Friday, April 11, 2008

minus hairbows

Here's Vermeer's "Lady, Writing," the beauty I fell in love with in Washington.  We modern lady scribes do not often go to work in satin, ermine and hairbows, and our implements are different, but the result is the same: something is on paper that wasn't there before. What is she writing, do you think, with her fine little hand?

And here's a story about the wondrous ways of the world: I wrote here about the Adlers who came to my talk at the 92nd Street Y, and how I would have liked to meet them.  The very next day, the "New York Times" featured an article on a man called Tom Oppenheim, Stella Adler's grandson, who runs the acting school named for her in New York.  When I got home to Toronto, I googled him and wrote to introduce myself. He wrote back within an hour that he had read and enjoyed my book and was as interested in talking to me as I to him.  

So the great-grandson of Jacob Adler the actor, and the great-granddaughter of Jacob Gordin the playwright, will begin a dialogue.  Tom is convinced, as am I, that Stella's theories of acting, so influential to countless important American actors including Marlon Brando, were learned in the Yiddish theatre, in the plays of Jacob Gordin where her career began. 

I did one last book talk, at least for now, at the JCC last night.  In the audience was my old friend and former colleague, actress Nicola Cavendish.  Nicky, who is funny and kind, is here rehearsing the role of a psychotic killer and writing fan in a stage adaptation of Stephen King's "Misery." "How was my day, you ask?" she said.  "Well, I smashed Tom McCamus's kneecaps with an 800-page manuscript and tried to cripple him, cracked his head on the floor several times, and went home for a grilled cheese sandwich."  

She looked exhausted.  I was grateful this cold, wet morning that rather than racing off to a rehearsal studio, as I did once, my job involved sitting at my desk in imaginary ermine and satin, actually sweatpants and a t-shirt, digging inside for gold. 

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