Book Promo ~ I Was Better Last Night

A Memoir from Harvey Fierstein

I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir by [Harvey Fierstein]
available March 2022

A poignant and hilarious memoir from the cultural icon, gay rights activist, and four-time Tony Award–winning actor and playwright, revealing never-before-told stories of his personal struggles and conflict, of sex and romance, and of his fabled career

Harvey Fierstein’s legendary career has transported him from community theater in Brooklyn, to the lights of Broadway, to the absurd excesses of Hollywood and back. He’s received accolades and awards for acting in and/or writing an incredible string of hit plays, films, and TV shows: Hairspray,  Fiddler on the Roof, Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, Cheers, La Cage Aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy, Newsies, and Kinky Boots. While he has never shied away from the spotlight, Mr. Fierstein says that even those closest to him have never heard most of the tales—of personal struggles and conflict, of sex and romance, of his fabled career—revealed in these wildly entertaining pages.

I Was Better Last Night bares the inner life of this eccentric nonconforming child from his roots in 1952 Brooklyn, to the experimental worlds of Andy Warhol and the Theatre of the Ridiculous, to the gay rights movements of the seventies and the tumultuous AIDS crisis of the eighties, through decades of addiction, despair, and ultimate triumph.

Mr. Fierstein’s candid recollections provide a rich window into downtown New York City life, gay culture, and the evolution of theater (of which he has been a defining figure), as well as a moving account of his family’s journey of acceptance. I Was Better Last Night is filled with wisdom gained, mistakes made, and stories that come together to describe an astonishingly colorful and meaningful life. Lucky for us all, his unique and recognizable voice is as engaging, outrageously funny, and vulnerable on the page.  

Editorial Reviews:

“Harvey’s book is a perfect reflection of him; full of heart, chutzpah, great stories, and tons of belly laughs. And wigs.” —Andy Cohen

“Harvey is the king and queen of Broadway. He can take you on a journey with his words and he is hysterical.” —Henry Winkler

I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir

available from:

Amazon & Kindle

Barnes and Noble & NOOK

and other fine retailers

Overcome Stage Fright

How to Overcome Stage Fright in Your Life
Award-Winning Director Shares Tips
for the Actor in All of Us

More confidence, less stress, discovering inner resources, improving relationships – there are thousands of self-help books to help us accomplish these, but do they work?

“Self-help strategies can work, as far as they go, but they don’t address a key component that affects everything from how we feel about ourselves to how successfully we interact with others,” says award-winning film director, producer and writer Dr. Richard R. Reichel.

“That key component is the fact that we’re all actors — at work, school, home, even alone in front of the bathroom mirror. We’re always playing the character of ‘Me,’ but we also have to play other characters. The better we are at it, the happier and more successful we’ll be.”

But just like anyone who steps before an audience, sometimes we’re paralyzed by stage fright, says Reichel, author of the new book, “Everybody is an Actor,” (, a guide to achieving success in the film industry and in life.

“Stage fright undermines concentration and we lose our character objective,” he says. “Why do so many people cower in light of their dreams? Why do they procrastinate on getting their degree? Why do they tremble at the thought of approaching Mr. or Ms. Right? It’s because of stage fright.”

To overcome it, Reichel offers these tips from the Psychophantic System he developed to mold both life and film actors: 

• Control stress with a “mind walk” and “confocal contemplation.”Today, stress is associated with a variety of chronic illnesses. In addition to regular exercise and sleep nourishment, consider a “mind walk,” or a pleasant thought that stops the stress and replaces it with something positive. In the same vein, practice “confocal contemplation” by allowing your mind to wander into a cloudlet of peace and relaxing your body. Then, while thoughts are peacefully drifting, flex your feet, ankles, calves, shins, knees, buttocks and hips – and release. Feel the weight of your entire body while your mind remains free, and repeat the exercise.

• Practice projecting your emotions. How many times have you daydreamed about how you will express yourself when a particular situation arises? In the same way, we need to rehearse how we project our emotions in social situations. Try practicing emotional expression in front of a trusted friend or loved one. If someone has made you happy and joyous, rehearse how to show them in the moment. Showing love and laughter can strengthen bonds, and learning how to express anger, sorrow and fear in appropriate ways will improve your ability to communicate and foster understanding.

• Winning your audience by emphasizing character strengths. No one is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. In order to get what you want in life, you simply need to do what you’re good at. Your audience may be an employer, coworkers, family or a potential date. Can you make them laugh, understand or otherwise feel deeply what you’re expressing? Appealing to their emotional responses can go far. Keep in mind the hearts and minds of your audience, including the setting and what they must be experiencing during the “performance.” Be aware of your vocal projection and body language. You will be remembered for your performance, which will lead you to better roles and, in the case of daily living, better relationships.

About Dr. Richard R. Reichel

Dr. Richard R. Reichel has a long and varied experience in the film and TV industries, from actor and director to casting and cameraman. He holds multiple degrees, including one in film production and a doctorate in counseling psychology. Reichel, the author of “Everybody is an Actor,” (, was the first to produce a TV program about Asian cultures in America, and the first to present a TV show about all aspects of organic living. He is credited with persuading film star Jackie Chan to come to the U.S. to make movies. Dr. Reichel created an innovative and comprehensive acting system that immerses participants in the culture of film production while helping them actually become the character with impressive time efficiency. His system is also excellent for those who would like to have superior confidence and be more dynamic and assertive at work, social situations, school or even at home.