‘Criminal Mischief’ in New York City on May 21, 22 and 24

Ellen Orchid, an actress and stand-up comic in New York City, had a run-in with a sociopathic tag team. She’s written a one-act play about her experience called Criminal Mischief, which will be performed at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre on May 21, 22 and 24.

The play is a courtroom drama with some comic moments. Here’s what Ellen says about it:

The play is autobiographical with only a few details omitted, changed, and some things added for humor and from my imagination. This play helped me get over a terrible experience with a married man who pretended to be divorced; and his wife played along.  He’d told me they were divorced for four years and that she lived “a few blocks away in the neighborhood.” Turns out she was living right upstairs—in the other apartment of the two-family house that they co-owned.  She made sure not to run into me when he brought me over to his apartment on the first floor. He told me he had a “tenant” who was “mostly not at home.”  He totally lied— for 11 months—and she was an accomplice.  I never saw her coming or going to the house; he must have told her when he’d be bringing me to over to stay overnight so she wouldn’t be there—and would be with her “friends”/boyfriends. I wish I could sue them.

Criminal Mischief will be performed at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre, 303 W. 42nd Street at 8th Avenue, on the third floor. It is located directly across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Show times are Saturday, May 21 at 9 p.m.; Sunday, May 22 at 5 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 24 at 9 p.m.

The show is part of a one-act play competition, and two other plays will be performed at the same time. Reservations are required, tickets are $20 and the phone number is 646-329-6588.

For more on the plays, visit the Manhattan Repertory Theatre website—scroll to the bottom. For more on the actress and author, visit EllenOrchid.com.



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31 Comments on "‘Criminal Mischief’ in New York City on May 21, 22 and 24"

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Dear Lifegoes on,

Up thread where you were given some advice about “letting it go” (yes, I know you have a signed contract) about the money, collecting money from someone who is DETERMINED TO NOT PAY or just doesn’t have it any more,, who has spent it, hidden it, etc. is almost imposssible.

I’m not sure if you are in the US, but I do know from my years as a business person, that getting a “judgment” in court that “yes” they owe you the money is NOT THE SAME AS COLLECTING IT. The court does NOT collect it, they only tell him to pay you….if he ignores the court, 99% of the time that is just too bad for YOU…if you file a lien on some of his property, lilke say his house…he may owe more on it than it is worth so ONLY IF AND WHEN HE SELLS IT voluntarily can you “collect” some of the proceeds, but the mortgage holder gets theirs BEFORE you, so if there isn’t anything left you get nada. Ditto on a car, etc. ONLY if he has a job that you can garnish the wages do you have a chance but MANY OR MOST COMPANIES will fire someone whose wages are garnished, and there is a limit to how much you can get anyway to a SMALL percentage of the wages….YOU HAVE TO FIND the bank accounts if you want to put a lien on them, and with the privacy laws that is almost impossible….so on and on and on. That is not to discourage you, but just to let you know the truth of how HARD IT IS to get any money owed even with a judgment. ErinBrock, one of our bloggers here (doesn’t come here much now) made it her FULL TIME occupation to try to collect some debts and she has collected some but not very much….

I realize you are emotionally attached to that money since your parents gave it to you and you feel you “wasted” it and if they were alive they would be disappointed in how you lost it….I definitely can understand that FEELING…but at the same time….ask them in your mind what they would DO NOW in the situation, or what you to do….think hard about what their advice would be. Sometimes it is better to just walk away and forget about THINGS we have lost (and that includes money) and just start to rebuild.

My late husband was cheated out of his business by some con men in the 1970s….they raped the business and he went back to court and got the business back, but by the time he got it back they had bankrupted it and so all he got was a business name devoid of assets and bankrupt…in other words, he got NOTHING BACK…but he had spent 7 years and ALL his efforts and desire for JUSTICE, and he would have been much better off to have spent that same 7 years building a new business, because iin the end, he “spent good money after bad” To the day he died in 2004, he was still angry and bitter about what those men did. It wasn’t worth it to stay so angry about something. Fortunately he didn’t let it make him bitter about everything in life, but he sure wasted a lot of anger, bitterness and emotion on something that was just a DONE DEAL, a fact, not something he could fix. You may be in the same position….and having to pay an attorney besides…sending good money after bad (uncollectable)

Do hang on to your memories of your parents, you are fortunate to have them. Many of us don’t. (((hugs)))) and God bless.

Dear Oxy,

Thank you for sharing you and your husband’s experiences with me. Although I wouldn’t wish that sort of trouble on anyone, it’s good to know I’m not alone. It’s starting to sink in that pursuing it further is a hiding to nowhere. I’m in the UK and he’s already been made bankrupt and no joy from that – nothing of value to seize! Owes £300,000 to the bank. I think if he can con the bank out of that much money, I didn’t stand a chance!

I’ve made a conscious decision not to “throw good money after bad” but will be keeping a beady eye on him.

I realise how lucky I was to have such lovely and loving parents. It must be heartbreaking not only to not have that, but to have the people who should be looking out for you being actively destructive.

(((((((((((((((((hugs back))))))))))))))))) 🙂 xxx


I have the same thing with regards beign such a numpty. I didn’t totally hide there weren’t any issues about my ex when I informed my best friends and my parents and later introduced him to them. But I did not mention the stuff I was heavily in doubt about, knowing exactly what they would say. In a way I wanted to give him a fair chance, as well as acquiring outsider feedback of their impressions of him. My best friend is highly tuned in about people. And my mom is a retired social worker, supervisor trainer and teacher at the college for social workers. She’s warm, but very level headed. My best friend knew a bit more, and had growing doubts, though he felt I should just come to my own conclusions at my own time. My mom was shocked. She did think he might have been youngish for me at times and she (and my dad) were disturbed that he once asked my father not to tell me of the payment arrangement for his work he did at their house (it was their way of helping us out, without just handing me the money), as well as realizing that he could go deep when he had partied. But she too has a hard time to believe that there hadn’t been genuine feelings. Even today she told me of remembering that when they last saw him before he had to try and take his first plane he seemed genuinely down and sad about it (not over the top).

When she learned about all the cheating that had been going on, she was very disturbed by it. She was utterly shocked. She found it even more disturbing than when I told her about the “money miscounting” or his heavy partying. And she was horrified by my suspicion about the robbery on me. She knew it had happened, and how he had “helped”, but the other side is hard for her. She too puts a lot of questions behind the rape story of the woman that rented a room with him past December. As little by little I reveal more and more about the relationship though, she is convinced too that he has a personality disorder that will never get better. And in a very kind way she stresses it to me. She holds no blame for me. None. She says she’s proud of me that I have the courage to out myself as a victim. She told me that I couldn’t have been prepared for this, saying both my nature as well as my upbringing has been unsuspecting of people in that way.

She doesn’t ask how much of my present financial situation is due to him, nor presses me how bad it is (I had to lend money from them late November, because I couldn’t pay the bills, and each month I pay 100€ of it back to them), but I think she (and my dad) have a rough idea. She even told me she’ll sponsor the counseling for me.

Gosh, now I’m a puddle in tears again. I love them so much for the way they love me and care for me, and they wish me to be so happy. And while they had some question remarks, they saw me shine and be genuinely happy with him for a while, and liked him for it, believing me how I felt he was the first man in my life who was so caring WITHIN the relationship. Gosh, I wish this had never happened to me, or any of us.

Hi Darwinsmom,

It’s good that you have your parents to support you through this but I can guess you’re sad that they have to see the way it has affected you. I know mine would have had serious doubts about the the nut job who caused chaos in my life, but he totally got under the radar of my friends – he had them giggling like schoolgirls thinking he was a charmer! His behaviour just got worse and worse until I had to get him out of my life, but not before he had almost cleaned me out financially and emotionally. Mine did the same as yours – did things, and told people not to tell me.

From the beginning, I knew here was something about him that didn’t add up, but kept giving him the benefit of the doubt. Thank goodness we have this site to help us heal and hopefully stop us from making the same mistakes again!


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