I’m breaking out of third person mode to try and express gratitude.
So many people have given me opportunity, knowledge, kindness and loyalty during my career.
Some I knew/know quite well; others not nearly as well, but they have left an indelible impression.
Thank you to every person who has taken my questions seriously; shared invaluable advice and wisdom; given me a seat at the table; made me laugh when things were bleak; worked so hard and generously to aid me; has shown me the way by example.
I miss those who are no longer living.
When we’re young, time is so elastic. We believe we have all the time in the world; yet, paradoxically, we are always in a great hurry.
Suddenly (not so suddenly) we realize that ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty years have gone by.
A pause, then, to thank, in particular:
Steven Lusthaus, my closest childhood friend; he remains in my heart. How he loved ‘show business!’ He died far too young; in a way, his zeal led me to this profession.
Stuart Liebman, my truly brilliant college professor, was and is a dear mentor and friend. Lois Greenfield and Jesse Liebman are also generous and dear.
My gentlemanly uncle, Martin Starger, gave me my first job in the entertainment business. He urged me to move to Los Angeles at a time when there was less work activity in New York. He opened the door to my career, and I’m tremendously grateful to him for many reasons.
Dianne Crittenden, my wonderful casting director mentor and friend, encouraged me to switch from development to casting. Her knowledge and generous example have been a beacon. She has taught me so much about actors, and about life.
Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and J.J. Harris helped me get my first job as a solo casting director, working on a movie with Fred Dekker. Thanks, too, to Fred; we were all so young and eager! And Elaine helped me greatly over the years, negotiating several of my casting director agreements. J.J., gone too soon.
Laura Ziskin, Mace Neufeld and Roger Donaldson took a big chance on me when they asked to me cast No Way Out; Dianne was too busy to take it on, and she convinced them I could do it. I was so nervous every day, desperate to do a great job! That movie helped launch my casting career. And I met another colleague and dear friend, Barry Sabath, while on the film. Laura, also gone too soon.
Kevin Reynolds and Dale Pollock were very supportive, and I really enjoyed time spent with them, on projects and as friends.
Thank you to David Hoberman, Donald De Line and David Vogel, who hired me as Vice President of Casting at Walt Disney and Touchstone Pictures after Gretchen Rennell (supportive!) decided to move on. They were a pleasure to work for, and with. And thank you to Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and everyone at the studio for/with whom I worked. It was a terrific, invaluable experience and I learned so much. From Jeffrey, I took this unforgettable advice: return every call, answer every message and treat everyone with respect.
Thank you to Scott Rudin; we first worked together in California. He helped give me the opportunity to re-establish myself in New York, and to work on so many fantastic projects, both films and plays. He too changed my career and he has been an important part of my life, professionally and as a friend.
Thank you to Dawn Steel, whose encouragement, candor, humor and advice I still miss
Marc Lawrence and James Lapine are close friends and colleagues, also from the Disney days, and we too have shared wonderful projects and times together.
Hugh Grant has starred in four of the films I did with Marc; he is brilliant. Such a hard worker, so gifted. He makes it look easy, but it is not.
And thank you to Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer for being so supportive and generous during those projects with Marc and Hugh.
Gerald Schoenfeld, ‘the Mayor of Broadway,’ was a legend, and a softie, and is missed.
I worked on several projects with Stuart Thompson; he now is gone too soon and is missed.
Robert Fox, classy, kind (still) and reassuring when I needed it most.
Thank you to Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, witty world travelers in the name of art.
Sean Mathias, loyal, generous and dear.
Patrick Marber remains marvelous.
Thank you to Adam Schroeder, Michelle Manning and Richard Fowkes (I think of him often, and miss him.)
Thank you to Todd Smith, Eileen Rapke, Greg Pulis and Erika Hallbourg for being so generous and helpful.
Zoe E. Rotter and Kim Miscia have been adored colleagues and friends of long duration. I am so proud of their success, as I am of Christian Kaplan’s, and Donna Morong’s. Melanie Kagan Canter, Janice Wilde, Val Lindquist, Betsy Cohen, Stephanie Dahlen, Markus Potter, Peter Zasuly, Maryellen Mulcahy, Amy Berman, Elizabeth Boykewich, Sophie Holland, Kay Magson, Liz Bichard and other wonderful colleagues and friends have worked with me on projects and helped me tremendously. They are all thriving.
Colin Ingram is a loyal, enthusiastic colleague and friend.
It was Colin who introduced me to Arnold Crook and Nigel Everett at Theatre Royal Haymarket. They, and Ben Weaver-Hincks, Franky Green, and everyone at TRH are also deeply valued colleagues and friends.
Thank you to Nikolai Foster and Chris Stafford for their warmth and enthusiasm.
Thank you to Stephen Jeffreys, Terry Johnson, and my other splendid colleagues, now friends, involved with The Libertine production in 2016.
Thank you to George Lane, and to Lindsay Posner, for their belief and friendship.
Thank you to David Ives, Natalie Dormer, David Oakes, Patrick Marber (once again!) and our brilliant colleagues on the upcoming Venus in Fur production at TRH in London.
Thank you to every impassioned agent and manager with whom I’ve worked, both in the U.S. and in the U.K. We all do this work together. Thank you to the always elegant and hospitable Aude Powell, whom I miss.
Thank you to all the gifted writers (without your words, nothing), directors, producers and artisans who have let me join them along the way.
Unlimited gratitude and profound admiration goes to the actors with whom I’ve had the great joy of working. They put themselves, their talent and their vulnerability on the line every day.
On a nostalgic note, when I was completely new to this business, it was the interest, kindness and help – modest or enormous – of these people which helped me through bewildering times. Some are now deceased; some became lifelong friends.
If I didn’t thank them enough then, I’d like to thank them now:
Ron Parker, Eric Hughes, Doris Quinlan, Sue Barton, Regina Gruss, David Graham, Dennis Doty, Earl Wroten, Barbara Carleton, Glenda Grant, Roger Towne, Richard Gregson, Carol Huston, Ginny Durkin, Terry Hughes, Grant Tinker, Fran Bascom, Cheryl Bascom, Lori Openden, Jackie Briskey, Meryl O’Loughlin, Dennis Erdman, Larry Turman, David Foster, Jennifer B. Shull, David Helpern, David Eidenberg, Clifford Stevens, Terry Liebling, Jinny Raymond, David Bombyk, Ed Feldman, the Haas family, Susan Smith, Philip Carlson, Jeff Hunter, Gene Parseghian, Stephanie Mangano, Diana Doussant, Jonathan Howard, Hilary Shor, Michael Welden, Deborah Davis, Mark Urman, and Catherine Myers, among many others.