Sunday, January 9, 2011

Useless Information

A love affair with knowledge will never end in heart break.

Michael Marino
If you are standing directly on the South Pole, (I wouldn't advise it unless you are extremely well dressed and have some company) no matter which way you look there is only one direction you can go and that's north. Once you take a step you've added east and west to your limited possibilities. A few more steps and a few more directions are added. If you keep moving soon there are a great many directions you can move.

It's the same with your front door. There's only one step out, but once out you have some possibilities. Choose one of those to move in and you are gradually increasing the number of ways you can go.

I was quite sure of what I was going to do with myself when I retired. I had spent my adult life as an actor, I fully intended to keep doing that. But I didn't realize how hungry I was going to be, not for food but for knowledge.

In my career I knew actors, and I was one of them, who were prepared with the lines and behaviors of the character they played and with the intricacies of the drama. But there were other actors who came into rehearsals with much more. They had traced down the political, social and geographical contexts of the plays and the playwrights. If it was an historical drama they were acquainted with the events of the time and they had read biographical items of the main characters. Some of the other actors would yawn and consider it useless information. But I learned to be very interested in that approach. To me in added so many more dimensions and directions to move in while developing the play.

In "Educating Rita" specific reference are made to books by E. M. Forster and Rita Mae Brown. When I performed the play in Cincinnati the actress I worked with and I read both of those books. When I played a supporting roloe in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" I read the whole novel about the Caine mutiny by Herman Wouk. If I found that a play touched on an ancient myth, as many modern plays do, I would track down the myth.

So what have I done since I retired? Bought books. I have books on philosophy, art, music, history, biography, science, psychology, religion and many other topics. Will I ever get to read all of those books? It doesn't matter. Whichever direction I go in I'm learning something. It's a love affair.


Weekend Puzzle

Here are 12 names. Which one does not belong on the list. It's easy.

Neville Chamberlain
Winston Churchill
Charles de Gaulle
Dwight Eisenhower
Adolph Hitler
Bernard Montgomery
Benito Mussolini
Erwin Rommel
Theodore Roosevelt
Joseph Stalin
Harry Truman
Georgi Zhukhov

Good luck


pacifica62 said...

Your love affair will never let you down. Knowledge is never wasted. Sounds like a lot of work being an actor and preparing for roles but I suppose that good actors do that. Read on friend as you have much to share with us.

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

Books Rock :o)