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You like me! You really like me!!!
I finally won something - even if it was [just] a story slam on Broome Street.
Click the photo or HERE to read the post.

You like me! You really like me!!!

I finally won something - even if it was [just] a story slam on Broome Street.

Click the photo or HERE to read the post.

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Recorded at the How I Learned story series at Happy Ending, NYC, here’s a story about a math class, a mother, and a forlorn little sweatshirt from JCPenney’s that reminds us all to live up to our potential no matter how hard that may be. Sort of. Click the Penney’s logo or HERE to listen.

Recorded at the How I Learned story series at Happy Ending, NYC, here’s a story about a math class, a mother, and a forlorn little sweatshirt from JCPenney’s that reminds us all to live up to our potential no matter how hard that may be. Sort of. Click the Penney’s logo or HERE to listen.

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Yall! For at least the next 45 days my sitcom pilot script Livin’ the Dream is public and live on Amazon Studios! If you want a deep-fried, white-trash laugh, please read it and rate it! Click on the Freedom Fuel photo or HERE.
Here’s the pitch: A broke but resilient sharp-tongued Southern gay guy is too big for his own hometown and his nutjob family - but he keeps finding he’s too small to move anywhere else. Imagine a white trash Will & Grace - or Arrested Development on a really tight budget.

Yall! For at least the next 45 days my sitcom pilot script Livin’ the Dream is public and live on Amazon Studios! If you want a deep-fried, white-trash laugh, please read it and rate it! Click on the Freedom Fuel photo or HERE.

Here’s the pitch: A broke but resilient sharp-tongued Southern gay guy is too big for his own hometown and his nutjob family - but he keeps finding he’s too small to move anywhere else. Imagine a white trash Will & Grace - or Arrested Development on a really tight budget.

And looks like I’m now considered one of “The Best of the Left”. Well…I did read The Help!


Click and check out my Dad/AIDS/Grease 2 story under “Act 6”!

Christmas greetings from my favorite celebrity: ME! (part 2)

Joyeux Noel once again, fans! Still reeling from the announcement of my “full-time job” experiment in yesterday’s missive? Well, I am too! But in a nutshell, here’s what happened to the man who The New York Times gushingly says "toggles between two personas" (whatever that means): like many of the super-successful, I haven’t many liquid assets - they’re all tied up in futures or pasts or Euros or something - and this last July I had another of my many “come to Jesus” moments (moments which are sadly denied apostates like Mormon “candidate” Mitt Romney) when I realized that unless I took drastic action before September 15th I would be out of cash! Yikes! And though, yes, there are scads of celebrity friends and deep-pocketed fans whom I could have asked to help make up my shortfall until the next successful project hopefully begins to pay dividends, I looked in the mirror and made the difficult decision that I could not take charity. Any more! And so it was that I came to have a “desk” and regular “hours” at Comedy Central’s GHQ in the charming “Hudson Square” district, adjacent to a loading dock. I even have a “boss”! I’m sure one day we’ll all look back and laugh at this whimsically comical “season in my life” - I for one already find it absolutely fucking hysterical!!!

Anyway.

Let’s don’t talk about that. I’m sure most of you ordinary folk already have jobs and are more interested in the stories of my celebrity life where the glitter is in the air, not the ones where it’s already fallen on the ground to be crushed underfoot with the sawdust.

So. On once again to my 2011 Celebrity pre-Christmas Itinerary of Joy! Here are more of the ways I’m making my season bright - probably much, much brighter than yours!

4. Now that I am once again solvent, I have been treating myself to my own early Christmas present! (I have also bought a few little things for some of the people on my list - I’m no Scrooge!) I’ve been getting Rolfed! Rolfing, if you “don’t know,” is a system of body realignment that probably comes from Europe. Most celebrities at some point go in for some rather “New Age” treatments like yoga or collagen, and I am no exception! Amid the bustle of my life of fame I seek the middle path of Zen; and also I would like to increase my flexibility for sex. So far I can already stand without back pain for slightly longer than I could formerly. I know “times are tough,” and I’m sensitive to the hard candy Christmases being painfully endured by many of my fans and countrymen (remember, due to my non-liquidity I was almost one of you!), and this Rolfing may seem to some a frivolous indulgence; but let me tell you, when my hips are happy some of that joy will trickle down to my public too!

5. This past weekend I and my consort partook of two particularly moving “get in the spirit” Christmas activities:

5a. We attended a gospel Christmas concert given by a “diverse” gospel choir - two of whose non-diverse members are non-celebrity friends of mine - at the East Village’s Middle Collegiate Church. I am not sure if “Collegiate” is an actual denomination or merely a ruse of nomenclature designed to lure elder lechers into the sanctuary and then, presumably, unto salvation. Either way, the concert was a toe-tapper. I was the most famous person in the church, so the entire event was lent a gauzy golden hue of glamour alongside its message of (I think) hope for a troubled world. I always try and squeeze in a little spirituality during the holiday season - a task made more difficult this year by my “job” and my intense Rolfing schedule, but Sunday’s concert truly ticked the box. My favorite number was one I’d never heard: Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow. Its message of salvation’s accessibility even to the lowliest of laborers, those shut out of the leisure echelons and forced to toil regular hours among much lesser creatures - literally “sheep”! (and maybe even with a “boss”!), would surely resonate with many of my legion of workaday fans - and it was on your behalf that I listened and responded with tears of selfless hope. God rest ye merry gentlemen!

5b. Also this weekend we participated in my annual Christmas ritual screening of Frank Capra’s masterpiece, It’s a Wonderful Life. As most of you know, this is the greatest film ever made, even though I am not in it. You might imagine someone as famous as I would prefer a feature that presents Success’s bold shimmer - like Valley of the Dolls orDoc Hollywood - to a “salt of the earth” film that deals, essentially, with a host of losers who never leave their sad, snowy town. But you’d be wrong. For without lost creatures like Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey - who pine and scrimp and in the end are only kept from machine-gunning a Luby’s Cafeteria by the paper-thin promise scribbled on the front page of an early-edition Tom Sawyer that “no man is a failure who has friends” - all of my much more glittering successes would have no context. People like meneed people like George Bailey, even if I can in no way identify with his soul-crushing fear of mediocrity and obscurity. In no way whatsoever! Still, something calls me back to this opus, year after year…perhaps it is that pathologically mirthful scene at the high school gym dance, where George and Mary tumble backwards into the swimming pool! Ha! That’s probably it.

More Christmas to come, including cherished childhood Christmas memories…!

Christmas greetings from my favorite celebrity: ME! (part 1)

Well, here we are as in olden days, happy golden days! Or at least a time before any of us had ever heard the words “the Eleventh” or “Sarah Palin.” As the days shorten in anticipation of the anniversary of the humble birth of the one true godhead incarnate who came to save all of us Methodists from eternal damnation that we might live abundantly in the life everlasting - and also of that “Jewish holiday” about “candles” - thoughts turn naturally to holly, spiced cider, family, and fame. Most people wonder, as they struggle through stores clogged with other “wage earners” like themselves to spend money they haven’t got on gifts for people they don’t love, “what might thisseason of light be like if I were actually happy - if I were happy and famous?” Might it be brighter than the Christmas of this little child, whose no doubt broken home has scarred him or her - probably him - so badly that even the meager gift of a Barbie doll is decapitated and kicked to the curb, as if in protest of a holiday whose magic appears naught but a cruel sham?

Yes! It would indeed be brighter. For how could it be darker?

And so allow me this festive Yuletide to send your soul-starved way some of my celebrity Christmas luster! Here, for you my fans, is my 2011 Celebrity pre-Christmas Itinerary of Joy!

1. Last weekend I and my consort went ice-skating in Central Park! Quelle joie! All was merry and bright, and even the several minority families who seemed to have gained access to the pricey Trump-owned rink through some sort of scholarship were enjoying themselves fully. We arrived at dusk, just after the Zamboni had finished its rounds, which delighted me no end - I love nothing better than a smooth bottom under me! The park is a magical place to skate, even if one has not ingested the copious amounts of crystal methamphetamine consumed by one dilated and overzealous skater - clad only in a Philadelphia Eagles T-shirt against the winter chill. One hopes he might sober up enough to notice his frostbitten nipples by New Year’s. Even despite this snaggletoothed scrapper, our bonhomie might have been unadulterated were it not for the “holiday” music selections playing via loudspeaker across the rink, which were disappointingly of an entirely secular nature. I certainly enjoy I’ll Be Home for Christmas as much as the next homosexual, but it does not escape my keen observation that without a healthy sprinkling of the familiar religious carols one does begin to wonder why exactly one is going home at all! Hashtag “Reason for the Season”!

2. Apres-skate we sauntered over to the Avenue for a glance at what my middle-American fans can only dream of: the windows at Bergdorfs. Enchanting. This year the famous emporium catering to the 1% threw caution and unemployment to the wind in a deliciously frivolous display of haute couture-draped mannequins topped with wild animal heads - all I want for Christmas is whimsy! In celebration we treated ourselves to $6 nutella waffles from the Waffles & Dinges streetcart parked in front of The Plaza. Unfortunately the Barney’s windows disappointed this year. I suppose Simon Doonan is dead (and I’m sorry I missed the service, I’m sure I would have caught up with some old friends there!), because instead of the world-renowned decorative displays that have made an international name for Barney’s, the store merely slapped Lady Gaga’s name on a candy shoppe on the fourth floor and felt that would suffice. Yes, I know times are “hard.” I realize that rather than giving the masses some free delight on the sidewalk it may actually be more generous to those masses to lure them upstairs for an $80 lollipop with some bottle-job Italian pop icon’s face painted on it (even the masses must stuff stockings!). But I for one wanted some of that free delight on the sidewalk. Rest easy, though, dear fans: I’m sure I could buy an $80 lollipop if I really wanted one. And maybe next year Barney’s will feature one with my face on it!

3. I attended the Christmas market in Bryant Park, where I purchased two charming coffee mugs for the office party Secret Santa offering. They featured black and white photos of passed-out reprobates lying lifeless on menacing 1980s New York City subway trains. Ho ho ho!

(Oh, did I say “office party”? That’s right! In an effort to be as generous as I can be with my celebrity I have taken a full-time staff “job” as a writer/producer at Comedy Central. They need me! And in all seriousness fame - like everything else in this dark winter of our national discontent - is a bit slow right now.)

Well, for the moment I suppose I’ll leave you with that Christmas bombshell - I’ll pick up again soon with enough sparkle to get you through the rest of your sad little non-famous season! "You can count on me…"

God bless us everyone!

Where have I been hiding?

Has it really been 1/3 of a year since I’ve written anything inane enough to disseminate globally via the vowel-challenged self-publishing web site known as “Tumblr”? I don’t know how that’s been allowed to happen, or how my 12 followers have managed to make it through Canadian Thanksgiving, Real Thanksgiving, Christmas (or that 8-day Kwanzaa thing if I have any Jewish or African followers), New Year’s, Epiphany, Valentine’s Day, and most of Presidents’ Day - without an update from my riveting celebrity personality! 

Well, it’s time for me to stop acting like Anne Frank and come out of hiding! I have two shows next month at Ars Nova - more about those as ticket links become available - and I want to live!

So, here’s a brief synopsis of my star-studded last few months:

- as I was ‘between shows’, I agreed to help out some of my friends at the Logo television network who were looking for a rapier wit to write a few bons mots for some of their on-air promotional advertisements. It’s something resembling a “job,” and in order to not make everyone feel awkward I even agreed to take a nominal payment. Very nominal! I spent the fall in a Viacom whirl - literally on the A-List! That is to say, I was writing and producing promotional advertisements for Logo’s “hit” show, The A-List New York, which I secretly believe to have been sponsored by Al Qaeda so fiercely did its replaying images terrorize me in the edit suite! (I am sure the “real” sponsor was alcohol of some sort, to which most homosexuals are regrettably addicted.) It was quite a season, and the leaves were lovely!

- as a practicing Methodist, I attended Christmas Eve services with the family in Baton Rouge; I am pretty sure we are still the only Rosenthals in the balcony!

- in January I journeyed west to the City of Angels to “take meetings” with a bevy of television literary agents who had been enamored with a script of mine - I found valet parking to be both thrilling and, well, “validating”! L-O-L! As was to be expected, the agents seemed charmed by my looks and wit, and I am sure some career-saving grace will come from at least one of those visits, someday - even if only at the 11th hour when all other hope seems lost to the caprice of time and my own ineffectuality! Although, of course, we are a long ways off from then.

- I celebrated Valentine’s Day alone for the 36th time. (But then I’m never really alone, am I, with you - my fans! Would that any of you were around about 1:30AM some night, when things get “interesting” and my two cats inadvertently remind me of all the ways I’ve ever failed at love!) :)

- I have increased my gym regimen in an attempt to control something in my life - anything!

And that about brings us up to speed. But rest assured I have remained famous through it all - I’ve missed your cards and letters, though - keep ‘em coming! Or start them coming.

And look for more on my two dates at Ars Nova - I Light Up My Life: the Mark Sam Celebrity Autobiography Wednesdays March 16 and 30 at 8pm!

Celebrity PSA

A PSA from this Thursday’s show!

Hi, I’m Mark Sam Rosenthal – celebrity. You know, we who are famous bear a tremendous responsibility to give back to the world. For as the good book says in Luke 12:48, “unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required.” I live by that code. So allow me to provide a brief public service announcement on a subject of great public urgency to me: escalator etiquette.

Please, please, please whenever you are on an escalator merely standing still, do something I would never encourage you to do in a voting booth: keep to the right! The left side of the escalator is for the accommodation of those actually using their limbs. And some of us, unlike so many of you, genuinely have somewhere to be. Please respect the rest of the world by realizing – if only for a few brief moments as you laze fatly on an automated stairwell – that you are not the only person in it! We must all share this single Earth – even though, as was the case this afternoon at the 50th Street C/E station, you are large enough to be your own small planet.

And that’s…one to grow on!

I Light Up My Life: the Mark Sam Celebrity Autobiography - 9/11 sneak peek*

* includes bootleg material edited from the upcoming ENCORE PERFORMANCE of the show, Thursday 9/23 at 9:30 at Dixon Place! Get your tickets now before this one sells out like the last time!

…In the seventh grade we built our dream home!

While it was under construction we spent nine months in a unit of the Jefferson Place Apartments, during which time a handsome, mysterious, and itinerant neighbor man from Georgia showed my brother and me a few wrestling maneuvers – and also for some unknown reason contracted with my father to teach us boys a water safety course. Yes, there was a time in my life when I knew how to fashion a makeshift life vest from a pair of blue jeans! Who was that handsome man, and where did he go? He had a face of unexpected angles, piercing blue eyes, and an accent much thicker than ours – one that suggested red dirt and towering pine trees, and the things two men might do together on top of one and in the shade of the other. In many ways I feel left out of recent trends because I never was molested; it might have been nice had he approached me in that way, but isn’t life just full of near misses?

The house we built was next door to my mother’s parents – my Nanny and Papaw – on a cul-de-sac at the bottom of a rare small hill on East Bluebell Drive. (5012 for those of you with your Map of the Stars’ Homes unfolded in your lap!) It was in the style of what might be termed “Carolina Farmhouse,” with a front porch running along the first floor and a clapboard façade painted a cream color that I called “farm-fresh butter” (although no one else did). I also gave the house a name (again, which no one else used): I called it Twin Elm, after the two giant American Elm trees that stood awkwardly close to one another in the front yard (an unusual species in South Louisiana – like me!). Naturally I had been inspired by repeated viewings of Gone With the Wind and my childhood visits to many of the local plantation homes. I regret to say that – although Mother has downsized to another home nearby and Twin Elm is no longer ours– the elms are no longer, period: they have quite literally gone with the wind, victims of Hurricane Gustav a couple of summers back.

The demise of these paired spires brings to mind another similar twin collapse I witnessed in the fall of 2001. And although this is jumping through time quite a bit (I don’t know how a “normal” mind works!), readers will surely want to know “where was I when the towers fell?” Because I was very close! The event now known as 9/11 – but which I for a long time referred to only as “the Eleventh” for the same reasons of class and sophistication that the Times says “the Modern” instead of “MoMA” – came, as George W. Bush said in the only correct statement of his presidency, “on an ordinary Tuesday” – or whatever it was he said. A clear September morning? A clear blue sky? All are accurate.

Where was I? In session with my therapist, although Mother later adjusted the story for her friends to say I’d been at the dentist. I entered Joanne’s office merely depressed, but when my forty-five minutes were up I emerged devastated into a new New York. I looked down Mercer Street and saw the two towers smoking. Inconceivable. And worse, I really had to do a number two. I mean, not in a good way at all. Like when you’ve had whiskey for dinner and coffee for breakfast. Like any streetwise New Yorker I have my secret toilet map of the city stored in my mind, and at the time I was a regular visitor to an NYU classroom building nearby that had a very quiet bathroom on the second floor. I realize the moment called for more…well, moment… but this simply had to be attended to. My bowel movement was brief and unpleasant, and on my way out I passed an open office in which a young black man was watching history unfold on a tiny television – he screamed, “it’s falling!”

I ran to Washington Square and stood under the arch, next to a bas-relief of our country’s founding father. Only one solitary smoking tower remained, where always there had been two. Surely it was beyond comprehension when they both were gone – but these implausible minutes when the one surviving twin still stood were to me even eerier. I shared a silent look of despair with two French tourists – what could have been said, even if I did understand the ridiculous sing-song jibber-jabber of their superfluous nation? As ever, my favorite quote of Washington’s about the new republic stood carved high above my head: “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.”

Over to Sixth Avenue I staggered and briefly waited in line at a pay phone, only to discover it wasn’t working anymore. Neither were the cell phones of course. I wanted to call my mother. I began to walk uptown, heading nowhere in particular with the crowd, many of whom were coated in dust. Between 9th and 10th Streets, by the old Jefferson Market, I heard voices rising and turned to see the second tower falling. I screamed like an ape, and people stared – and not in the way they do now, when I am – as frequently happens – recognized by celebrity hounds. Later, as I was sobbing in the street, a woman asked me “did you lose somebody?”

“No,” I told her, “but I live here.” 

I lined up to give blood at St. Vincent’s (one trembles to think what we’ll do next time with that life-saving facility soon to become a Whole Foods, or some other retailer of equivalent spiritual bankruptcy). This I did despite the fact that the Red Cross generally refuses the blood of homosexuals (or if they don’t I think they do). While in line I saw in the street an old college friend named Eric, who hasn’t really amounted to much. In school we’d been in a novella writing sequence together, and mine concerned a group of archaeologists at a dig along the Gulf Coast of Alabama. I’d been captivated on a childhood beach trip by the legend of the lonely wife of Hernando deSoto, who according to a plaque I might have misread had futilely awaited her husband’s return from his ill-fated inland venture on a tiny spit of land at the outlet of Mobile Bay. Waiting for one who won’t return seems an apt image in a remembrance of the Eleventh – it recalls the unbearable heartbreak of all those thousands of MISSING flyers that were staple-gunned below 14th Street in the aftermath like bad wallpaper – faces of the dead I came to know through repetition, though they were strangers to me. I read them all; I thought their souls were owed as much. Of course I don’t remember what Eric’s novella was about – but I doubt it was as interesting, and I’m not sure if he’s written anything since, besides his regular film reviews for Time Out that I’m sure barely support his wife and child. 

Everyone reacts differently to tragedy: I brought socks to the Javits Center and had a brief dalliance with a man named Jonathan who had me act out rape fantasies on him in exchange for crystal methamphetamine. Perhaps it was all a bit misdirected – but the Eleventh was entirely unprecedented. I was frightened, and I cannot help my fears. Those who are great are also greatly troubled; if we weren’t we would probably be fine just selling insurance like the rest of the world. But that is something I could never do: I am too offended by the concept of the deductible.

At any rate, those days are always with me, just as are the sad days of my lonely, unmolested youth. I see the second tower fall quite often, whenever I’m on Sixth Avenue headed toward Bigelow’s pharmacy for one of their house-made specialty toners to which my skin responds so well. After all, as Faulkner wrote – quite correctly –  “the past is never really dead – it isn’t even past.” The man could really overburden a dependent clause, but I’ll have to give him that one.

the fractured pinky diaries 4 - Islamic Cultural Center edition

Well, i am learning to ype with nine fingers, so ypuu’ll notice fewer typos i do hope! no borrken pinky can stop me from connecting with my adoring public, or even from masturbatinog. i get by! but then i have always been a survivipr - one has t be in my business, and certainly if one aspires to endure a homosexual childhood and aldolescence in ?Baton Rouge wihtout being lynched.

i am due to get my pins out of my pinky nextt Tuesday and am looking forward to the local anesthesia!!!

This week by the way i have begun a freelance gig as a wroter in the promo department at Logo - it is intereting to gert up at the same time every morning for five days in a row and see how the other half lives! one thing i’ve noticed is that thoe other hafv gets paid!!!

of course, i hope i don;t get trapped by those golden handcuffs. i prefer the purple furry ones. LOLY. (that is not a ypo - i have decided to regionalize all of my  cutesy abbrecviated phrases by adding Y for “yall”! Get on board!)

now, there is something serious i feel i must address - fans of my serious side have ben encouraging me to ‘get more serious’ for a long time. Or at least my mother has!

it is this kerfuffle over the Islmaic Center downtown - what could the problem possibly be that is threatening to tear asunder the very fabric of our nation and bring us to the brink of civil war?

islam didn’t fly those planes: people did! 

Religions can’t fly planes - only peepl;e can! Some people better than others - regardless of religion. these particular people involved in “the Eleventh” didn’t even know how to land, but does that mean i would never fly on a plane whose pilot were Muslim? notwithstanding the fact that (although i ought to have my own private plane and may yet one day!) i always just fly on whatever flight Orbitz indicates is most cost-effrective, regardless of the religion of its pilot, no that does not mean i would never lfy on a plane whose pilot were Muslim. in fact, i’d much rather that than a female pilot! JKY. because you can’t judge all Muslim pilots by the inefficacy of a few. again…

islam didn’t fly those planes: people did! 

if the American public education system actually prized education (notice I did not say the public schools are a failure: they succeed very well at turning out minimally skilled drones who do not question their subservience and are at least capable of domestic violence and of asking if you’d like fries with that), more than a small handful of us might recognize this collective suspicion and blame from the pages of history. well, the short summary is that it didn’t work out very well for the Germans and the Jews got their own country out of it! so…beware anytime you feel tempted to conflate an entire group with the actions of a few! (Although I m,ust confess that when the radio would not stop playing Stay by Lisa Loeb I was tempted to boycott bagels just to feel some relief - I know, so long ago!!!)

Well, it’s almost ‘quittin time’ as they say here in this hustling bustling 10 to 6 world I’ve tempporarily landed in - and I’ve got a hot date with an iced Americano! Not that I wouldn’t also enjoy an iced Yemeni or Omani, if those tempting=sounding beverages existed. 
I’;; share more later but feel better now that I’ve cpntributed to what passes for a national ‘dialogue’ in these United States - just remember as we all enjoy our Freedom over this special holiday weekend dedicated to the quaint relic of workers’ rights…

islam didn’t fly those planes: people did!