Monday, December 5, 2016
A Sad Victoria(n) Tale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Early in 1992, I was enlisted, by my late, theatrical friend, David Semonin, to serve as an ASM (Assistant Stage Manager) on a produciton of George S. Kaufman's play, "Merton Of The Movies." It was to be directed by Paul Roebling--yes, THOSE Roeblings, darlings--and was to be staged at the Atlantic Theater. Not quite the high end venue it is today, but, still the highest quality venue I had ever worked. Plus it was a paying job. Not only was I paid a salary, but when it was discovered I was living alone in the wilds of Bay Ridge, (remember, this was back in 1992) my cab fare was paid for every night of the run. Believe me, I got used to this real quick, and it was the first thing I missed when the run ended.
I can barely remember cast members. A guy named Tom Moore played Merton. There was a Cheryl, Jeff, John, Wendy, and Anita, but the one cast member I will never forget was a young lady named Victoria Stern. She is pictured above.
You can sort of get a hint of it, even in her photo. Victoria did have a sense of humor, and was a talented actress, but she was a total bitch. Now, I say this objectively, because I never had any bad interactions with her. On one occasion, we had a humorous rapport. But, during the run, I had several company members come to me (including my friend, David) who told me they were afraid of Victoria. I have no idea if anything happened between them. But there was about her an air of "leave me alone, and there will be no problems." It wasn't a sense of superiority; it was some kind of noblesse oblige. There were times when I wanted Victoria to bring down her attitude; what I was afraid of was, in confronting Victoria, I would have lost it, and while she may have cowed for the moment, I would have been thrown off the project, and I did not want that to happen.
I had no idea of where Victoria came from, her training or back story, because by the time I came on board, the show had been cast.
As the run ended, I would occasionally run into company members. I asked what happened to some. Wendy, who was from Chicago, eventually went back there. Victoria went to California, where she continued to work, and raise a family.
I would wonder about her from time to time, especially her behavior during 'Merton.' We were all beyond the high school stage; why couldn't she get over it?
Well, the other day, Victoria popped into my mind again. I found her on IMDB. I was genuinely sad to see that on September 14 of last year, 2015, she passed away. From leukemia. She was born on December 30, 1962, meaning she was just 29, when I worked with her.
She passed away at the relatively young age of 52, leaving behind a husband and children, who are I am sure are saddened, and I feel for them. I hope Victoria was better to them than to others.
I could never understand why Victoria was such a bitch. It wasn't like she had to be, which is the case with so many. She was attractive, talented, and, as I said, had a sense of humor. Why wasn't it enough to drive her? Why did it have to be bitchiness?
Farewell, Victoria. Rest In Peace. I wish I could have figured you out.
Victoria Stern. In an odd way, the name fit her. Take a look at her demo reel on IMDB. The talent is there, but so is everything I said here. I guess if a bitch was required, one called Victoria. Too bad she couldn't lose it offstage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!