by Marilynn Scott Murphy.
I am a founder and now the current owner of Professional Artists Talent Agency. I joined All Souls in February 1986, and we opened Professional Artists in October 1986, but incorporated in March 1987. I would not have survived show business without my anchor/spiritual home of All Souls!
Thoughts on the Pandemic: Coronavirus/Covid-19 in 2020:
My mind is and has been restless and scattered - almost impossible to focus. There is/was too much to think about and too much at stake. Broadway closed on March 12. The next day, I was alone in my office on Friday the 13th!
On Sunday (the Ides of March) at Robin Bossert’s suggestion, I had brunch with Robin, Dixie Goss and Dan Cryer at Café Luxembourg (commonly known as “my kitchen”). Neil Osborne and Shivani Singh, sadly, could not join us. March 15 turned out to be the last day Café
Luxembourg was fully open until June, when Governor Cuomo allowed restaurants outside dining in Phase Two.
Brunch was moved to Dixie and Dan’s apartment on March 22. That following week, Robin’s battle with Covid-19 began. He was unable to have brunch at Dixie’s and Dan’s the following Sunday, so it was cancelled. Robin’s health got worse until Shivani got him to the hospital, where he stayed for over 43 days! All we ever heard was that he was “critically stable” on a ventilator for weeks.
BUT -- “Hallelujah!!!!”
On May 6, Robin was released from NYU Langone. He is the MIRACLE MAN who is now growing stronger each day. Our original Navigator/Founder was on the road to recovery.
Sadly, All Souls lost Steve Kaminsky on March 21 and Betty McCollum on April 21 to the virus.
My 12-year-old adopted Yorkie, Mocha, has been my 24/7 constant companion. We would get to my office at the Film Center by noon, stayed until I finished, usually by 6:00 p.m. so that I could join my friend Anne Phillips for the ritual #ClapBecauseWeCare for the frontline coronavirus workers, at 7:00 p.m. each day.
Mocha and I took advantage of the complimentary M11 bus to the office and back. I may not have been essential to the city of New York, but as the owner of the agency, I was essential to Professional Artists. Jackie Gubow, Andrew Martini and Sheldon Lubliner have always been essential to Professional Artists and to me.
It took us two applications, being denied after the first, to be granted a PPP loan. In my mind, I was buying time. It bought me two months - May and June. Jackie, Andrew and Sheldon worked remotely May and June thanks to the PPP. But at the end of June, Professional Artists ran out of money for the payroll and the rent. There was no choice but to apply for unemployment.
Now, with Broadway and theatres across the country not able to open until 2021, Professional Artists was left with six months with no income to navigate. Sheldon, being the wise/left brain businessman, encouraged me to shut down the 33- (almost 34-) year-old business we created in 1986.
I was tormented by my right brain inclinations and Irish Stubbornness, fighting against having a pandemic and poor Federal Government leadership bring down Professional Artists.
But another miracle occurred! The EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) came through in July. The money must be carefully parceled out in order to get through to Easter. Also, I have one bank account that upon my death, was meant for All Souls and Adelphi University. What if I took that money to pay for the six months of rent at 630 Ninth Avenue through December, buying more time while show business was limited?
Today, I ZOOMED All Souls Services at 10:00 and 11:15. I imagined combining Professional Artists and All Souls – “All Souls West/Professional Artists Called to Action.” My business home and spiritual home combined!
Professional Artists through All Souls are Called to Action...
I can dream, can’t I?