When I was a child, I was fascinated with Ruth Draper, so I thought about monologues, but it didn't seem like something someone did in modern times. I hated the idea of a one-woman show. A one-person show just seemed like something that couldn't be done. You needed two actors for a play to happen. The only one-woman show I ever saw that I liked was Pat Carroll's Gertrude Stein. I liked that show very much, was very impressed with it. It was an inspiration to me.
To be honest with you, I decided to do my show because I was so fed up with where I was in the business, the work I was getting. I thought, "What the hell have I got to lose?" I'd spent years playing nurses and maids and secretaries, really boring and unnourishing stuff.
A friend of mine, Mark Hampton [co-writer of Full Gallop], was as fascinated as I was with Diana Vreeland. When she died, I realized that I must get the rights to the book D.V. I thought, If I don't get the rights to it, someone else will, and then I'd kick myself for the rest of my life. I was amazed that they actually entertained the idea of Mark and me possibly doing this. It seemed that each step of the way, the door would actually open.
I've always been fascinated by people in power and what happens to them when they lose their power. Also, I understand what it's like to be out of work. But mostly, the woman [Vreeland] is so different from me. She was such an up, such a survivor. She had a joy in living that was pretty irresistible. She was a combination of what I always wanted to be as a kid—funny and glamorous at the same time. I remember as a child thinking that Carmen Miranda was someone else who "had it."
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