ready for your close-up, Mr. Roper


Lucy was asked to guest-lecture at NYU yesterday, so we took her on her first trip to Manhattan. She found Broadway at rush hour to be dazzling, and it returned the favor:


We were invited by Cindy Chupack, the head writer for “Sex and the City” and author of the Between Boyfriends Book, who is teaching a class in the television department on How to Succeed in TV Writing. She should know, she’s one of the best.

Quick aside note to my friends from high school: Cindy was recently engaged to Ian Wallach, whose brother is Corey Wallach – who starred alongside all of us in Norfolk Academy’s production of “Camelot.” He was Lancelot, I was King Pellinore. The world is small, but unknowable, yes?

Anyway, Lucy fell asleep during the first few minutes of class (just like I always did) so we had to take over and tell our jaunty tales of life in the TV industry. It’s amazing how many little pieces of advice you can dole out, and equally amazing how useless they all are unless you know somebody who can get you a meeting. Still, there are about five major potholes to avoid, and I thought we represented them well.

Cindy reminds me a little of Jill McCorkle, one of my favorite teachers in the world. At Carolina, Jill would give us a quick rundown of things to eschew in our writing, but she always summed things up by saying that we could do whatever we wanted as long as it was original, exciting, and good. She taught by positive feedback only, and gave us a sense of the possible, rather than bumming us out with faint praise and crochety reality. I will always be indebted to her for that. Cindy seems to share that quality.


The class was psyched we brought our 14-day-old to school (although our pediatrician wouldn’t be) and I think we showed them that there is Life After Baby, which is something I never believed when I was 21.

Lucy didn’t get to say anything in class, but boy was she full of opinions when we got home. Yeesh!

0 thoughts on “ready for your close-up, Mr. Roper

  1. Kelly

    Three cheers for the unpadded baby sling! I have the same one, and it is really nice to use when a child is older as an aid to a “piggy back” carry or “on-the-hip” carry. Way easier than navigating a stroller through a sidewalk or airport. I have even used it recently with my heavy 3 year old when she was too tired to trudge along after a day of hiking, still 1/2 a mile from home. Made the last leg home WAY more enjoyable for both of us.

  2. Sean

    I’m not saying it was *that specific* production of Camelot at Norfolk Academy that made me want to be an actor, but during *a* production of Camelot at Norfolk Academy, Lancelot came on stage and sang “C’est Moi” and I said audibly, “Jesus, I could do that!”
    I’ve still never played Lancelot. But I do sing “C’est Moi” all the time running around the house.

  3. Joanna

    I’m with Kelly. let’s keep this about babies. Try as you may to change the topic, your blog has become another TLC’s A Baby Story. I also wanted to praise the sling. My chiropractor explained that while the sling is harder on the parent’s back than a Baby Bjorn, it’s MUCH better for the baby. According to chiropractors, a Bjorn or anything that holds the spine upright as opposed to cradled, is only appropriate once the baby can sit, at which time the baby’s too heavy for the Bjorn anyway. Actually a significant percentage of papooses have permanent vertabrae injury from premature upright positioning. Now this is all from my chiro., no independent research on my part to back it up, but thought you’d be interested since you’re slingin’.

  4. Jen

    To make the world even smaller…Ian and Adrienne went to high school together in DC. How many degrees of separation does that make it?

  5. michelle

    I was only at Norfolk Academy for four months, during the first half of seventh grade, but even *I* saw that Camelot. I was with some of my nightmare 7th grade friends, and being a nightmare myself, we were making a ruckus about how hot Lancelot was when he came out into the audience singing “C’est Moi”. Indeed, I was grinning ear to ear in embarassed splendor when we walked right by me, and we made eye contact even through the glare of the spotlight, and he faltered a second at the sight of a drooling, grinning, ridiculously large-breasted 7th grade girl. Why do I remember that moment so clearly? Maybe it was because my red-headed big brother was so awesomely funny in that show. At that age you think your siblings are capable only of torment and hogging the bathroom.

  6. cheryl

    Aw, that’s so sweet. Ian, Jill McCorkle led the workshop that I was in at Bennington in January. Just the mention of her name and her brilliant smile comes to mind. She is wonderful!!!

  7. KTS

    Let me first state that I’m a Baby Boomer. Fly like the Wind. Such a long way to go, to go the border of Mexico. It’s alright, the Night is on!
    Why am I even hanging around?
    Good question!


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