At the same time, it took both Bob and me back to the mid 80's when we were both endeavoring to become actors. We both auditioned for this show. They used to hold major Equity auditions in this huge Presbyterian church on the corner of Highland and Fountain, near Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.
Everyone, and I mean everyone came out for that show. As far as Broadway musicals go, this one has a really big cast. Like 20 people or something (I'm guessing) and for every part in the show there were 600 people auditioning for it. I went to the open call - meaning without agent submission and why I bothered I'll never know. The casting director never looked at me once the entire time I was in there singing. And I sang my whole song. I didn't get cut off - but he never looked at me once. Oh yeah. Acting is so rewarding...
Anyway, so we're watching this production on PBS and reminiscing about the good ol', bad ol' days. We remembered how badly we and everyone we knew wanted this show. It was a huge hit and promised at least two years of employment and it was, after all, Les Miserables.
So back to tonight. The actress playing Eponine is singing her gut wrenching solo "On My Own" and Grace asks: "So what part did you audition for?" I replied, "Oh honey, we auditioned for the company" and then Bob adds: "We would have given anything for this show back then. We would have done anything to be in it. If they'd wanted, I would have 'tucked it' to play her."
Without missing a beat, Grace asks "What does 'tuck it' mean?"
Bob looked at me in panic and I shot him one of my "I really wish I could kill you" glares. This did not help. Upon seeing this non-verbal exchange Grace knew that Bob had said something horrible and therefore she was infinitely more interested in getting her answer.
"Nothing". I said.
"Oh c'mon! I've eleven years old. I can handle it. "
"Daaaaaaaaad. What does 'tuck it' mean".
"Uh, I'll tell you some other time."
"No you won't." I shot him another look.
"Oh c'mon you guys - this is stupid. Just tell me what it means."
This went on for some time. And I was missing the concert for this battle. And then I realized she would likely go to a friend and tell the friend the story, who in turn wouldn't know the answer and would then go to their parent. And then I figured the phone would ring.
I gave up. "Oh GRACE! Okay. It's what a guy sometimes does to play a girls part."
"Huh?" She was going to need more. Crap.
Bob tried to help. "You know Grace, like transvestites."
No kidding. This was Bob's attempt at getting himself out of a bad predicament. I just stared at him in utter amazement. (Oh really, Bob? Did I really have a child with you?)
"No Grace. Sometimes, if a guy has to play a girl he has to tuck his privates between his legs."
She took a moment to soak it in. And then: "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew! Daddy you would have done that?
"No Grace. You dad was kidding."
"Oh dad You're so weird."
And yes, yes he is. Living with Bob is dangerous. He erupts with inappropriateness all the time. On the other hand, she is the daughter of an actor and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
I was reminded of an incident about 3 years ago when she was eight and he was in a show called "Too Old for The Chorus" He played a middle aged ex-dancer who was gay. He had a solo where he sang about the man he loved. It was understated but it was there. I watched Grace out of the corner of my eye - this was, after all, her dad. Grace sat next to me on opening night and listened without batting an eye. But when the song was over and the audience began their applause, she leaned over to me and with a droll delivery mature beyond her years, she whispered: "I could have lived without that".