At the half-way point for the year, I felt like it was important to take stock – and then take a break. The year has been racing by, filled with what seems like endless tasks and deadlines. But in March, I experienced the passing of a dear friend and colleague – and it threw my world into a tail-spin.
The experience of this loss thrust me into a space where these three words seem to be reverberating: No more bullshit. Cover your eyes if this is getting to be too much. I can relate. I lived in my own personal stall of bullshit for most of my life and it’s a daily process of recovery.
That said, I have decided to share something I wrote before this experience. It’s very sweet and philosophical, but do wonder if the conclusion is enough? Read for yourself and see what I mean:
With the recent passing of a master actor and beloved entertainer, it has brought up a thought that has been on my mind lately: all the forgotten entertainers. There are so many it boggles the mind. When those who pass are younger, or more publicly loved, there is a brief and intense interest and, sometimes, outrage at the helpless feeling of having one of our “favorite” people taken from us too soon. And yet, in time, new people arrive, and the ones who have left are eventually forgotten, particularly when they are liked – and not worshiped.
No matter how you may feel about these mega-star idols, they have gained a permanent, on-going homage in our collective memories for generations to come. But it is the countless others; these are the ones who haunt me late at night. “Should we too not be remembered with as much love and fervor?” they seem to say. It seems so cruel, but undeniable, that they all will be forgotten, except by those who may have loved them in their own lifetime the most.
Therefore, what I am compelled to ask of entertainers of any age, of any status within the industry: at the end, how do you expect to feel about your contribution to the collective human story in entertainment? It also leads me to ask: How important is any of this? I am struggling to answer why we strive, sometimes compete, fret, and even argue – all to claim only a temporary place in the spotlight. While contributing to the entertainment story, whether globally or locally, is a worthy goal that promises near immortality – particularly where truth and art are at the pinnacle of expression – it seems that it is not all there is.
It seems to me that being remembered might not necessarily be what is most important as an actor. Instead, it seems vitally important to me to have connected with the heart of another human being – and been grateful for it. If entertaining brings you that connection, then strive always in that direction, because one day, when you are no longer remembered, you might still live on in someone’s heart.
LEAVE A COMMENT. I realize this subject matter isn’t “light” and may take some time to digest. Nonetheless, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my two-sided reflection (as someone who has experienced the loss of a dear friend and colleague, and as one who had not). Remember to subscribe. Thank you!
Parts of this article originally published December 26, 2013 on Actors’ Guidepost: http://actorsguidepost.blogspot.com/2013/12/remembering-forgotten.html