Monday, November 30, 2009

Savor The Spirit

Lovers brook not hours,
Unless it be to come before their time,
So much they spur their expectation.

Shakespeare
**************

Another thing I have never understood is why some actors show up for work at the last possible moment or even a few minutes late, and then rush to get ready. What are they doing? What is more important to them than the play? I always wanted to arrive early, sign in and read the call board, check out the dressing room to see that my costumes were ready, walk around the stage and look at the scenery, have a cup of coffee, sit in the green room, think about the show and soak up the ambiance of the place. I was well known among stage managers as the actor who was always the first to arrive.

One winter I was hired to play Ebenezer Scrooge. Near the end of the play, after his epiphany, he dresses up in his best suit, overcoat, hat, scarf and gloves to visit his nephew Fred. On the way he buys a goose for the Cratchet family. It's a quick change. To cover it the director had arranged for a small group of singers doing a Christmas song. It took about 2 minutes.

My dresser was a retired actress who had spent many years on the Broadway stage. When we first rehearsed the change it took about 5 minutes. As the days went by we were able to do it faster. On opening night we did it in the required 2 minutes.

We kept getting better at it and one night we did it in one minute. I went back on the stage and joined the singers. That quite impressed my dresser who said that while I could have stood there and rested I chose to go back on the stage which told her that the stage was where I wanted to be.

I can honestly say that I was never more comfortable than when I was on some stage performing. It was there that I felt the most complete and confident. I was where I belonged. The theatre. The magic temple, the place where lives unfold, dreams are found and ideas masquerade as tears and laughter. The true workshop of the human spirit. I loved it.

So now I can't do it. So what" There are still plenty of things for me to do. The ironic thing is that the slower I get the more tasks I have. I've got to put things away and take out the trash. I've got to call this one and write to that one. I've got to mail my checks and check my mail. I've got to organize this and clean up that. I have to read this and listen to that. I have to write this and paint that. Good grief, will it ever all be done? No. Life is unfinished business.

I admit that sometimes the tail wags the dog. But I look at it this way, as long as the tail is wagging the old dog is pleased.

DB - The Vagabond

8 comments:

Joyce said...

As long as the tail is wagging, this old dog is still breathing. That means I'm still enjoying the things I love. Maybe a little slower...maybe not as much or as often as I'd like...but I'm still enjoying this wonderful life that God has allowed me to live. As usual DB a wonderful entry and a peek into DB's heart of hearts.
Hugs, Joyce

Linda's World said...

So good to see your entires again. Linda in WA

Trees said...

I understand completely about the tail wagging and agree with you, we slow down as life deals us different challenges, but it is how we meet the challenge that keeps our spirit and our tails still wagging that makes the old dog so special such as you are my friend.

Arlene (AJ) said...

Loved your read today DB, keep that tail wagging. Enjoy each moment and the challenges that we all have. The secret is never to give up or give in, just go for it.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Finding passion for things, at each stage of our lives, is, well, priceless :o)

Gerry said...

It was fun hearing about experiences while stage acting, which job few of us get to have so know little about. I am always early to everything. I have a horror of arriving late, so as a result I do not like my kids to take me anywhere as they are generally timing their arrival (especially my son Dan) to the last possible minute we can make it. Horrors. And if something delays him it is 'oh well.' My partner and I used to arrive to Revlon together a half an hour early (she picked me up) would have coffee and generally start the day on a note of enjoyment unknown to others who would be rushing in, half put together, so I do think getting there early is a good policy for everyone in starting a day of work, and it was so much fun hearing about your habit of punctuality as a stage actor. Gerry

Kyle said...

Love the story DB. Passion does add spice to life, but being alive is good enough for me any day. This dog's tail is wagging!

Nina P. said...

"I admit that sometimes the tail wags the dog. But I look at it this way, as long as the tail is wagging the old dog is pleased." I too am enjoying your posts again. And yes my friend, this ol' girl's tail is still wagging, and I am pleased. Love and Light, Nina p