More than a million people have seen Tom Sadge perform as a Neil Diamond impersonator. Several have become acquainted with him through the years. I've seen many thousands of these fans in the audience, but very few have seen me in person, and none know me well.
If you're on this page, you must be curious. I will try to satisfy a tiny bit of that curiosity.
NOTE & DISCLAIMER: I am claiming strict copyright rights on this page - please do NOT copy, paste, print, reproduce, etc. and disseminate in ANY way. Thank you in advance.
I will be updating this on a regular basis.
Anyone who knows me personally knows I put my nuclear family first in my life. You also know I am an extremely private person. I avoid the spotlight, and photos, like the plague. I cannot understand why anyone would not.
Gossip doesn't interest me, nor does talking about myself. Some people take advantage of a covered canvas by telling others what is underneath, even when they really can't know. Some of these information disseminators have agendas, some just newsy, others just the Gift of the Gab. I've heard some crazy unthuths spread about me by all three types. God bless them all the same.
But! no one wants a forgery of who they are to be presented to the world. For that reason, I will be popping in here from time to time to write, correct, update, remove and add bits.
Truth, and legacy, are somewhat important to me for this reason: I am the mother of two children and two grandchildren.
No one wants a forgery of who they are to be sold by others. For that reason, I will be popping in here from time to time to write, correct, update, remove and add bits. Or not.
I grew up as the third child/ daughter of a mostly Irish / German immigrant family on my father's side, with other nationalities in there, as well. My paternal great, great grandfather was born in the middle of the Atlantic as he crossed from Prussia.
My mother's ancestry is much more varied and distinguished: she had an Irish grandmother paternal grandmother, but her paternal grandfather came from a very distinguished background. His ancestors came from Wales, the Netherlands, the Swiss Alps, and included a Vanderbilt.
Still, far too many of my ancestors died or were maimed in either the mines or on the railroad. No reparations or compensations were issued or expected. That's Life.
Mom's father passed away at age 35, in the first year of the Great Depression, from a railroad related head injury. A few months later his wife, my grandmother, gave birth to her sixth child.
With no income (a family lawyer let the statute of limitations pass on the railroad related death of her husband), Grandma moved into the 10 room Victorian owned by her mother-in-law(who was widowed the same year), who generously divided the home in half.
And thus began the poverty in our family that so many knew in the late 19th and early 20th century.
My first memories took place in a two story, three bedroom clapboard house located up the street from my fathers' parents, and down the street from my mother's mother and grandmother.
My first steps took place on that street.
My sisters were ages six and nearly nine when I was born. They were always very close, even living a few houses away from each other in another nearby town after marriage to husbands who were first cousins to each other.
Two and a half years after I was born, my father, at age 43, finally had his much desired son. During the day, Mom was very busy with her new baby. My sisters were at school, or doing homework at night, so I have a lot of memories of entertaining myself with paper dolls (of Debbie Reynolds), coloring books, and by watching Mighty Mouse, The Three Stooges and The Mickey Mouse Club.
First Best Friend
Blackie, a black Lab who lived with the couple who lived less than eight feet next door, was my first playmate and companion. I loved that beautiful, large dog. And I loved his owner, Frankie, a middle aged man who seemed to delight in everything I said and did. Frankie was a dignified gentle man and very kind to me. In the early stages of severe vision loss ( as I found out later), he supported his wife and only child, a daughter, as a shoe salesman. You could do that back then.
To this day I think of Frankie and Blackie with great affection.
Our neighborhood was predominantly Irish-American families with a lot of children. The alley behind our home was filled with children playing. Blackie and I played alone in our fenced in backyard and watched the frivolity. However, one fine day Blackie dug an escape hole under that fence and he and I joined the other children until my frantic mother found me. That was my first adventure.
Shortly before my fourth birthday, my family rented another home down the hill on a quite side street filled with children. I had to leave my beloved Blackie behind, but I soon made friends in the new neighborhood which consisted of mostly Irish and Italian heritage families. This home, a large green Dutch Colonial duplex, had a spacious walk up attic where I spent many hours reading and dreaming of my future. Our landlady was a teacher and charged $40 a month, a reasonable amount even then. In the sixteen years we lived in that home, Mary never raised the rent. My mother did her laundry in gratitude.
There were dozens of children living on this street, and nearby. A large group of us played together long after darkness and well into our teens...and remained lifelong aquaintences and / or friends.
My sister, Annie, the six-year-older sister, and I shared the front bedroom, which looked out onto a marvelous street light - the kind you don't see any longer with a green metal shade over an actual light bulb. Annie slept peacefully most nights, I did not. Late at night, when the window was opened to fight the sweltering summer heat (I didn't know anywone who had an air conditioner in those days) you could hear car tires rolling down the hill over the yellow brick road a house away. The soft rumbling was asoothing sound.
It was in this home that I lived when I met my first love, suffered my first heart break, went to my first prom, and spent many hours earning my Bachelor's degree from a local Catholic college. It was down the five concrete steps of this house that my two sisters descended in wedding gowns.
My mother's mother passed away suddenly in the middle bedroom that she shared with my younger brother. Grannie had been sitting on the edge of her single bed and applying red lipstick in preparation for a shopping trip with my mother and elder sister, a newlywed and RN. Nine months later, my sister and her husband welcomed a baby girl, giving credence to the old saying that when someone dies, a child is born.
Both of my parents were very hard workers, but luxuries were few and far between. Yet we had what we needed: a warm house, plenty of healthy food, each other, love (although we rarely used that word) and hope for a brighter future.
My dream, as a young and idealistic girl, was to move to New York City with friends and work with those in need as a social worker. (My Bronx based uncle told me I would change my mind as I matured, and he was correct). But, to that end, I earned a BA degree in Sociology / Social Work.
WIth maturity came a change of ideas. Now I wanted write as a living, with illustration included. There have been long periods of my life where I wrote and drew every day: portraits of people I cared about, and/or found interesting, were my favorite, and I gave most away to the subjects.
An Ideal life to me, in my early twenties, was to write and draw full time in a beautiful, dark wood trimmed and cozy apartment in Manhattan - preferably The Dakota apartment building at 1 72nd Street in NYC, right across the street from Central Park.
(Yes, John Lennon was murdered there in 1980, on December 8th...a Monday.)
Those dreams included a loving and supportive husband and happy, healthy children.
Meanwhile, post college, I took practical jobs in retail and hospital work as a Mental Health Worker at Wilkes-Barre Mercy Hospital, and continued my post graduate education by taking art and writing courses. I made some unforgettable friends during those Mercy years, and we had endless fun going out almost every night after the 3-11pm shift ended.
I moved to Allentown PA in 1978, got my first apartment (a third floor brownstone walk-up a few blocks from the Allentown Fairgrounds), and worked at the world famous Hess's Department Store on Hamilton Street, ending up as a fashion buyer of Junior Dresses. I loved that job, and made more great friends (Karen, Sandy, Nancy, the three Susans) in that city. As a Hess's buyer, I loved the weekly trips to the Garment District of Manhattan and Macy's, then the "World's Largest Department Store."
(more to come here)
In January 1983, while still working for Hess's (now Macy's) I met Tom Sadge shortly after I moved home from Allentown for personal reasons. Around the same time, Tom moved back from Mississippi (and Florida and Massachusetts) to his Avoca PA home. We met one night when a friend insisted I go and see him perform at a small bar.
The rest is my history.
Our children, who were born ten years apart and when I was nearly 30 and 40, , needed me. There were no willing and / or available babysitters on either side of our families. Tom's work necessitated working well into the night and sleeping during the day. Besides, I loved our children, our home, and helping Tom with his career. My turn would come later, we both agreed.
To save money when a website was necessary to advance the career of Tom Sadge, I spent a few years learning HTML and code to create an affordable website - TomSadge.com. I also purchased domain names and created a few commercial sites of my own.
I ran the complicated business end of two businesses: Tom' Sadge - very complicated - and my own. I created and ran websites for doctors and American made products..
As Mrs. Tom Sadge
Tom and I have been together since January 1983, married since 1984.
Our blessings have been great: two loving children and two loving grandchildren.
A wonderful daughter-in-law.
One fact about me, if you care: I have been a night owl all my adult life, and an insomniac at times. This has been in my favor, as there is always so much to do as the wife of Tom Sadge and the hands on, full-time mother. We've also had our children here for eleven years during their parents work hours and after school.
Tom Sadge Is A Business, Not a Person
First of all...Tom Sadge is a business, not a person. Tom Sadge is an impersonator who impersonates Neil Diamond and others. Tom Sadge does not exist except on the stage. Tom Sadge is a show business name. It is a business with more than one person behind that name.
Show business requires a lot of time and work, and it is not the glamorous business that many think it to be.
A couple of naive fans once asked Tom: "how was your limousine ride was from the airport to the hotel?" Tom and I, and our children, had a very good laugh over that one! Yes, there are many sacrifices to be made on the road to a career in entertainment. But the rewards are many, as well. Entertaining is what Tom loves to do, for the most part, his dream has come true.
Who Is Behind "Tom Sadge" ? It's a FAMILY Business
Talent alone won't make you a living. It's called show business for a reason. Tom Sadge and I have always been a team: I've used my college education and years as a business professional and manager to harness Tom's enormous talent and take it in a profitable direction. In addition to coming up with the idea of Tom's transition from local "Singing DJ" to internationally acclaimed Neil Diamond impersonator, Tom Sadge as Neil Diamomd, I designed all of, and created some of, the costumes, choreographed the on-stage moves, produced the debut promotional CD, built (and still maintain) the TomSadge.com website, made the initial contacts, keep the books, communicate with agents & clients, shield him from overzealous fans, create and send out the contracts, do the bookkeeping and taxes, and do much of the work that takes place off stage.
Over the years, Tom has gained tremendous business savvy. In his last years as a celebrity impersonator, he put a respectable amount of time into the business end of our work. Last but not least, we are grateful to our two wonderful (now adult) children.. When they were young, they had to make many, many sacrifices - their father was often away from home or on a schedule which did not dove tail with their lives - and they deserve much credit for the Tom Sadge business. They are now grown and very successful in their own right.
Self-Employment - Risky!
Being self-employed is a high-wire, risky business. Your income is never guaranteed. Some months are "feast" and some are "famine". The overhead is daunting and only self -employed people get that. Yet there are benefits: a couple will either grow closer or farther away, and we have grown closer over four decades after weathering the bumps. Except for professional travel, which I occasionally engaged in with Tom, we work side by side daily from our home office. Tom and I make both business and personal decisions together, as a team. Often our work day ends at 4am. But, on the up side, there are whole days we can spend with our children and grandchildren, which we are helping to raise as our children pursue careers. We can stop work in the middle of the day to go for a walk or drive together. - which we frequently do. This type of freedom helps to balance out the down side.
Show Business Highs and Lows
The nature of the entertainment business means you meet a lot of people from all walks of life. Most are interesting, appreciative, considerate, respectful and even encouraging. But, as any public figure's wife (or husband) can attest, you also meet your fair share of obsessed groupies and fans who can, without proper boundaries set by the celebrity himself / herself, become quite intrusive - even invasive and dangerous. The worst? The "Gal Fridays", the new, or relatively new, "best friends" and those who claim to only want friendship and to "help your career" as an excuse to remain close, physically and mentally, to the celebrity. These types are a dime a dozen, as any celebrity wife / long-time companion knows. On occasion, they can even be dangerous.
I write on a regular basis, love to draw, and always have. One of my dreams has always been to write and illustrate a book. I hope to entertain readers with stories taken right from my experiences in life and in behind-the-scenes show business. The book may never happen, but a blog already has - ti's been online since 1999. That said, my biggest dream has already been achieved: to be a wife and mother. I am grateful for each "normal" day and what it brings. And for every night when nothing "bad" has fallen on those I love - or like. That is especially true as time marches on.
Retirement: COVID19 has taken it's toll on many people and businesses. "Tom Sadge" , the business - has been officially retired from the entertainment business. But it's not over until it's over - we have future plans for other endeavors. Stay tuned!