For 24 years, I’ve kept this 1943 steel wheat penny in my little backstage kit, along with some translucent powder, an eyebrow pencil, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and all the other essentials. It was given to me by Matthew Henderson, a classmate in undergrad and a schoolmate in grad school. He gave one to each of the members of my acting class for our first class production. I remember being touched by this gesture from what I called an old friend (having already known him for 9 years at the time) as a tribute to something his accompanying card lauded - the value of collegiality, of a project built by together by a group of collaborators, about the value of teamwork and mutual trust & support.
The show, WAITING FOR LEFTY, was about the rise of unions and the struggles of common folk. It felt like an especially apropos gift.
For each job I’ve had since then, this coin has sat on my makeup table, reminding me that my best assets as an actor are all my fellow actors and crew.
Having just finished a production of OSLO at @northernstagevt, about the struggle for peace between warring factions, for survival in a culture of never-ending violence, this gift from an older friend – of now 33 years - again felt very appropriate: our best assets for mutually assured survival are those right around us.
Fond regards to Matt, and many thanks to all the members of the OSLO team, cast & crew alike.
We done good.
In the words of Shimon Peres, as rendered by J.T. Rogers, “Fast and high, my friends. It is the only way.”
#northernstagevt #oslotheplay #whiteriverjunction #teamwork #ilovemyjob #niceworkifyoucangetit