PLAY ON

Off the court 2009 through last year was continuous cycle of audition, rehearsal, and performance. Thrice yearly I was traipsing to Gates Mills, driving to Willoughby or schlepping all—-the—-way out to Chardon and Painesville.

And loving it.

Still, as JFK once said, “Change is the law of life”; and my life here and now is angling once again.

Right after the divorce –back in mid-90’s – I found shows to do just for the company. Indeed, the sting of being persona non grata to my still-married friends was lessened through comeraderie of cast-mates and applause at the curtain.

Beachwood. Chagrin Falls. Garfield Heights. Shaker Heights. Hudson. Aurora. Solon. Independence. Euclid. Bay Village.

No venue was too far, no night drive too long that I didn’t jump to meet new friends and crave their attentions. In the “red zone” of the bottom of my life, the game (I was learning), was over.

The other actors back then? Oh, they heard the laughs I garnered on stage. Nightly. Still, when the clock stuck whatever, and the curtain lowered, and we all went our ways…they couldn’t hear me cry.

Nightly.

Then.

By all accounts, my life today was unfathomable back then. With one impenetrable exception, everything in my world is purer, fuller, deeper and better now.

Alas, ‘though I’m married again … reasonably balanced again … and 65. Sixty-f’ing five.

And overweight.

And not Brad Pitt.

How many “fat slob” roles do you really think there are for a guy in his mid-sixties? I’m too old for Mr. McAfee, too slow to be “Damn Yankees”‘ manager, and too young for “On Golden Pond”.  No wonder three of my last five theater ventures have found me directing. And don’t get me wrong.  Directing’s fun. There’s even the ego thing to it. Glad-handers, though, all tell you how good the show is even if it’s bad; they smile at you.  Give me rather the rhythm of  laughter and crescendo of clapping that bolts from the audience when I crawl ‘cross the stage or do a pratfall.  Immediate gratification! Pure!

Am I a realist? Yes. That ship, I’m afraid, has left port.

Summer of 14′s audition for “The Odd Couple” fell flat. Likewise “The Producers” this spring.  My fifteen minutes?  Over.

Came a time back when that White Sox manager Mr. Wendel pointed me to third — not to short.  He saw well my “range”.  So too with Wieder years later.  “Get behind the plate” he would snarl.

‘Comes a time.  They knew.  They saw.

I got called this week to direct “Harvey”; I said Yes, and we go up next spring.

A classic comedy it is, and there are roles in it I might well have played. But they want me backstage.

To teach. To direct.

They want me behind the plate (so to speak) …where Alan Wieder put me.

In 1969.

(When he saw).

 

One Response to “PLAY ON”

  1. Stuart says:

    You are in good company Spielberg; Hitchcock, et all. Congrats!

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