I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.
Hello special friend.
What is this with reality? It keeps changing. Today's brick wall is tomorrow's mirage. I have seen too many things in life appear to be what they aren't not to be suspicious about the reality of anything.
Reality must certainly be looked in the eye. Let's face facts, as the saying goes. But in the facing of them it's amazing how many of them disappear. I think the focus goes in the wrong direction sometimes. While we are busy facing what we think is the reality of things the true facts are overlooked and silently slip away.
Elizabeth Perry, the actress, once said to me that for her the first thing she needed to know about any role she took was where the play takes place. Place, the physical environment of the story, is one of the most vital elements in preparing a script. A scene played in a kitchen is going to be very differently affected than one played in a field.
I was doing a play in New York and in the play there was a line which read something about working to buy a house and then when you move into the house where are you? One day in rehearsal the director, whose name I have forgotten, said to us that before we start she wanted to deal with some of the realities, so I raised my hand and asked where we were. Were we still in the apartment or had we moved into the house? Her answer was "Oh, I don't care. It doesn't matter where you are." Well, so much for dealing with the realities, I thought. It's a good thing Elizabeth wasn't in the production.
I was looking out of the window of my apartment in NYC one day and across the street there was a restaurant. In front of it was one of those double metal doors, flush with the sidewalk, that leads down into the basement of the building. It was open and a small crowd of people were standing around looking into it. Soon a couple of police cars arrived and the police put a yellow caution tape around the open doors. An emergency vehicle from the fire department showed up.
I had to go out briefly to get something from the local store. While there I asked them what had happened across the street and was told that an old lady had tripped and fallen into the basement. Back upstairs I saw that the crowd of people had grown. The police were holding them back and the owner of the restaurant was there wringing his hands. Shortly an ambulance arrived, two paramedics got out with a stretcher and went quickly down into the basement. They were down there for a long time. People were getting anxious. I was getting anxious. Finally they came back up with the stretcher. No one was in it. They got back in the ambulance and drove off, the police removed the caution tape, the manager closed the double doors and the crowd dispersed. There was no old lady in the basement. There never had been.
When I was a kid every phone call that came into the home was a real one. That reality has gone.
(Journeys of the Vagabond)
Spring is here. What are going to do about it?