Thursday, October 30, 2014


Hello and welcome! If you’re here, it’s because you just asked me a question that probably has something to do with my having been a former child actor.  No offense but after thirty years of answering these questions one at a time, I’m kind of over it.

I’m really pleased my weird childhood hobby pleased you, but I’d love to talk about anything else at this point and that includes why one of my cats keeps vomiting, because at least that’s a topic which, sadly, keeps renewing itself. Talking about what amounts to three years in my childhood is, ultimately, like speaking a dead language. But I also totally respect that you have questions and am happy to answer them; let’s see if this helps:

I loved you in “The Goodbye Girl” and “Family.” You were adorable!
Thank you!

 I also loved you in “All In the Family” and “My World and Welcome To It”!
Actually, those were other actors.

Are you sure?

What was (person with whom I worked) like?
All right, here’s the thing; I have a terrible memory. I mean, I was never another child so maybe all children have terrible memories, but my childhood is a few blurry snapshots in my head and most of my memories would sound like this:

 “Remember that time I saw that cat?”

 “You mean when we were at Versailles, Quinn?”

“I think so. Anyway, it was a mackerel tabby.”

So when you ask me about anyone from my childhood – be it Richard Dreyfuss or my third-grade teacher – I have virtually nothing to say, which means they were nice. If someone is horrible, I remember. If I behaved like an idiot in front of them, I remember. If they’re nice, I remember their dog. So when I say “They were great,” I don’t remember much about them but they probably were, and are, wonderful people. And yes, some people with whom I worked were going through some stuff and weren’t that pleasant to be around but I’m certainly not going to tell you because I’d hate to think someone was using my behavior at a bad time in my life to paint my entire character.

Are you still in touch with (person with whom I worked)?
No, but this says nothing about them and everything about me. For the most part, I was a child and they were adults which meant we weren't exactly going to be hanging off-hours. Also, I'm not in touch with anyone in my life. Ask my friends; I don't think to just call someone and say "Hey!" I'm an only child and a classic introvert; it never occurs to me see anyone. I'll be dead weeks before anyone notices.

And on that happy thought...

What have you been doing since then?
You mean since I was twelve? Well, I got bangs. And then I grew them out. Now I have them again. If you want more than that, there’s always my books or Wikipedia. The only thing missing from both is that my business partner in Hiphugger and I got a patent for our design, which still astounds me, being as I can’t be trusted to cut my own bangs, which was part of the reason I grew them out.

 Where can I see pictures of your daughter?
You can’t. I’m barely a public figure; she isn’t one at all.

Why aren’t you nuts?
Let me assure you, I’m not well (see: my blog), but I get it; why aren’t I robbing banks and huffing glue? For one, my parents didn’t confuse me for an ATM. Here’s a hint; if the parent is also the manager, the kid has a longer and harder path to sanity because you can either have a childhood or be responsible for paying the mortgage.  Mostly, my mother always knew she was raising a person and not an actor, and I’ve always assumed that’s what saved me.

 Do you still act?

 Do you miss it?
I miss the bit between “Action!” and “Cut,” but that’s a very small percentage of what acting is. Had I stayed with acting, my joy would have been measured in hours each year, if I was lucky. It’s way too hard a job to stay in unless you can’t imagine doing anything else. Lucky me; I prefer writing.

 Would you read a script I wrote/be in an independent movie I’m directing/come to my workshop?
Thank you, but no. I like my life as it is, with very little relationship to all that. I sincerely wish you luck, though.

How did you get started?
We had a neighbor, James Wong Howe, who was a world-famous cinematographer. He thought the funny little kid with the freckles walking her dog could be an actor. He sent me to an agent, who sent me out for an interview that very day. I got the commercial and was on the set the next morning. I walked on my first set, realized I only had to do three hours of school, saw the craft-service table filled with snacks and thought “I’m home.” Two years and some commercials and television shows later, I got ‘The Goodbye Girl.”

What are you up to now?
I write, I am an enthusiastic supporter of animal rescue, I homeschool my daughter which, by this age, mostly involves getting her to people who can actually teach her, because if the point to education is to learn something correctly, I should be kept far away from the kid’s brain.

You’re not fat!

It's not actually a question, but it comes up enough that I'm obligated to answer it. 

No, I'm not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and thanks to "Italics Man" for coming over from the Earl Pomerantz blog and helping out with the questions.

(You were also famous for that librarian thing though, to be honest, I didn't really understand it). And you forgot to plug your books!

7:20 PM  
Anonymous The WP said...

Funny, I found you because of your writings on vaccinations, not because you were actor....which might have been understandable since I'm a playwright and I know lots of actors. And I was mildly surprised that you were _that_ Quinn Cummings.

However, I think your ability to write well and write cogently about the matter of herd immunity is far more important and far reaching than being in a Netflick catalog.

I've recommended your blog to a number of friends, especially, of course, the I WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW entry.

You are making a difference with that.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Blondie! said...

Hey Quinn!
Thank you for your latest post. I've been reading your blog for quite awhile (okay,I admit it, I subscribe to your RSS feed) and have been mildly concerned for awhile now as you haven't posted in MONTHS.
Glad you're okay, understand the rant/post.
Miss your writings.
Thanks for coming back to the 'net, even if it was just for a rant.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Just a follow up question, if you don't mind, since you brought up the subject of bangs: Should I grow out my hair? Seriously. I'm asking.

Keep writing. You're delightful and funny. The world needs to laugh. I need to laugh more. And possibly grow out my hair.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Virginia L said...

I miss your stories! I wish you would put more of them here!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Marcy Marks said...

Thank you, thank you for this post after such a long delay. I'm one of those weird old ladies who worries about people when she doesn't hear from (or about) them for a while. I treated myself to a copy of Notes from the Underwire for my birthday and found myself laughing out loud. Well done, Quinn!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

WP, your words thrilled me beyond reckoning.

Blondie, I'm more of a Twitter-person these days and TIME Ideas for the less "Quinn is an idiot" stuff, but am, after seven years of blogging and about two years off, starting to think about it again.

Cheri, you are heartily encouraged to grow out your hair. Just never grow out MY hair.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Pat Christensen said...

Welcome back, Quinn! I have missed you like you wouldn't believe! (Need the humorous take on the word you seem to have...these days more than ever, since mine is slipping badly.)

So, your bangs are interesting, but your cats, and your Consort and your Daughter and your life is fascinating. More please. And soon?

And I am about to try to do a blog myself, so I need seeing someone else blog (not constantly, your sporadic nature seems to indicate I might get away with it myself) the way I want to.

So, please?

11:38 AM  
Anonymous John the Mahn said...

Our cat vomited and vomited until we changed his food (to the non-vomit, anti-hairball formula, which cost a lot more) and we made sure to groom him every day. The other thing I noticed was he wasn't able to handle people food, so no little tidbits or leftovers of any kind, especially milk products. Usually the vomit included a form of hairball.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admit that I watched your show way back when... although I had no idea what had become of you. I came across your Year of Learning Dangerously book while I was contemplating the possibility of homeschooling my child. My reasons for doing so seemed much like yours -- and I wasn't sure that I had very much in common with "homeschoolers" in general. I thought your book was hilarious, and I didn't make the connection (who you were) until I was almost finished with the book... and then, only because you referred to your childhood acting several times within the book. While I enjoyed the show back then, I honestly can't remember anything about it either, if it makes you feel any better. I am much more interested in your homeschooling experiences. I would be interested in your blog generally, but as others have mentioned... it seems to have gone dormant. I'd love to see you write more often.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Valerie said...

I won't ask you any of those questions. I follow you on Twitter and you almost always either make me laugh or think, so thanks. I do miss your blogging on the QC Report, so I hope you'll post there occasionally, too. How's "the kid's" Chinese coming along? She's got ambition to tackle that language!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Dawn Treude said...

Our cat vomits too. Always has. It's his thing. I wish his thing was purring in my lap, or chasing red laser lights, but it's not. My life evolves around finding coupons for Spot Shot. But I can't complain, I won't even discuss what the puppy does for giggles and kicks.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Hi Quinn,

I'm a long time reader of your blog, and I actually have a question about your book recs. Specifically, perhaps five or six years ago I recall, in the background of your various blogs, that you were swept up in a series (or maybe just one?) of epic, heavy, salacious books about ancient Romans. You made several jokes about Romans and their scandals, and how ridiculous but fantastic the books were, and the fact that you were reading them. Fast forward to today... this is my first Christmas as a married woman, and my wife's mother is a former Latin teacher, now high school principal. I'm tasked with getting her a Christmas present, and as she's a voracious reader, I'd love to investigate those books on the Romans you were reading as a potential gift. Can you tell me the name and author of the series? Thanks!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Theresa DeMario said...

I just wanted to say I really enjoy your books and I hope you are okay because you are really funny. My one other comment is that I too have one daughter who I adore but I work with parents and children and feel I have to constantly defend the fact that I have "yes, just the one" I feel like less of a mother as if our mothering ability is measured by the number we are able to produce. Anyway,do you have any advice for responses to this and can you just tell me I am not a bad person for being content and happy with one child.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like another person on here, I found you because of your book the year of learning dangerously. My daughter is in kindergarten, which from the time she was born i was 90% sure that even though i wanted to homeschool, i didn't want to teach the early grades. I detect so much of my own daughter in your writing about your daughter. She loves numbers and is doing first grade math at just 4 years old. But reading and phonics she's claiming "i tired, i need a break" at the mere sight of the books. And i can't really blame her, even though i read early and well, i hate the inconsistencies in phonetic sounding out words.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you acted more than 3 years in your childhood. looks like last acting role was in Blossom (1 episode, 1991) and according to this page first job was in 1975 that makes this lets see.....mmmmm mmmmm 16 years. guess hollyweird didnt want you no more maybe you didnt fuck enough producers or suck enough cocks like the rest of the hollywierdos

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Copeland said...

So funny and so well-written. I had the pleasure of meeting you on the Paramount lot back in 1986 when you came into my trailer looking for someone. You were delightful. I'm happy you are doing well.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm sure you get a lot of these comments, in which case this one won't make your day or anything, but just in case you don't get a lot of these comments, here goes.

Just to get it out of the way, I loved you in Goodbye Girl and "Family". There, done that. And yes, I've read the blog entry that points out that was a small part of your life long ago.

I've run into your blog from "Famous Child Stars of ...". Normally I wouldn't say anything, but I read your blog, and really liked your honest, sane, funny style. So with all the junk on the web, here's a posting saying I appreciate what you do, I appreciate what you write. Thanks!

AcL from Silver Spring, MD. Movie Fan. Blog Fan.

11:19 AM  
Blogger D said...

First of all I am a dolly grip in "the business." Second,I own The Goodbye Girl on DVD. So this jaded,grizzled film biz vet made my 19 year old opera major daughter watch it with me and she, of course loved it. Thanks for the memories

10:10 PM  

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