Last night I had the pleasure of seeing “American Moor” at the BCA Plaza. It’s elegant, powerful passionate theatre that seamlessly moves from precise control to raw emotion. Keith Hamilton Cobb drops truth with humor, grace and a total command of the stage that commands the audience’s engagement. The play is about Cobb’s experience as an actor of Color in America. I experienced both my similarities and differences to his story and left the the theater unable to contain my own vast emotions. I strongly recommend this show! American Moore runs until August 12.
You may find these letters a bit annoying to read. But I am at present reading “Letters to a Young Poet” by R. M. Rilke and for the fun of writing have decided to the write the next few posts in a meandering wordy style. I implore your forgiveness in this age of efficient targeted messages. I must confess that as I working actor I can not tell you if you are any good. Nor can I tell you how to be a success. All I can do is share with you my experience in the hopes that perhaps something I have learned will be in some way of some benefit to your future goals. As every actor is a unique individual with a very personal practice and path to success what is factually true for myself will be categorically false for others. So if you find that something I have writing strikes you as complete and utter bull shit trust your instincts just as you should trust your instincts if you feel something rings true for you. In the end you must be the final judge. Enclosed are the statements I would give to my younger self knowing the roads I have traveled and the path that has brought me to the position of ambition and contentment I now occupy.
As Rilke advised the young poet. Ask yourself if you must act. Find some quiet time where you can be alone. Quiet your mind and stop all the thoughts of the day-to-day hustle and buzzing. Look deep in to yourself and ask if you must act. Ask if it is need deep within you that must be fulfilled. Ask if it is a part of your very being as necessary for survival as your, heart, lungs and breath. If you’re answer is a resounding “Yes” then go forward in your endeavors with enthusiasm. You need not know this answer for life in the moment. The first 7 years of my acting on the same date every June, I asked myself if I wanted to do this for one more year. Every June my answer was “yes”. In time I stopped asking as I now know this is not just my career but my way of life. So dear actor answer for yourself, and no one else do you need this way of life? Look within, Look deep and find your true answer.
My first visit to Provincetown began at Long Wharf waiting for the Ferry. It was a little chilly. I had a Ticket for the boat, a big suitcase and my backpack.
My cast mates arrived just moments before we disembarked and sailed down the coast of Massachusetts.
For 90 minutes the ferry sailed on the ocean. We weren’t far out to sea but in a way it still felt a little isolated.
Until we reached Provincetown. Then it felt like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia. The place was unfamiliar but we were met by familiar faces. And it seemed like The last cheer of summer had hung back in this part of the world.
Everywhere you turned there seemed to be someone friendly who knew why you were there and was able to help. It was one of the warmest welcomes I have ever experienced. It felt like the entire community of Provincetown is part of the festival.
It is a gift to be a part of it. The artists technicians and scholars come from all over the world. They are at the tops of their craft. They walk and work among the most notable persons in theater and film.
I kept wondering Who thinks that I deserve to be with these people? And I was very grateful someone did.