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A coffee with: Amy Esacove, star of 'North Blvd.'

Katy Ballard

"I can't make this stuff up," Amy Esacove, 38, said in the middle of explaining her life story.

It's true. Esacove's twisted tale resembles a movie. She has written the script for it and hopes to someday produce it. In the meantime, she'll perform her one-woman show, "North Blvd.," Friday at Hyde Park Theatre.

The plot unfolded when curiosity led her to search for her birth parents about 13 years ago. At 22, Esacove moved from Houston to Los Angeles, where she spent 15 years performing stand-up comedy, acting part time and working as a waitress. Further persuasion from her comedic friends inspired her to dive into the unknown.

"I had no idea I would start this deep introspection," she said.

A few weeks after submitting her adoption papers to a registry, she received a letter stating a match had been found. It was her mother, who had been waiting in the system for seven years. When they spoke for the first time in early 1999, Esacove asked if she ever had doubts that she would try to find her.

"No. It never crossed my mind," her mother said. "I knew that if there was any part of me in you, that you would want to find me."

During that initial phone conversation, the inevitable question came up: Who was her father? Her mother didn't know. She explained that she had been with several people during a party on Cinco de Mayo in 1972, about nine months before Esacove was born, and that she didn't even know the names of some of the people.

"You could hear a pin drop," Esacove said. Despite being taken aback by the news, Esacove wasn't judgmental. She prepared herself for this journey by embarking without expectations.

A few months passed, and they exchanged letters and photos. On her birthday in February 1999, Esacove flew to Texas to meet her mother for the first time.

During the visit, she told her who her birth father was after concluding from photos that she looked "an awful lot like this one guy." His name is Cass Dupuis, a muskrat-trapping , alligator-wrestling Beaumont native with a thick Cajun accent.

When she returned to Los Angeles, she immediately began looking for her father on the Internet, and found him through a land-ownership lawsuit search. Apparently the only Cass Dupuis in the United States, he lived in Hawaii.

She couldn't find a phone number, so instead wrote a letter. A week or two later, her phone rang and she let the answering machine pick it up. "Hi, this is Cass Dupuis calling from Hawaii." She immediately answered.

"Tell me what this is all about," he said. "You've got me tied up in knots."

After she explained herself, Dupuis told her she couldn't have written at a better time. He had just sold his house, everything was packed and he was staying with a friend before he moved back to Texas. When he picked up the mail for the last time, her letter was waiting.

"If you had written me a week later, I would never have gotten it. I'm getting on a plane to go back to Texas, I haven't seen my family in 12 years and I have a layover in Los Angeles. Do you want to meet?" he asked.

Without hesitating, she met him at the airport, and they spent an hour together before he headed home.

"He was closing one chapter and going into another part of his life. The way everything unfolded and the experience itself sort of made it magical," Esacove said.

Within a year she wrote a 40-minute version of the story initially titled, "It Happened to Me."

Now, 10 years have passed since she took the stage and told the first raw rendition. However, a turning point came when she returned to Houston last August to produce the show for possibly her most important audience, her family.

When she finished the four-week stint and drove back to Los Angeles, stopping in Austin to visit her brother, she realized she didn't know what she was going back to.

A year later, living in Austin, she no longer uses her story as a therapeutic escape but as a gift.

"There's a moment in the story where it all comes together for the main character, and she realizes everything is perfect, no matter how bad it seems."

‘North Blvd.'

Where: Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd St.

When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 28

Cost: $20, available at www.littlegirlproductions.com

Information:www.hydeparktheatre.org