We had a chance to go toe-to-toe with our very own Richard Lally, aka Mr. Popular (and quite possibly “Mr. Slick,” according to the picture, at least.) We tried our best to catch him off guard with our offbeat questions, but our brawn was no match for his brain.
Birth Name: Richard Raymond Lally
Current Residence: Somewhere between here and there
Years with Studio: Eight (that’s 45 in dog years)
All right Richard, summarize your life in a Tweet (140 characters) Actor and stage manager in my first life, author and editor in my second life, working toward enlightenment for my next life. I hope to return as a waterfall.
Fail! A few too many characters, Richard.
You wrote a book about baseball. You must have an opinion on the best ballpark? Most modern ballparks, crammed with diversions as they are, resemble demented pinball machines in which the action on the field unfolds as an afterthought. Fenway has retained its integrity and, concomitantly, its function, and it reeks with history. When you visit a classic park like it, such as Wrigley Field, or the newer parks constructed along classic lines, such as Camden Yards or the latest iteration of Yankee Stadium, you must arrive prepared to actually watch the ballgame. I like that.
Speaking of historical ballparks… I now want you to close your eyes and recall your earliest personal memory. What is it? Shoemaker’s shop in Brooklyn. Sweltering afternoon, no air conditioning, the room redolent with the scent of shoe polish, tanning emollients and old leather. The Mills Brothers harmonize through radio static. They recorded hits in every decade from the 30s to 70s, so that doesn’t help me place the year, but I couldn’t have been older than two, and I was probably quite a bit younger.
New York is home to a number of famous delicatessens. Describe, in explicit detail, your ideal sandwich. Grilled organic chicken breast, large slice of tomato, thinly sliced avocado and red onion on toasted whole grain ciabatta bread, with both slices slathered in black olive tapenade.
Sounds tasty. Who would you have a steak dinner with? Can be fictional, a figure from history, or current.
How about a dinner party? Henry Miller, Louise Brooks, John Cassavettes, Georgia O’Keefe, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Jean-Pierre Melville, Eleanora Duse, Karen O and Marlon Brando. Rosa Lewis, the real “Duchess of Duke Street,” would cater.
New Yorker’s also don’t put up with a lot of crap. What would you say “grinds your gears”?
Mendacity and hyperbole, which should qualify as dead languages.
Speaking of language, what’s the most challenging aspect of being a writer?
Joan Didion once wrote that she awakens most mornings thinking she suffered a stroke in her sleep, and the event has eradicated that part of her brain responsible for communication. So, she wants to write, but has forgotten where to begin. That’s the daily challenge, finding where to start, which is why I think it’s best to end your writing day while you still have something to convey. Then, you can pick up with that the following morning.
Now to put you on the spot! Write a Haiku
Renegade saint in slouch hat,
Henry Miller winks
That’s kind of dark! Can you provide context for the last time you said “I’ll be right back.”
I’m not sure when it was, but I’m certain that I wasn’t. Right back, that is.
Let’s lighten things up a bit. Fill in the blanks (underlined).
I am incredibly relieved someone invented music. Without it I might wither.
All right Richard, let’s finish things up with a quick this or that (pick one). *Bolded selections are Richard’s picks.
• Dogs or Cats
• Pancakes or Waffles
• Sweet or Sour
• Shaken or Stirred
• Old People or Babies
• Bad Drivers or Delayed Flight