I got a private message from an old agent and dear friend telling me the news that a good man had passed away. Suddenly. He was young. He was my age. Repeat, he was young. It was his heart.
But then again, with Todd it always was about his heart. The enormity of it.
I was completely taken by surprise. I am so sad. Well, you know me, having that not-so-nice side of me continuously gnawing it's way through my system I immediately thought of so many others who could have gone in his stead. Mean, I know. But you do it, too. Admit it. You're thinking of them right now. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Feel better? Right. I always do.
Reading Tim's Facebook message over and over again I couldn't help but drift back to the heady beginning days of my voice over career, well, career such as it is. It's certainly the thing I've done the longest. And next to singing, the job I've enjoyed most. There are amazing actors and craftspeople doing what I do. Wonderful people.
To quote Peter Boyle; I do a wonderful job in a wonderful way with wonderful people for wonderful pay.
And it all began in a closet at the William Morris agency. For many, it ended there - but for me and Todd and a host of others, the reel-to-reel in the back closet of the back office is where the magic was made! hahahahahahahaha....
Todd and I were always reading the scripts for commercials as "Mr. and Mrs. Joe America" and yes, I got a sickly chill thinking of that dumb dame from Alaska trying to co-opt The Every Man for herself, as if Every Man means ignorant.
But I digress.
If there was a young couple needed to read for a spot it was Todd and I. If there were Newlyweds in an ad trying to decide on a sofa or recliner or paint or a baby's name - we were called in to read for it. The same thing with on-camera commercials. We were always auditioning at the same time to be the Mr. & Mrs. for a plethora of TV products. We had the distinct pleasure to say we NEVER worked together on a spot! But for a period of 8 years - one or the other of us got the husband or wife in anything we read on together. They loved us! Just not together.
One day, before Todd was engaged to be married to his beautiful wife he had gone out with her and proclaimed that he thought he had finally found the one. Yes, I bit. I asked what made Miss S so special.
I know I shouldn't have bit again, but I did. I asked him what he meant by that sexist remark.
Todd completely inflamed the always crowded and highly competitive waiting room at WM by calling out in my direction, "It's underwear for God's sake. What is it with you chicks these days? I mean, is it too much to ask that when you go on a date you women wear matching bra and panties? I mean not you personally, Candi because really, do you even rate a bra?"
I didn't then, but do now (just as my mother said I would if I was patient and didn't rush out to buy them...). As I lunged for him and he artfully dodged me, the waiting room exploded with loud opinions, ranging from feminist takes on the need for bras at ALL, to guys expressing their desire to get a glimpse of any feminine underwear, matching or not.
While the room was on it's ear we would sneak back to the water cooler and then wait outside the recording booth - which by then had made it's way out of the closet and had split into 3 - and go in to record our copy ahead of every else - while they were all out there arguing the merits of underwire...
The thing I loved about Todd was that he loved actors and loved being around them, saw the good in them, how hard we were all trying to make a living and be the best we could be. And then he would take that and twist it a bit for drama and have a good time watching the game...
That was Todd. That was the Todd I will miss. Todd who was taken too soon. Todd had a heart of gold - soft, genuine and pure (other than the whole underwear debacle...) He was a great guy and a GREAT talent and will be as hard to replace as Don L. for what it was that Todd brought to Joe Every Man. Hell, he is irreplaceable.
It was raining cats and dogs the day they celebrated his life in the South Bay and I was in Simi Valley performing in The Drowsy Chaperone and couldn't have made it down to where they were hoisting them up in his name even if curtain HAD gone up on time.
But I did stop, say a little prayer that herever he was he was fine and that his family left behind were all doing ok.
I for one, am a little better for having know the Torok.
Rest in peace.
Oh. And if you can hear me, Todd - 34C, baby - and nothing matches!!!!!
you know you love me - Candi