Monday, October 16, 2006

The afterlife of a temp

One author at Sunday's Great Read in the Park who made a better impression was Adriana Trigiani. After saying how she didn't feel good enough to share the stage with her fellow panelists inside one of the event tents, she dispensed with any typical reading of her work, and engaged instead in what you might call book-dork sitting-down standup, riffing on her novels, her characters, her readers, her hometowns, etc. Among her fans apparently is actress of stage and screen Mary Testa, whom I saw last year at the Public alongside Idina Menzel, she of the penetrating gaze, in John Michael LaChiusa's See What I Wanna See, and then this weekend, three people over in the crowd. But the funnier moment came when a guy standing behind us yelled out to the humble author, "Were you a temp at Merrill Lynch?" Turns out Adriana did indeed handle office duties once upon a time at the investment bank, although she said she had something of a "don't quit that writing side gig" reputation. The guy must've had a good memory from the sound of it.

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