Book Review – This Time For Me by Alexandra Billings
First published, 2022
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
An open-hearted, astonishing, moving, and deeply sincere memoir, This Time For Me is the fabulous and devastating life story of actor, teacher and activist, Alexandra Billings.
Probably best known for her portrayal of Davina, transgender friend and mentor to the newly emerging Maura Pfefferman in Amazon’s Transparent, Ms Billings’ autobiography is frank, witty and relentlessly honest.
While I was reading, I felt like I was hearing the life experience of a friend, that I was being trusted with the truth of someone I cared about, which speaks to the clarity of the writing – by turns, funny, beautiful and breathtakingly sad – and the charisma of the author. I adored this book.
From a childhood of otherness to a journey of self-discovery through clublife, back alleys, drugs, violence, and live theatre, This Time For Me is a powerful story from a remarkable, heroic woman.
“Although never really the star of any shows, I was cast in almost everything, both plays and musicals. I rarely had lines, and if I did, I was relegated to Guard Number Four, but I made my presence felt. I would juggle carrots in the background while the lead was orating about his dead father. I would race through the hallways and make siren sounds, even though there were no sirens in the play, or in the hallways.
“So, obviously, I was meant for a higher calling than college. My brother was going to college. That was his responsibility. Not mine. And really, what exactly was a degree supposed to get me? Were there courses in Being A Broadway Star? I never once heard Ethel Merman talk about sorority life.”
14% in, Nine, The Very First Time(s), This Time For Me by Alexandra Billings