THREE more nights of performances …for now. I suggest securing tickets online beforehand. Thursday, Friday or Saturday this week … 8:30 pm @ Shaking the Tree Studio, 1407 SE Stark.
Portland Monthy Magazine (blog): Preview: Truth & Beauty
Willamette Week: Fertile Ground Day 1, Truth & Beauty
It’s playing in front of these audiences that has really brought our characters to life. A few days before we opened, Jessica (co-star, plays Lucy Grealy) handed me a book for inspiration: C.S.Lewis’s A Grief Observed, written after the death of his wife. His words helped me tremendously:
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. … And no one ever told me about the laziness of grief. I loathe the slightest effort. Not only writing but even reading a letter is too much. Even shaving. What does it matter now whether my cheek is rough or smooth? They say an unhappy man wants distractions–something to take him out of himself. Only as a dog-tired man wants an extra blanket on a cold night; he’d rather lie there shivering than get up and find one. … The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.
There is a sequence in the beginning where Ann Patchett (the character I’m playing) lyrically expresses her grief. With an appropriate David Byrne song playing and only one chair, Ann’s chair, in just a few moments, she goes down to the bottom and claws her way back to the top—fighting through the mire and muck of sadness to come out on the other side. Ann wrote the book this way…3 weeks after Lucy’s death.
In the performance, there have been nights when I thought I got there. There have been nights when I knew I was no where close. I have 3 more nights to go even farther and I intend to.
Won’t you join us?
***Song of the Moment: Memories Can’t Wait, by Talking Heads***