Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ode To Herman

A great man does not lose his child-heart.

Hello Puebla, Mexico. Celebrate.
Two times in my career I played the same role in a play by Arthur Miller called "The Price." It's a story about two brothers, one a scientist and the other a cop, the cop's wife and an old Jewish man who comes to buy the furniture piled up in their attic. It doesn't sound like much of a plot and it isn't, but during the course of the play each of the characters is brought into a state of self realization that is a blessing for all of them.

I played the cop, the first time in Virginia and the second time in New Jersey. In the New Jersey production the old Jewish man, Solomon, was played by an old Jewish man named Herman Arbeit. Herman was born in 1925 and had a long and vigorous career.

It has never occurred to me that I could ever stop learning things and I certainly learned things while working with Herman. Most of the first act is a long scene between Solomon and Victor, the cop. I was impressed by Herman's intensity and commitment. We had to take a bus from New York to the theatre in New Jersey. Herman was always the first one on the bus. He was thrilled, in his quiet aged way, to go to work. And being with him on the stage was an adventure. He truly went to his role with a child-heart.

Herman once wrote: "In addition to learning and growing in a craft, acting proved to be enormous personal therapy, not only giving me insights to personal problems but challenging me to take the strength garnered onstage and incorporate it into my daily life."

I just read in the trade paper that Herman recently died. I'm sad. For the all too brief run of "The Price" he was a positive force from whom I learned things about acting and life.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.
(This is not a contest)

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

6 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.



Sue said...

What a wonderful tribute. One of the best things you can say about a person is "I have learned from them." Dear Dana I have learned from you. Thank you. Sue

pacifica62 said...

Sorry to hear about your friend Herman. You have written a wonderful tribute to him, is it possible you could share it with any of his family? Herman would be very pleased to hear that he meant so much to you.

Beth said...

I think that as long as someone remembers you in a way that you've remembered Herman, you've done a pretty good job. My condolences to his family, and to you, his friend.