ARTLESS is a memoir by a passionate, ambitious professional who played hard in the alien arenas of the performing arts and Republican politics until the George W. Bush administration disabused him of the notion that he could straddle the cultural chasm between the two.  For over 20 years Gary D. Cole excelled as both a bourgeois (Stanford Law graduate, CIA lawyer, law firm partner, civic mover and shaker) and a bohemian (actor, author of a play that flowed out of his entanglement in the Iran/Contra scandal, theater company founder, theater video entrepreneur).  The Bush administration put an end to Cole’s dual existence when it offered him the job of running the $60 million annual grants program at the National Endowment for the Arts, then within days pulled its offer.  Withdrawal of this coveted appointment was reportedly due to two nationally acclaimed productions filmed by Cole’s theater video company, StageDirect, one about converting gays and lesbians to heterosexuality and the other featuring a cartoon-type title character whose name included a four-letter word.

Praise for Artless

A “fascinating story ….” 

The Oregonian


“His unforgettably honest and eye-opening memoir, Artless, is an engrossing encounter [and a] stunning read ….”  Leonard Jacobs, Backstage