Monday August 3, 2009
Sorry, folks. Took a couple of days off of blogging. Have frankly been quite exhausted, physically that is, not mentally or spiritually, from this week’s work. But I have to say, I am in a place I thought I’d never be. I cherish this project in a way that surpasses any other piece I have worked on in my life. Partly it’s the events of the week that make me feel more connected to this piece than perhaps to other plays that haven’t seen themselves through a real crisis-turned-opportunity. And a great part is this play. Patty (Gallagher) makes me love this work and have a deep emotional connection to Beckett, something I thought would never happen.
You know, when I was in college, I found myself turned on by the study of existentialism. I took a course in Beckett, wrote a story for my final in “Beckett’s voice”; I received a B for the course with a kind but disappointing response from my teacher, and continued to be fascinated with Beckett’s idea of life—what does it mean? Now I am 44, and all that has melted away: What I thought was existentialism I have come to know as “life.” Beckett writes life. And he also writes astounding, heartbreaking, and yet ultimately life-affirming theater. I mean, if you think your life is tough, check out Winnie. She’s stuck up to her diddies in the earth. She cannot move her legs, cannot see her legs. And she is in the wilderness with her husband, who, though present, finds a wholly different way of dealing with his lot. She quotes the classics, she makes herself look fabulous, she remembers and tells great stories, she makes jokes, she distracts herself, and she finds every little delight possible in her predicament, right down to spotting an ant in the mound (“Willie! An Emmet! A live Emmet!” she yells with delight).
Winnie is an inspiration. And that’s only because Patty makes her so. She brings out the humor in this lady, the life force of this woman, and, even when heartbreaking, I take solace in her way of handling life. I think I can make it through anything when I experience Patty’s Winnie. Living in the void has never seemed so energizing. I feel alive when I see her work, and Dan’s beautiful portrayal of a man of very few words.
We start tech this week (yes, after five days of rehearsal with Patty, we start our final few days in the rehearsal room, then INTO THAT MOUND!!). I’m nervous but I am in love.