Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Earlier this week I paid a visit to the Strand Bookstore in Greenwich Village to pick up Venus in Fur by David Ives. I have an audition for a stock production coming up, and now that The Drama Bookshop has shuttered (only temporarily, thankfully), I had to travel to Union Square to purchase a copy of the play. The Strand is a marvel of Manhattan, and I’m sad to say I sometimes forget it’s here.

That’s the thing that happens in New York, especially after you’ve lived here a long time. The city is set up so that your section…

A collection of covers from the early days of “Premiere” magazine

At the age of twelve, I started paying attention to the business of showbiz. Premiere magazine made its U.S. debut in 1987, and I remember seeing it advertised on TV. I stood absolutely transfixed in our living room as images of the Toms (Hanks and Cruise) and Diane Keaton and Kelly McGillis and Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan panned slowly across the screen. A very classy and announcer-y voice implored television viewers to “call now for the new magazine about movies and the people who make them.” With my heart in my throat, I ran back to my parents’ bedroom…

Nana as she lives in my memory and me at the age she let me ruin her coffee table with Lemon Pledge

I started watching the soaps with my Nana. That’s my mom’s mom, and it’s important to me that you understand the pronunciation of her name. It’s Nah-Nah with an emphasis on both syllables — not Nan-uh, as is sometimes heard. She’s going to come up a lot, and I want you to have the correct sounds imprinted when you run across her name. Well, her name was actually Annie Beatrice Bridges Mercer, and most people called her Bea. But to me, she was only Nana.

I was her first grandchild, and I coined that name. As the legend goes: I…

Kate Winslet in a promotional image for HBO’s MILDRED PIERCE

I still remember the way Kate Winslet’s hand felt when I shook it. I suppose my fingertips must’ve brushed her palm as we were disengaging because that’s what I remember most — her palm.

It was April of 2010 on a soundstage at Steiner Studios — located in the old Brooklyn Navy Yard. Less than a year prior, I’d walked away from my survival job in real estate, so I could dive back into my life as an actor — a life derailed during my “spiral into darkness.” This is how I refer to the years from 2004 to 2008…

I’m coming up on an anniversary. This summer I celebrated the “big ten” with a little show that changed the zeitgeist — Matt Weiner’s masterpiece, “Mad Men.” To be clear, the show itself premiered eleven years ago, but I was highly pre-occupied in 2017 (more on that later) and didn’t get around to the offices of Sterling Cooper until just before the premiere of the second season.

My introduction to Don, Peggy, Roger, Betty, Pete, and Joan came while I was sleeping on a foldout sofa in the home office of the apartment I shared with my (then) boyfriend. We…

Gary Hilborn

Gary Hilborn is an actor, writer, director and producer. His stories offer a glimpse of where he is and how he got there.

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