by | Nov 8, 2023 | Author | 0 comments

I live in New Mexico now, no longer in New York or Connecticut. I was severely allergic to mold in Connecticut and was urged to move to the Southwest.

After a lot of people mentioned my Brooklyn accent, I started thinking about writing a memoir. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. I would start with growing up in Brooklyn. We weren’t rich, but I had everything I needed, including a fire escape I climbed onto from my bedroom window. I did homework on that fire escape. I also spent time day-dreaming about becoming a famous Hollywood actress. In my day-dreams, I would return to Brooklyn in a chauffeur-driven limousine, and my neighbors, sitting on their stoops, would point to me and ask each other if they remembered me.

My parents took me to Manhattan often to see live shows or movies. I went to Radio City Music Hall every Christmas and to the Barnum and Bailey circus every Easter. I soon started re-living my past as I worked on my memoir. When I couldn’t think of a good title, a friend suggested BEYOND BROOKLYN. I loved it and thanked her.

I also thought about the time I studied acting in Manhattan in a studio above Carnegie Hall. One summer, I also acted in summer stock. Ironically, a director there told me, “You’re very talented, but get rid of the Brooklyn accent.” I took speech lessons. I also took ballet lessons, hoping to move gracefully on the stage.
I also wrote about my first husband, Paul Tarbescu, whom I married when I was only twenty-one years old. The highlight of our marriage was a trip to Romania where Paul had been born and still had lots of family. Romania was a Communist country at the time under a dictatorship. The officials somehow learned that Paul left the country at a young age to study in Italy, even though people weren’t allowed to leave. As a result, as soon as we crossed the border into Romania, we were followed by spies who pretended to be tourists like us. It was a very scary experience. And it didn’t end there.
After marrying Paul, I was anxious to continue acting, but he wasn’t keen on that idea. He wasn’t keen on my being independent at all. We had two children by then so I had to make a hard choice, I decided to divorce him.

Once I was single, I realized making rounds as an actor (no longer an actress now) wasn’t possible, so I started writing plays.
During that period, I attended the Yale Repertory Theater, in New Haven. After seeing one play that I especially loved, I talked to the Dramaturg at the Yale Rep. and told him, “I write plays.” He told me to send a play to Richard Gilman, Head of the Playwriting Department. I did that promptly and when I called a short time later to check on my status, I was told that Richard Gilman wanted me as a student at the Yale Drama School. I nearly fainted when I heard the news and later when I got a scholarship. I kept writing plays and after a few years, I started getting readings, workshops, and productions in regional theaters as well as New York. That’s why I decided to include short, humorous plays. and my one-woman play titled SUFFE QUEEN. in my memoir.

Several years later, I remarried. That marriage was good. My second husband, Jack, bought a sailboat and taught me how to sail. We sailed up and down the East Coast every weekend for almost ten years. He wasn’t insecure like Paul. He encouraged me to write and came to see all my plays. Before I published my memoir, I had four children’s books published as well as a mystery for adults. Everything was good until Jack got sick.

After writing about the more distant past, I started writing about the more recent past. That was harder to deal with, but I persevered. When friends or relatives tell me they’re buying my memoir, I tell them, “My book gives away all my secrets.”

“‘BEYOND BROOKLYN” – Available on Amazon
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