she made her way to Mr. Feyton. “That celebrity wouldn’t happen to be Tasha Cloud, would it?” she asked.

“You’ve heard of her!”

“She’s my daughter, Canned-Fruit, and she’s exactly why I’m here! Hey Tasha!” Rena held her bags up to Tasha. “I spent all morning getting everything you need! More swimsuits, lipstick; I got you an umbrella so we could shoot a beach scene on the lake!”

“Perhaps you’d like to take a seat and join our discussion of your daughter’s talent.”

“Perhaps you’d like to take a seat while I school you on how not to say ‘seating-appendage’ in front of children!”

“Children, how about a study hall in the cafeteria? Polish your journal entries and I’ll be in––”

“Kids ain’t going anywhere.” She waved her bags over the class. “It’s on their behalf I’ve come to talk to you, Mr. There’s Ain’t Nothing Wrong With Discriminating Now Hold Still While I Show You My Appendage!”

“Mrs. Cloud, if you’re speaking of my bottom, I will have to ask you to keep your voice down.”

“My daughter comes to me every day telling me what revolting things you’ve put in her brain!”

Tasha tried curling up on the metal shelf under her seat.

“I heard from every mother on the block that you tell these cherubs that a white ass is better than a black!”

“I never! Students, have I ever said such a thing?”

The class was silent, like they were watching T.V.

“Dennis, when did I say anything about my white arse?” He pronounced the “r”.

Dennis held back a laugh. “I don’t think you ever did, sir.”

“See?”

“He’s just scared,” said Rena. “What kind of grades are you getting, Dennis?”

“D’s,” he said.

“Now there you go. My Tasha can barely keep a C with your thirty-page essays on top of your ass-bigotry!”

“Mrs. Cloud, my grading is done with the highest professionalism and respect for the student. I would remind you that our Tasha has been on the Honorable Mention Role three times running.”

“Listen here, Community-Theatre. Our Tasha’s on the front-page of the New York Times. Now if that doesn’t deserve an A, I don’t know what does.”

“Publicity like this for Thurgood Marshall deserves a budget increase from the school board. With Tasha’s performance, I’m confident we can finally hire that extra math teacher, update the media center, maybe even start a class on photographic modeling.”

“How do I know you’re not just using Tasha for your own salary?”

“Money has never been important to me. It’s the school I love.”

“Fat chance, Bleeding-Heart. Tasha, get your stuff! You gonna rot away in this class!”

Tasha could not descend any further. Giggles and stares were beginning to develop around the classroom. Her only escape was with her mother. Tasha collected her things and walked to the front of the class, her chin burrowing into her sternum.

Rena was out in the hall, still railing, when Mr. Feyton took Tasha’s arm at the door, and said, “Best of luck to you, Ms. Cloud, in all your endeavors.”

Once at home, Tasha found copies of the front-page covering the whole floor. Like snakes in a dream, her picture appeared wherever she stepped. She locked herself into her bedroom while Rena paced outside it, saying to the phone, “A girl’s never too young for a publicist, Ma.”

Tasha dove into bed, lights out, covers up, and not until well past midnight did she stop tossing and turning. People she had never met suddenly knew who she was, and that was fine. But once there were familiar faces judging her own, the fame that filled her chest with bakery air was sucked away. She was empty. With her jaws taking the place of two pressed palms, she prayed for that awful and awfully good picture to be wiped off the planet. Cinematic newspapers spun out of black, hurling themselves at her retinas again and again. She forced a picture onto them of Yeltsin or Castro, but they slipped away, leaving always her own cute face. “Here, take this Cleveland girl,” said a gruff editor in a plastic visor. “Splash some color on our pages!” Overbit assistants ran clutching her picture and yelling, “Copy! Copy!” It echoed around her head. “Copy!”

At four that morning, her mind exhausted, her arms and legs quivering from the countless tosses, Tasha fell asleep and a bag was dropped outside the apartment. The paperboy, a poet in his forties, returned to the english muffin on his passenger seat. The BBC World Service came on with the engine and the story of a salmon boat escaping a storm in the Bering Sea accompanied the paperboy out of east Cleveland. On the highway he heard of a boosting Footsie and well into Shaker Heights, the sun still not up, he listened to a sun-soaked Indian woman tickle her laughing child. The world was spinning that night in Tasha’s favor. Its slow and immense motion towards the next day was a miraculous answer to her prayers.

Someone else was on the front-page of the paper. Tasha and Rena slept in without anyone to call and wake them. Eventually, Rena opened the Times hoping their might be a follow-up story, but there was only Yeltsin or Castro or whoever it was so unattractively not running through water, and she stuffed it back in the bag and stole the neighbor’s Plain Dealer.
At school again, there were no sudden lectures about her talents. The days were as gray and entirely without event as the days before her fame. Tasha felt in the clear. The quickest loss of the largest renown had the calming effect of a thorough puke.

The photograph was not forgotten about completely in the coming year. Rena used it for Christmas cards and the P.T.A. put it on a mock Wheaties box to impress the Board, who, in the end, permitted Thurgood Marshall Middle School to buy a brand new set of regulation-size basketballs.

Mr. Feyton no longer called on her when he knew she had nothing to say. Indeed, the averageness of the months and years that followed seemed to hit him the hardest. His proudest moment, his replacement for the hope of ever winning any kind of inner-city teaching award disintegrated like the newsprint that carried it, the very element of decay. His sweater-vests faded, his paperbacks curled with damp, until one day, many years later, a letter to the editor of the New York Times, written on the subject of urban education by one Peter A. Feyton, was printed above the fold. He nearly died of a heart attack then moved north to teach Literature at St. Mary’s.

Issue No. 11, Actors - The Sad and Unemployable

Issue No. 11, Actors - I Own This Town: An Interview with Mary Holland


Mary Holland is the greatest actress you haven’t heard of. Part Bette Davis, part Andy Kaufman, Holland is a recently graduated drama student from Galax, Virginia, home of The Old Fiddler’s Convention for 73 years. Documentary filmmaker Andrew Ferris discovers the life of an intimidating actress in a struggling city.

FERRIS: Does watching movies in Hollywood feel different than watching movies in Galax?
HOLLAND: Galax! I’m so glad you asked me about Galax... Well, the feeling is the same, if that makes sense. I go to the movies by myself, and I do it because of a specific feeling I get by going alone. I had that feeling at the Twin County Cinema in my beloved Galax and I have it here in Hollywood at the Arclight Cinema on Sunset Boulevard (my favorite movie theatre in LA). I’m sort of obsessed with going alone. I’ll rearrange plans and work it out so that I can go by myself.
In Galax, I was almost always the only one by myself in the theatre. Nobody went by themselves. It was a place in which social interaction took place; that was its purpose. In Hollywood, there are many addicts like myself, and I see people going alone all the time. People take movie-going seriously. They are there to watch the film and pass judgment and hopefully go home enriched in some way. I’m kind of watering at the mouth right now... I want to go to the movies.

FERRIS: Does acting feel as personally important to you in Hollywood as it did in school?
HOLLAND: It’s a different kind of importance. In school, I worked extremely hard and thought about the craft and the skills involved every day. I entertained concepts and tried new things and learned more about myself and the behavior of people than I ever thought I could. I tried to soak in everything and apply it to work for classes and for rehearsals. The struggle of a novice attempting to learn a complicated and elusive art. It was delightful. Painful, and delightful.
In Hollywood, I have to trust that I have the craft. That it’s in me. Because nobody wants to see you working on your “art”. They want you to do your job, and get out. I can’t spend hours musing over universal truths. I have to focus on making a living by showing what I can do. Acting will always be personal with me. It is me, it’s in my blood, you know? But I can’t be the tormented artist I had the luxury of being in school. I think that luxury will be mine again once I land a role, but for now I have to focus on landing the role, which is the hardest part.

FERRIS: Do you schmooze, network?
HOLLAND: God no. I don’t know how. You have to network out here, because it’s all about who you know and whatever, but I feel like a prostitute when I start talking to someone with the purpose of helping my “career.” It’s disgusting to me, and I can feel it when other people are trying to schmooze me. It’s the worst feeling I’ve felt out here to date.
I did this performance for a workshop a few weeks ago, a pantomime to one of Mozart’s symphonies. It went over very well, and everybody in the workshop liked it I think, and then the teacher said I should try to get it filmed and send it somewhere. The next day I heard from a guy in the class and we had lunch. After talking and having fun, he told me he wanted to get involved in one of my pantomime thingys. He wanted to get on Leno!
I had to take a shower after that lunch.

FERRIS: How do you prepare for an audition?
HOLLAND: When I first got here, I had no idea what to expect at a film/tv audition, so I overworked the script and went over every detail with a fine-toothed comb. I wanted it to be perfect. And it fell apart on me in the room with the casting director. I’ve since learned that once you get the feel of the character and the circumstance, you just have to play. That kind of freedom in acting is what I had in school, that sense of play, and it’s intoxicating to me as an actor and as a spectator. So I try to play in an audition. I don’t spend hours poring over the script now.

FERRIS: Before you walk into the audition room, is there something you always do for good luck?
HOLLAND: Um... I go to the bathroom. And I look around at things. And I try to take in everything. I try not to let my nerves get the best of me and get to my head. I tend to get overly excited and happy and shaky, and look like a crazy person. I just want to stay aware of the world around me, so I look around at everything and it calms me down.

FERRIS: During the audition, can you feel yourself switching from trying to make a good impression as Mary to trying to do a good reading as the character?
HOLLAND: When I audition, I think the most important part of it is the first couple of seconds right when I walk in the door. That’s when I feel the pressure in my brain: be me, be me, be me, be me, be me. Once, I was thinking that so hard, I tripped and fell into the room and then afterwards I got home and vomited. That last part is not true.
I’m used to these auditions now, so I’m not so nervous about presenting myself. I’ve become a bit jaded. I’m so tired of rejection, sometimes I just want to walk in and show them a boob or something. I’ve stopped caring so much what they think about me as a person. I just try to relax and be me and then show what I can do, and then get out.

FERRIS: What was your last audition like? Were you happy with the results?
HOLLAND: I was incredibly happy with the results. During the strike, it was completely dead. Nothing was auditioning except for a few films, none of which I auditioned for. I had been out of practice with auditions for almost 4 months when I got a call from my agent about an audition. It’s a high school girl, and they want a character actress (which is me). So I prepare and I’m pumped and I go in and I impress the casting director. She works with me for about 15 minutes and gives me wonderful compliments and then my agent calls me later and tells me that she sent the tapes in to the director. I got so freaking excited. And then a week or so later I heard that they had found someone else for the role. They said I looked too old. It must be the wisdom in my eyes.

FERRIS: Have you ever seen another actor in a role that you auditioned for? How did it leave you?
HOLLAND: It was flattering. One role that I got a callback for is now being played by Selma Blair (the role is Molly Shannon’s daughter on a TV pilot). So I don’t know. Right now I know that I have to be in a place where if I get the role, great, and if I don’t get it, great. Once the audition’s over, it’s over. And I have to get over it right away or my life will be miserable, you know?

FERRIS: Do you have a job outside of acting?
HOLLAND: I work as a hostess at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. Most of the time it makes me want to shoot myself in the face. I stand and stare for hours on end.
We’re in an area surrounded by doctors’ offices, and once a girl came in and started asking me questions about the food we serve. Something seemed off about her, and I couldn’t quite place it until I noticed the incision in the crease of her left nostril. Her nose never moved when she talked. The incision still had fresh blood that appeared to have only recently been stemmed. She saw me looking, laughed, and said, “Sorry, I just came from getting my nose done. Do you guys have soup?” We do, but I didn’t answer her. She texted her way out of the restaurant and it took me a while
to recover.
Also, I just got hired as a model. For an art class. A nudie model. I’ve done it once and it was quite scary. But thankfully the class was small, and the people in it were mostly old, so it was like getting naked in front of my grandparents. I didn’t do that much after I was 6 or so, but still...fun!

FERRIS: What does a typical day look like for you?
HOLLAND: I wake up to my kitten licking my mouth. I wish I was kidding about this, but I’m not, she’s the only lover I have. If I have an audition, I usually find out the day before, so I get up and I go over the script. I have a tendency to get a little freaked out and nervous about these auditions, so until it’s time for me to get in the shower, I do something to take my mind off it. Like make out with my cat. Not really.
Because the traffic in LA is the worst in the world, even if the audition is a mere six miles away, I time it so that I leave an hour before the audition time. I get to the studio and enjoy a few wonderful minutes wandering around the soundstages and imagining myself working there. Then I get to the audition and I try not to get intimidated by the bombshells that are in the waiting room with me, and then I do the audition.
I go home, obsess about how it went, and get ready for work. I leave an hour early for work too. I go in and change into my uniform and prepare myself mentally for a few hours of mind-numbing boredom. I check my phone obsessively throughout the night to see if my agent called me to tell me I booked the part, and then around ten or eleven, I go home.
I listen to NPR and think about things. I go down the hall to see Michael and his boyfriend and we watch Jeopardy and they make me laugh. I go to bed and try not to wonder about the scary things about being out here – is this really going to happen? Am I freaking kidding myself? I’m terrified. Please someone give me a job.

FERRIS: Is there still a certain magic in the dream factory?
HOLLAND: Yes.

Issue No. 11, Actors - Slap An Actor

4 Guilty in Blithe Spirit

by SHERIDAN WHITESIDE
Chief Theatrical Critic

Any of the following actors – Elizabeth Sommers, Jeremy Ostler, Maxwell Cann, Helena Whisk – may be slapped.

Each played lead to middling roles in last night’s otherwise acceptable Blithe Spirit. The actors singled out for this column represent, as usual, the wooden, the over-enthusiastic, the perpetually adolescently awkward, and the irritating to look at.

Ms. Sommers, thin hair, clam face, keeps an apartment on Third and Sycamore and can be seen walking her dog every weekday morning at eleven-fifteen. Readers should not be afraid of the dog, however. It can be easily stepped over as you move to deliver her well-deserved slap.

Messrs. Ostler, bow-legged, and Cann, indented sternum, share a condo in the Glennford development, number 18. The pair leave for the theatre together at five o’clock, so one hand stuck between their faces should create a perfect double whammy.

This critic has it thrice confirmed that Dame Whisk, fatty elbows, pimpled calves, does not lock her door before retiring and often sleeps in late. Perhaps not a task for the casual admirer of this column, but devoted followers should pull no stops in waltzing into her bedroom on 6 Regal Court, peeling back the sheets, and proffering a good, sound thwap across the cheeks. Whisk was particularly offensive on and off the stage, as her oft-diagonal spine could never truly be removed from concentration. Readers note: Whisk’s ruby apples present this season’s Golden Fleece! The lucky slapper will receive an autographed copy of this column. God’s speed!

Tickets for Blithe Spirit, should one need insult before their injury, are ten dollars and standing water only through the end of this month. Please remember, actors are to be slapped only, no nails, no fists, no wind up exceeding six inches.

In reply to last week’s column, “Slap Happiness,” the following was received: “Dear Mr. Whiteside, Thank you for the spot light in your piece last week. I was slapped yesterday and greatly enjoyed it. In the future, I will hold my arms more gracefully while onstage. Yours, Fifth Sentinel To The Left.”

Go forth! -WHITESIDE

Issue No. 11, Actors - Credits


Portraits: Alexa Garvoille
Fiction: Jonathan Tuttle
Interview: Andrew Ferris
Photos: Kihra Sorensen

this issue of FOLIO made possible in part by The Third Earl of Southampton