October 26 will be Young conservatory staged readings of two Yale Playwrights, one by Richard Greenberg one by Brighde Mullins. November 16th our second open rehearsal of adult professional class this time Classical Realism,,,Arthur Miller…We are in the thick of it. After a Fall start with an event at Joe Smith’s house and our first open rehearsal last weekend we are full speed in the work. There has been alot of passing away in our business this past week. Jeffrey Holder the great Trinidadian actor who I saw play Oberon at Yale Rep, Marian Seldes who loved Gerry Gutierrez and vice versa, Henry Lowenstein our theatre father in Denver, and most recently the sudden shocking death of Randy Weeks, President of the DCPA . Two actors, a designer and leader, and an extraordinary producer. This time of year I get nostalgic and a bit sad as my own mother’s anniversary of passing comes close again. She died on November 1st 2010. One month before we became a non profit and officially started. With all of the sadness comes gratitude. I live each day not perfectly, not free of worry and stress, mostly over the finances, but full of gratitude. I love my profession and calling and love all the people I have lived and worked with over this already long life in the theatre. I credit Nikos Psacharopoulos with my chosen profession as director in theatre and Gerry Gutierrez next and then Earle Gister. He taught me acting technique and how to teach ultimately. I met Nikos in 1977 so that would be already 37 years in this beautiful profession.
And where am I today on this rainy October Sunday. At the computer emailing actors in the Ensemble about Monday night’s class meeting, emailing actors to start the Classical Realism class, emailing board members about a fundraiser in December, calling Marcus Giamatti to reconnect and get him to work with me, and Brighde Mullins and Richard Greenberg as well…Finding a way to finance this Studio idea as well as keep the work alive and growing and new actors keep finding us. And two new staff members saving my sanity, Tal Arnold 19 years old and talented and tall and son of a Rabbi, and Nicole Palomba actress stepped up to the plate and fixed the office and became associate director…so when I despair someone keeps picking up the ball….despair is the wrong word, I suppose I get overwhelmed with all the administrative tasks and the work to make the work so to speak and sometimes I am spread too thin. But the if you build it they will come idea keeps manifesting itself. It has really proved TRUE!
My mother in law Maria and I walk to the market about once a week together usually on Sundays when I am not working. We talk and chatter on about family and Colombia and the kids and our own lives. We buy a few things and walk home. Today it was windy and rainy and on the way home I said one of the truest things I had ever said. I told her that now matter what happens in our life the struggles with money, illness, depression, death and life, I am grateful every day I was given a profession I love and I am excited to go to work every single day.And I am always happy in rehearsal and class. Always. So if the FEAR factor can be quieted and silenced one day I truly have absolutely nothing to be worried about. Health of loved ones and my kids of course, but I know what it is to feel my life has a purpose and a meaning. I know people struggling with depression and disconnection and addiction all around me. And at the core of it I see sometimes that solitary confinement in our skins Tennessee Willimas wrote about. And a struggle to find meaning. What is HAppiness? For me it is the joy of work. That I can provide a good and simple life to my kids from that work, that I can then see them find something that makes them feel useful and alive each day. Talent is perhaps some genetic Godgiven thing. But I know my education and work ethic and energy is more important and has truly given me the greatest gift. Meaningful work that connects me to others and helps me figure out who I am at the same time. For me this is Spirit. Connection inside and connection outside. I am still seeking all the time. I still struggle all the time. But I am also aware of progress. This thing is simple sometimes but it is not easy as they say. But all of it is worth it. And all the fishing lines and and six degrees of separation keep intersecting and something is accumulating and this Visionbox thing is real.