Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"The most important thing is work"

So I was going to write about the Bang on a Can Marathon, and I still might, but I'm kind of tired of just writing about the shit I do on weekends.

Something came to mind tonight as I was doing some networking/scheduling on email, prepping for auditions, and half watching a couple ballgames on tv: I think one of the (many) things that make for an affinity between theater actors and baseball players is the every day element of both of them. Major Leaguers play 162 games over 6 months - pretty much a 6-day week, including tons of travel (and some players do the winter-league thing too); theater actors are expected to do 8 shows a week - again, a 6-day week, sometimes on the road. Ok ok, neither task is as physically demanding perhaps as a marathon, or a football game, basketball game or ballet. But... every day, folks, for however long. And watching the players at this point in the season (early June - not even halfway through) starting to wear down, succumb to injury, just being troupers, I think of the daily dedication that is simultaneously workmanlike, common, and utterly singular and awe-inspiring; and I draw a breath in renewed admiration of people like Cal Ripken Jr. And Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams (all that hitting, plus time away from the majors to serve in TWO wars) Hank Aaron... And Eli Wallach, Laurette Taylor, Vanessa Redgrave, John Raitt... And, what the hell, Boyd Gaines.

Or then again, it might just be that within the last couple days both the Red Sox and the Mets have lost three games in a row for the first time this season...

And ok, I will break my little 'if you can't say something nice...' rule and say apropos "father of minimalism" Alvin Lucier's Canon at the Bang on a Can Marathon: it was like listening to paint dry. Yes yes yes, I understand: you have to be attentive to the microtones, and try to figure out the (glacial) rhythm - those things can keep you from literally falling asleep. But I'm sorry, people: I think the emperor may be naked. Reckon Alvin can take my dissent.

As for the rest of the Marathon - it was fantastic. One of the events that makes me really happy I live in New York.

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