After a Fashion

Stephen remembers when his life was simply an orgy of sex and drugs and rock & roll... No, silly, not last week...

The Umlauf turns 15 and unveils its new sign created and donated by Escobedo Construction. David Escobedo (l), Museum Curator Nelie Plourde, and Umlauf Board Vice-President Mike Reese.
The Umlauf turns 15 and unveils its new sign created and donated by Escobedo Construction. David Escobedo (l), Museum Curator Nelie Plourde, and Umlauf Board Vice-President Mike Reese.

DRIVE-BY THOUGHTS An errant fan told me how lucky I was to see the last performance of Anna Nicole Smith at Zach Scott recently. While I am a fan of Anna Nicole, I gently corrected the fan, noting that it was Anna Deavere Smith that I saw – not Anna Nicole Smith… said it: "Poor baby, how long will it be at school before Shiloh Pitt gets nicknamed Piloh Shitt?"… Mercifully we've been released from Will & Grace, aka the gay Amos & Andy… In today's faster-than-lightning world, Scarlett Johansson is now known as Scar-Jo… New Math: What do you get when you add a narcissistic personality disorder and a keyboard? A blog …

SOBERING WORDS I can't believe I'm attending my 30th high school reunion in a couple of weeks; I'm far too young to have been out of high school for 30 years. But in reality, since I didn't graduate, I've been out of high school longer than that: 32 years to be exact. I'm looking forward to the reunion though. I'm excited to see the handful of people who remember me and excited to meet those that I've made friends with on our online forum. But as a sophomore in high school 32 years ago, I was definitely a wild piece of baggage with no direction and little interest in anything except being an actor, listening to music, wearing the coolest clothes … and doing drugs. In fact, with my acting career at a standstill and a nonexistent budget for records and clothes, drugs took on the utmost importance. And anyone who has done a lot of drugs can tell you that you may not be able to afford food, rent, or clothes, but miraculously, you can always afford drugs. At the school I was going to in Houston, it seemed like everyone there was either a stoner (a word that didn't exist then) or a PDAPer. Either you were smoking pot, drinking, and taking black mollies (remember those?), or you were going to the Palmer Drug Abuse Program. PDAP was cool – a recovery support group that was a social and spiritual outlet that provided grounding for hundreds of kids across the city. We came to the meetings from all over to discover ourselves and to work the 12-step program that helped keep us on a more straight and narrow path. I needed help then, and PDAP was there for me. So, with my high school reunion looming in the near future and my thoughts traveling back in time, I was surprised to discover that PDAP was not only still in existence, but was alive right here in Austin ( PDAP is a nonprofit program providing free meetings for those in need of a support system to help them with drug and alcohol issues. Though the meetings take place in churches, PDAP has no religious affiliation and only encourages its attendees to explore a higher power, stating simply that your faith is your own business. PDAP has satellites in eight Texas cities, and have established themselves in Okalahoma, New Mexico, and California. PDAP needs your help to continue bringing its services to Austin. There are several ways to be helpful: You can make an outright donation; you can be a sponsor of their major annual fundraiser, the Austin Rockin' Blues Festival in August; you can donate goods or services to the fundraiser's silent auction; or you can just buy tickets for the festival and have a great time ( But do help, however you can.

AGENDA Through July 9, at Zach Scott: Run immediately to your phone and buy tickets to Zach Scott's production of Crowns. Now, frankly, I'm a creature of habit and do not regularly go to things I know nothing about. But I was a brave little soldier and went this time. Omigod, you must see this riveting, uplifting show. Breathtaking. Plus, if you wear a hat to Crowns, you'll receive $1 off your concessions. Go to for further info... Sun., June 11, 2-4pm, the fabulous Umlauf Sculpture Garden is having its 15th Anniversary Celebration and will be unveiling their new sign and logo. So join them for the cake, lemonade, a performance by the New Horizons Flute Quartet, and clay sculptures that you make and take home. Admission to the event is free. Go to for further info… Mon., June 12, 7:30pm at the Arboretum Barnes & Noble, our friend, the extraordinarily talented author and Texas Monthly columnist Sarah Bird, launches her new novel, The Flamenco Academy… Thu., June 15, 8pm at the Off-Center is opening night for I Love My Dead Gay Son: The Musical! Based on the movie Heathers, it is described as "a dark comedy and a highly offensive Eighties musical version of South Park on steroids." The productions stars Rebecca Robinson; you may know her as executive director of the Wine & Food Foundation, but she acts, too (don't all executive directors?). Go to for further info.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle