It so grieves me to lose good friends. Mere death should not be a good enough reason for a relationship to end. When there is mutual respect, and all people in relationships thrive on helping and stimulating the other to grow to endless horizons, then why should we accept departure when we don’t have to?
I have decided to not accept announcements of any of my treasury being depleted. I will hoard the substance of what I was given, or have gained by being in the presence of a valued nurturer. If a person allowed tenderness, stimulated my smile, or shared with me their discomfort over the human condition, then that person will forever remain as a mainstay of my life’s fortune. Then if what I practice is shared and obtainable, I, too, shall live forever.
I will never lose a friend. I will share what I was given, and nurture when I am allowed to nurture. I will remain a teacher, and perhaps practice what they have given me, forever. A thought relayed becomes a memory forever; never to be lost, never to be forgotten. After that, who knows?
November 6, 2002
Forward (as opposed to backward, I hope):
It’s almost impossible to believe that I have devoted over fifty years of my life in joyous pursuit of the correct way to convey verbal communication. I have been taught, and have taught. Each and every day of my life has been, and will continue to be, a vital part of my learning experience.I live with a constant flow of messages coming in. The looks, the smells, the sounds, the acknowledgements, and the supposed motivations behind them. All are part and parcel of my quest for continual learning.
If my words are sounding like they’re driven spiritually, you’re on the right track. Not from my beginnings, but as a cultivation of my years spent in a total learning process. It appears my greatest discovery has been the growth that comes with an ability to feel for others. It is that feeling that provides an unequaled satisfaction. It’s hard to explain. Knowing is magical. I never take it for granted. As if given a gift, I open the pages of a book and the spirituality begins to take hold.
When I was younger, I truly didn’t comprehend what was happening to me. As I grew older, I was not only cognizant of my transitions, but I sought them out on a continual and relentless quest. From others I discovered self. From my inner self came my sensitivity as a director.
Certainly, listening is synonymous with learning. I didn’t invent the theory. In my work, I practice it with unbridled verve.
Through the years, many of the actors have caught on to my methodology. On a regular basis, a variety of trivia and depth stirred by the inquisitive minds of creative people is presented to me. While my studio runs meticulously on time, we’ve been known to occasionally fall behind when without warning a new learning experience presents itself.
Actors in general, contrary to the beliefs of the average man, are a special group of extremely bright people. Only when actors become mired in the dark areas of political venues, do they lose all of their charm. This book is, by design, intending to stay as far from politics as possible. I will, however, not stray from who I am and who I have become because of what this great country has offered and afforded me.
Mine is not an uncommon story. My immigrant grandparents, mother and father entered this country following an arduous boat ride, to say the least; allowing what only the United States of America could provide. I grew up hearing my father’s words and deeds. His doctrine was simple: “plant, harvest, and never extend your hand looking for something to be given to you free”.
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