So they posted notice, as it’s called. Closings are generally referred to as “bittersweet,” implying that there are better days and better gigs ahead, and we’ll meet again, don’t know where don’t know when. …Oh yeah, and “I’ll really miss you…Honestly.’’ And it is a kick when you unexpectedly discover an old mate at the first rehearsal. It’s always the people. And while I appreciate the gift of being able to work at a craft which I love, and to work with imaginative, entertaining, generally enlightened, mostly amusing, oftentimes brilliant people, it’s still work. You do have to show up eight times a week.
Sometimes I suspect the universe is giving me just what I asked for; time off in the summer. It’s always such a drag to be out of work in January, when the weather’s crappy….or May, for that matter if you’re a Chicago actor. Closings always make me wonder, at least briefly, when my luck will run out. Tho’ something always comes up and it always seems better, more hopeful than whatever just closed. Optimism. Ya gotta love optimism. Or is that redundant? These days, mostly, I look forward to seeing what comes next. As a younger man, I used to always think, “Well, that’s it. I’m finished. Washed up.” So far that’s never been the case and so I’ve come around to the idea of something much more like, “Yahoo! What great adventure does the universe have up its sleeve this time??”
This particular one, for me has some extra disappointment attached because I love the material, and because of my politics. It seems so particularly important these days to honor work and the people who actually perform work. The people who actually make the world go ‘round. Sadly, the Rex Winships of the world seem to be on the ascendant recently. And that’s a real problem for all of us. We need, perhaps more than ever to be reminded that there is more than dignity in work; that, “History is a lot of little people, men and women just like you and me, getting together and deciding that they want a better life.”
So thanx for allowing me the opportunity to share with you some thoughts about this project. Perhaps you and I will meet again. In any case, I’ve enjoyed the ride. To quote Mr. Schwartz, I do believe I have been changed for the better.