OFFERING GRATITUDE TO ARTISTS

Motion Picture. Theater. Storytelling. Drama. Laughter. Fashion. Music. Entertainment. Many years ago, these 2 artsy brothers entered my life. Through and with them I developed my first appreciation for all the above.

Though I was a hairdresser at the time, transforming runway models, politicians, and everyday people in DC, I had never stepped into the world of entertainment until these gorgeous theatrical guys opened my eyes to a world I still embrace with enthusiasm and panache today.

Storytelling. Creating a story through the lens of a camera, multiple cameras, informing, influencing, sometimes healing and helping as we disappear, for a bit, into a story, is what movie making is all about. Back then (1970’s) one of these gorgeous brothers, Renato, and I danced. We performed on stages, on one occasion at Studio 54 along side Ru Paul (I believe it was…), and other celebs.

Once we were invited to a private party to dance, knowing renowned Leonard Bernstein would be a guest at the party. Imagine my star-struck moment when I saw Mr. Bernstein pull up in a limo, with his young gentleman companion. (Many beautiful letters had been  written years ago to Leonard by his wife, Felicia Montealegre, telling her future husband, conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, she knew he was gay but wanted to marry him anyway).

Having watched numerous Leonard Bernstein concerts on television, while growing up, I had no idea that he was gay. Only that he had a wife and several children. This moment struck me personally because Renato and I were not only dance partners but lovers as well, for several years… though I secretly knew he too was gay, but that is a story for another time. I adored Renato then, just as I do now, and yes… he finally came out, and has been with the same distinguished gentleman for more than 35 years; something he reminds me of often in his witty sense of humor, “Well, darling, as least I can keep a man”! It doesn’t sound funny, but it is always taken tongue in cheek, but I am getting off course. That story has way too many rabbit trails to tell now.

Fast forward, to a few years ago, the other gorgeous brother, Roberto, a diligent film critic, presented me to his dear friend Ron Bernstein, the iconic agent that brought books to film – When Sally Met Harry and Sex and the City – to have a look at a book I had published (Confessions of a Hairdresser), and it was then that I realized that these two brothers, over a span of 40 years, were solely responsible for my thrill of Hollywood, the entertainment industry and the magical art of storytelling.

The Oscars are this evening and you may or may not give attention to them, but for sure the magic of visual storytelling has touched your life now and then. Give a moment of gratitude for the millions of artists (most you will never see or hear of) that have given you a special place to escape periodically, and realize just how colorless life would be without them. 

Ren&Me

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