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August, 2011:

Transport Group’s QUEEN OF THE MIST

Beginning in mid-September I’ll begin work with a theater company that I have admired for years. Visit their site www.transportgroup.org and watch the video there. Hear Artistic Director Jack Cummings III discuss the theater company and their recent productions. The new show is Michael John LaChiusa’s QUEEN OF THE MIST about a woman in her 60’s who went over Niagra Falls in a barrel. I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of this premiere.

August 2011

The year’s thrills so far – 

# 1 – 2 weeks at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport Maine. These are professional workshops taught by working pros at the top of their field. I had the great good fortune to be a resident actor – there for whatever project needs an actor – working with film directors, documentarians, still photographers, cinematographers – all  while enjoying the beauty of Maine and the fantastic food prepared by the chefs there. There’s also something freeing about the ‘doing’ at the Maine Media Workshops – everyone is creating with such fervor that the question  – can I? Do I have permission to create?  is nowhere to be found.  Was a joyful experience that I will carry with me always.

Highlight # 2 The film THE TREE OF LIFE  – I’ve seen it twice. There’s something about the bulk of Terrence Malick’s output as a director that has me fascinated. Aural and Visual mastery.

Highlight number #3 : Working in my sister’s garden and communing with her dog. Sometimes it’s hard to find my footing. A single man in New York City with no pets/children in a room crammed with everything I own, often unsure how I fit in to life’s equation. Not that it’s mine to know for certain. But, sometimes, I seek an idea of it. I have often propelled myself forward by seeing a hole that needed to be filled. Something that would require my talents and my sensibilities/sensitivities. New York is exhilirating, yet, a challenge to me whenever I let unsure footing be a reason for concern. Much easier to understand is a visit to either of my sisters where there’s dirt, water, sweat, plant life. A sweet animal who snuggles next to you when the thunder rolls.  A sister/friend with whom to harmonize.  And my place, at least for the moment, feels sure.  

Highlight number 3. I begin work on a new musical by Michael John LaChiusa soon. I am thrilled.

AND we are careening toward Christmas.

If you happen to be in New Jersey on the afternoon of Sunday August 21 – I’ll be at the Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center at 3:00 p.m. For $ 10.00 you hear a concert of three artists of which I am one – we each perform for 25 minutes. should be fun.

Politically, I have been shocked by politicians who are comfortable exploiting/scaring the bejesus out of those of us haunted in childhood by the thought of  a ‘bogeyman’, who will ‘get you if you don’t do what I say’.  The truth is – we need to care for one another for the species to survive. The truth is we need to care for the planet for the species to survive. As any parent knows – care giving is not easy. It involves making hard choices. It means giving up comforts. It means delaying gratification or releasing the need for it. If I could only tell my parents how grateful I am to think that they put their love and energy into keeping a BABY alive – something completely dependent on them – for YEARS into childhood – into teenhood – into adulthood.  I have but an inkling of an idea of what they had to do for me to simply survive. We all have tough choices to make: a logger may have to move to another part of the country to continue her/his work in that field – a place where the health of the environment isn’t as threatened by their work. Or they have to choose another profession – HARD to do. The politician may have to actually lead her/his constituents by taking a stand, placing a vote for the future of the country, for the species, for the planet…and that vote may be an unpopular one with their monied supporters and they may lose their job. The ability to reason is not everyone’s birthright. There are some whose brains are less capable/developed for reasoning. It’s scientific fact. How does someone with the capacity to reason and the ability to recognize the lack of reasoning skills in another get done what they know must be done to derail politically charged quick fixes that may well be contrary to the survival of those they govern? How do we navigate around those politicians who prey on those who truthfully cannot or will not think for themselves, those politicians willing to tell  lies in order to maintain a position of power – no matter the consequence?  I’m stumped there.

I think I’ll take a nap. dream of Maine.