Gerry is a busy woman. I follow her on Instagram and am always in awe of how much living she fits in a day when I can barely muster up the energy to binge-watch House of Cards after work. I asked her what projects she is currently working on.
“I recently rejoined SAG Aftra and my main thrust is going to be acting. I’m going to be retiring from Columbia because I’ve been working here 31 years.”
Gerry has three degrees in writing from the university and has written for publications such as Interview and Hyperallergic, but has recently revitalized her passion for performing. “On the Myers-Briggs test, which I recommend, I am ESFP, which means I am the entertainer. I’m much better at doing things that are active and with people. Writing is okay but I don’t like sitting by myself at a computer all day. That’s why I’m doing my radio show. It’s called Visco Disco: The Stupid Show, and I interview people.”
She has been performing since she was a child, when her mother took her to acting school at Regis College. When she first moved to New York in the 1970s, she went on her first professional audition and got a job acting in the Woody Allen film Stardust Memories. She was also cast in “one of the highest rated porn films, a comical farce called Joy with Sharon Mitchell.” Though she had success early on, she was disappointed by the roles she was being offered and became discouraged. “You get rejected all the time, you can’t really count on a living. In one way, I should have stuck with it and just pushed myself, which is what I am going to be doing now. You know, sometimes in your twenties, you feel much more vulnerable if people reject you." These days she has more confidence in herself and her abilities.
Gerry also stresses the importance of exercise to keep her head in the game. She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and invented Disco Yoga. “I do yoga every single day, every single day, and I swim every day. I feel like that is a priority. You have to stay healthy, and you feel better, and it keeps you in a better mood.”
As a single woman in my twenties, I am slightly obsessed with knowing people’s relationship status, so the conversation naturally turned towards (cue swelling violins) love.
“When you’re in your twenties and thirties, women feel like they must have a relationship. They feel like they are a failure if they don’t get married.” These days, she is much more comfortable living for herself.
Now, I’m just like, okay, if somebody came along, I would go for it. But I’m not going to push myself into something that I don’t feel is right. Because I don’t feel like, ‘Oh God, I’m a failure’. I don’t care, the more important thing is for me to succeed in my life and my career.
Reflecting on the hypocritical expectations men put on their partners, she says, “Male partners are often very jealous, and kind of want you to tone yourself down, and not be flashy, which I tend to be.” But there is a price to pay for changing yourself, and often men don’t even know what they want to begin with. “They’ve made you into somebody who you’re not, and then they get bored with you.”
Gerry is also an avid follower of astrology. “It’s just something I’ve believed in from the beginning. When I moved to New York, at a certain time I worked for Michael Lutin, who is an expert, does moon signs, and also used to write for Vanity Fair.”
As someone who is hopelessly dating in NYC, I asked her for love advice based on the stars. Gerry, who is a Cancer, gave me the rundown of her experience. “I married a Libra. Cancers and Libras are not good for marriage and relationships in that way. Libras are in love with love, and Cancers need much more depth and sincerity.”
“Cancer women tend to be too nice. They end up being dominated by their partner and wind up getting taken advantage of. You’ll have female Cancer friends and you will wind up saying, ‘What the hell? Why don’t you get rid of that stupid guy, are they crazy?’ Some other signs aren’t apt to do that. Like an Aries women is not going to put up with that.”
What about dating a Gemini? “I had an open relationship with this Gemini guy, and I fell in love with him, and I didn’t care, I wasn’t that jealous. But the fact that I was so crazy for him was a turn-off for him ultimately. So he wound up with this women who that was so jealous, and that’s who he stuck with. So don’t believe what a gemini guy tells you completely. Play a game a little bit.”
I am a Gemini and have recently started dating another Gemini. Is this a match made in heaven or a little too reminiscent of an eighties horror film about evil twins?
“I think that can work, because you are both similar. Although, I’m wondering if it might bore them a bit. They might need a little more edge from the person. But I feel like you’re compatible and you’re twins already, so its worth trying.”
There you go! I guess the stars are blessing this foursome (though my mother probably won't once she reads this sentence.)