Not that I wasn’t prepared.
In fact, I had saved a brochure from The New York Botanical Garden that featured a handsome image of Sigourney Weaver. I not only have long admired the career of Ms. Weaver and her family, but I thought that when the time comes, I could look to this sophisticated, elegant, casual image as a template.
(Not my mother’s choice -- she thought the plant looked like it was on the top J but she has come to accept and love it). I like it... and am most grateful to the glamorous, almost stained-glass affect of the colorful coleus plant helping out the photo composition.
to the New York Philharmonic to Lincoln Center to the importance and need for regional theaters. Which is why he was in Red Bank, in the Garden State.
It was my first visit to the Two River Theater Company. I will be back. I was very excited to meet Michael Hurst, the managing director of TRTC. He and his team have done a masterful job of producing a first-class performance schedule.
I figured I could attend the pre-event cocktail party and talk to Mr. Baldwin about our shared/mutual world – he dines at so many of the Homegrown Long Island Hamptons & East End restaurants in the book – that I thought he’d be muuy simpatico with a quick chat introduction. I brought the table of contents to proudly show him the book's quality and his chef "peeps."
The room of theater donors and benefactors was quietly pulsing with anticipation.
And then, just like that, he was in the room, working.
I had the opportunity to tell Alec how much I love his work (I've seen him on Broadway in Streetcar Named Desire, all his films, and of course, Jack Donaghy, the suave, sophisticated network executive on 30 Rock).
I told him I had just completed a book about the Hamptons and Long Island, featuring many of the chefs he knows.
He looked at me quizzically while nibbling a bar snack.
I was more than flummoxed trying to look away from the dimples.
Getting right to it, he asked, "And what do you want me to do?"
Take somewhat aback, I stammered, "Well, I hope you like it enough and the chefs of course, and Long Island (Alec is keen supporter of Peconic Land Trust and sustainability) to write a quote for the book jacket and..." all while attempting to graciously retrieve the book pages from my elegant Coach bag perched in the crook of my elbow. I'd seen this done in all those high end thriller movies. The moll pulls the papers - or egads, the weapon, from her purse with nary a flip to the manicure.
However, the file folder that was keeping the pages from getting wrinkled, got stuck on the straps.
So there I was, rather Houdini-like, balancing a glass of champagne, with my left hand, while my right hand -- that suddenly seemed to belong to someone else - was turned round and in a wrestling match with the book pages that refused to leave the confines of the handbag.
Definitely not the poised image I had been hoping to present to Mr. Baldwin.
I did finally win the match, triumphantly pulling the file. Alec said he couldn't take anything, but said I should call his executive assistant, Monica. He gave me her phone number I jotted my notepad that leaped from the handbag with more agility than the book pages. (Later I did get his autograph, scribbled on the book's inside photo image!)
It was an excellent, entertaining evening that ended all too quickly.
I did follow up with Monica, Alec's executive assistant, who couldn't be nicer. After some emails and phone call exchanges, the upshot was that Alec is very oversubscribed and has no time to do anything for the book. It was deemed not in the cards for the book jacket quote. She explained he's even turned down close friends and family but that he would be very supportive of the Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown book when it is available in the spring. They offered to support the book when it is out in print for the book signings and I am hopeful. It will be fun. And appropriate. His Twitter posting are frequently about his good fun and food at 1770 House, Nick and Tonis. Almond, and more…
Wellll. My admiration for Mr. Baldwin is in no way diminished. He is noble -- in support of all things art and culture.