Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

A Love-Fest With My Ancestors

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

A couple of years ago I began to write a book about seven generations of my paternal family in America. It was a labor of love in anticipation of the 100th birthday of my grandparents’ Adirondack cabin. The house, now owned by my siblings and our families, is located in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, in a tiny hamlet called Keene Valley. It’s across the brook from the site on which my great-grandparents’ home once stood. 

My Grandparents' Home: 1915

My Grandparents’ Home, Rushing Brook: 1915

The centennial took place in August, 2015, and included 3 glorious days of swimming, hiking and family story-sharing. 50 double cousins*, from 2 months to 82 years, gathered for the occasion. 

*Double Cousins: 2 brothers married 2 sisters. Julius Sachs married Rosa Goldman; Samuel Sachs married Louisa Goldman. Their offspring are double cousins.
My Great-Grandparents' Home in 1890

My Great-Grandparents’ Home, Waldfried: 1890

I circulated my first draft of the book at the event, and asked family members to check for errors and omissions (there were plenty). It’s difficult to describe how deeply I loved working on this project, which felt almost as if I was traveling back in time, meeting my ancestors one-by-one, and falling in love with many of them. The year turned into a virtual love-fest in my imagination.  

It all began in 1837, when two young Jewish men met in a synagogue in Würzburg, Germany. Both excelled in their studies: Joseph Sachs (20) was gifted in languages, Marcus Goldman (16) in mathematics, and the two quickly became close friends.  

The custom in 1840s Würzburg, was that well-to-do Jewish families boarded poor students. Joseph was the poor student, and his generous hosts were successful goldsmiths who were also the parents of brilliant, young Sophia Baer.

Sophia Baer Sachs

Sophia Baer Sachs

Joseph Sachs

Joseph Sachs

The student and the young lady fell in love, and when Sophia’s parents objected to their daughter “marrying an impecunious teacher”, the young lovers eloped to Hamburg, then sailed for America in 1847. Marcus followed suit in 1848, and the very day he arrived in Philadelphia he and Joseph bumped into each other! Their chance meeting foreshadowed a future alliance between the two families (albeit 30 years later) that would influence the world: Goldman Sachs & Co.

Bertha and Marcus Goldman

Bertha and Marcus Goldman

Meanwhile, Bertha Goldman (no relation to Marcus), was a young seamstress who had also arrived from Germany in 1848, then moved to Philadelphia in 1851. She met Marcus, who wished to court her with a bouquet of flowers, but because his work as a peddler left him no money, he surprised her with a bunch of radishes hidden in his hat. It worked. The two fell in love, and were married later that year.

Joseph, Sophia, Marcus and Bertha were my great-great-grandparents. Feeling connected to them is visceral to me, although Joseph and Sophia never even visited Keene Valley (alas, they died too young). Their spirit, however, is everywhere surrounding Rushing Brook: in their commitment to “do what you love and give it your everything”, and in the unflagging support and trust for family.

Steps to Waldfried from Rushing Brook

2015: Steps to Waldfried from Rushing Brook

When I was 12, my parents invited several musician friends and their families to bring their instruments and join us for a long weekend of music and improvisation at WaldfriedThe sensory experiences that summer were unforgettable: hearing and playing the music, feeling the freezing water on our bare feet as we ran across the brook and back, throwing meals together on the run… it was creative collaboration. I didn’t know at the time how deeply it would impact my future career.

These days I feel privileged to literally follow in the footsteps of our ancestors: down the old moss-covered-stone-steps, across the brook, and back up the other side, inhabiting their space, which I believe, on occasion, hosts their spirits as well.

A love-fest indeed. What a gift.

SOURCES: Birmingham, Stephen, OUR CROWD: THE GREAT JEWISH FAMILIES OF NEW YORK (Harper & Row, 1967) ISBN: 0815604114; Immigrant Entrepreneurship, MARCUS GOLDMAN: http://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=100; Sachs, Bernard, BARNEY SACHS: 1858-1944 (New York, 1949: Privately Printed); Sachs, Ernest, M.D., FIFTY YEARS OF NEUROSURGERY, A Personal Story (New York, Vantage Press: 1958); Sachs Jr., Dr. Ernest, GOLDMAN FAMILY TREE (Privately Printed: 1981); Straus, Helen Sachs: SACHS FAMILY TREE (Privately Printed: 1977) 

On Mothers Day: A Letter From My Daughter

Sunday, May 11th, 2014
I received this beautiful letter today from my daughter, Abigail, who lives in Los Angeles. She asked my permission to share it on her acupuncture blog, MAMAFLOAT. Of course I agreed. I’m bursting with pride as I write this and forgive me, I asked her if I could post it here. Thankfully, she also agreed. (This post is not part of Theatrical Intelligence except by association with me.)

1981Dear Mom,

On this 39th Mother’s Day since you became a mother, I am writing you a love letter. You know I love lists.  So here’s a Love List!

I love you for patiently waiting 43 weeks for me to make my arrival, and for giving birth to me naturally, bravely ignoring the 12 men staring at your vagina in that teaching hospital.

I love you for rocking and nursing me in the Stickley Chair (which I now have in our living room), calmly convinced that it was normal for a baby to cry for 6 months straight. Colic. How did you survive?

I love you for introducing me to chocolate peanut butter cups.

I love you for loving lilacs.

I love you because of the way you always look me right in the eyes when I have something to say, your head perched between index finger and thumb.

I love you for saying about my spirited child: “he just has a hard time getting through his day. Like you did as a baby.”

I love you for saying “yes, and…” when everyone else said “no.”

I love you for making Fiesta Ware our everyday dishes.

I love you for raising me and Sam in Manhattan, where the nuts come from.

I love you for sending me to the Bank Street School.

I love you for flying 3,000 miles to meet my firstborn, arriving when he was a mere 20 hours old, and arranging fresh flowers in my bedroom every day.

I love you for taking G to the museum while I labored with L… and getting to meet her just a few hours later.  Her middle name is your first.

I love you for showing me what marriage can be: you and Dad, after 43 years, make it look easy.

I love you for introducing me to Shakespeare.

I love you for your curried chicken salad, which is totally delicious and just a little bit weird.

I love you for showing me the value of two simple beauty products: Yardley’s lavender soap and Keri lotion.

I love you for letting me fall asleep with your nightgown on the nights you and Dad left us a with a sitter.

I love you for my annual birthday gift of a trip to the Town Shop (for real or online) for new ladythings.

I love you for the cheesy way you always say “This is God’s country!” the moment we open the car windows on the drive into Keene Valley.

I love you for finding your writing voice as a Woman of the Fourteenth Moon.

I love you for suggesting I apply to Bard College.

I love you for inspiring me to become a woman business owner.

I love you for your many scarves; I always said I’d never wear them.  Now I have 14.

I love you for showing me that motherhood could be the most important job you (or I) would ever have.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I love you!

YLD,

Abigail

Written by Abigail Morgan, L.Ac., all rights reserved.  Photograph (1981) courtesy of Roger Morgan.  This post was inspired by a writing project I’m part of called 40 Love Letters in 40 Days.  Special shout-out to Stacy de la Rosa.

 

ON LOVE

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Love-in-sandI’ve been thinking a lot about love. 

It may be an age thing. I’m in my mid-60s and loving it, my husband Roger and I just celebrated our 43rd anniversary, and our love for each other and our work has grown exponentially over the decades. When we were blessed with grandchildren 3 and 5 years ago, I thought the level of love in our family might actually burst. It didn’t, of course. In fact, it has expanded into a three-generation-love-fest.

And everywhere I look these days, I see love. 

Can it be that love really belongs in this theatrical quotations series?  Absolutely. Why? Because for those of us who spend our lives in the theatre, a passionate love of what we do is the common denominator within the  Six Principles of Theatrical Intelligence.

Let’s take a moment to review those principles, based on the theatrical production model (as is the whole concept of Theatrical Intelligence).

1. Collaborating on a project to make it work for everyone, is number one: EVERYONE SHARES THE SAME GOAL.

2. If the show is a bust, if tickets don’t sell, no one gets paid. That’s the reality: EVERYONE SHARES AN EQUIVALENT RISK.

3. If a play is sustainable, its next steps are defined within the 3rd principle: COLLABORATION RULES.

4. Given: throughout every phase of every project, THE WORK MATTERS.

5. If part of a production’s infrastructure isn’t working (often the case) everyone understands that FAILURE IS YOUR FRIEND AND THE QUICKEST WAY TO LEARN.

6. And finally, a reflection of the commitment to innovation and acceptance of high risk: SUCCESS COMES WITH THE COURAGE TO STEP INTO THE UNKNOWN.

Those who work consistently in the professional theatre simply love what they do; if they didn’t, the ever-changing conditions of the creation, development, rehearsal and run of a show, would be intolerable.

I’ve chosen my favorite quotes on love from my collection. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 

zelda-balletZelda Fitzgerald (1900 – 1948)
 
 “Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”

 

Zora Neale Hurston, Class of 1928, Chicago, Ill., November 9, 1934Zora Neale Hurston (1891 – 1960)
 
“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”

**************************

NerudaPablo Neruda (1904 – 1973) née Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto
 
“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”
(From TWENTY LOVE POEMS AND A SONG OF DESPAIR) 

*******************

Shel Larry Moyer Shel Silverstein (1930 – 1999)
 
How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em.
How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.

**********************

George EliotGeorge Eliot (1819 – 1880) Née Mary Ann (Marian) Evans

“I like not only to be loved, but to be told that I am loved; the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave.”

************************

Nelle Harper LeeHarper Lee (Born 1926) 
 
“With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.”
(From TO KILL  MOCKINGBIRD, Chapter 12)

*************************

Jarod KintzJarod Kintz (Born 1982)
 
 “With my last breath, I’ll exhale my love for you. I hope it’s a cold day, so you can see what you meant to me.
”

**************

Dorothy ParkerDorothy Parker (1893 – 1967)
 
“By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing.
And he vows his passion is,
Infinite, undying.
Lady make a note of this –
One of you is lying.”

****************************

Ingrid BergmanIngrid Bergman (1915 – 1982)
 
“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.”  
 

If you’d like to share your favorites, please do. This love thing is positively contagious. Let’s keep it going.

*********************

Picture Credits
Fitzgerald: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum
Hurston: The Estate of Zora Neale Hurston
Neruda: Pablo Neruda – Poemas Originais Traduzidos
Silverstein: Larry Moyer/Evil Eye LLC
Eliot: London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images
Lee: The Birmingham News
Kintz: Jarod Kintz.com
Parker: DorothyParker.com
Bergman: LIFE Magazine
******************************

A Magical Birthday Ritual

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

I just wished my late brother Jim a Happy Birthday on Facebook. He would have turned 58 today. I did the same thing two years ago, here on my blog.

If Jim were alive today we would’ve had our annual East-Coast/West-Coast mutual birthday call. My birthday is the day after his, so at midnight (Eastern) and 9:00pm (Pacific) we’d call each other. It was our little ritual, sort of like a secret handshake. 

1956-JimToday I remembered you in 1956, Jim: 11 months old, and NOT enjoying the photo shoot of you and your four siblings for the annual Christmas card. 

I was 9, and my heart went out to you as you waited around for the photographer to do what she could to make ALL FIVE of us photogenic, one at a time.

No wonder you were crying! Finally we found you a tiny, tinkling bell, and it cheered you up, though I see one little tear still glistening in your right eye.  

You just needed a little magic.

Jim with eBook

 

Now jump ahead 44 years.

There’s a picture of you in THE BOSS column of the NY Times. You talk about being paid $5 to invent a computer language when you were 12, and you’re holding your newest invention: the electronic book. 

The two photos remind me of our little ritual, but in the second one you supplied the magic. 

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, little bro… love you. Thanks for the magic.  

Talk to you at midnight.

 

 

A Theatrical Love Story

Thursday, September 8th, 2011
 
I’d like to introduce you to a great love of mine. Mind you, I’m not alone: hundreds of other theatre professionals continue to participate in our love circle of 33 years, including my husband.
 
Please meet THE ENSEMBLE STUDIO THEATRE (EST). 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve been a member of EST since 1978. My husband and business partner, Roger Morgan, is a founding member who signed the original articles of incorporation in 1968, alongside EST’s Founder, the late Curt Dempster

EST is a safe haven for several hundred theatre professionals who apply for free membership based on:

1) the quality of their work

2) their commitment to collaboration. 

Actors, writers, producers, directors, designers, managers, technicians and critics (the 8 Roles of Theatrical Intelligence I write about on this blog), become “Ensemble Artists”.

THE ENSEMBLE in the theatre’s name = its members.

STUDIO = a “theatre gym”, where members gather for vigorous workouts and candid de-briefs from fellow members and the artistic staff.

THEATRE = Place: 549 West 52nd Street, Hell’s Kitchen. In spite of its grit and an occasional mouse, it is passionately loved by its users.

These three elements = THE ENSEMBLE STUDIO THEATRE, which provides a lifeline to creativity throughout the best (as well as the worst) years in the lives of its artists.

Since its inception, EST has developed an astonishing 6,000+ plays. More importantly, it continues to nurture its artists for as long as they care to be nurtured, using its own collaborative technique.

With a current annual budget of $1.3 million, EST has been recognized by the American Theater Wing, the NY Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk Awards and Village Voice Obies; collectively, its members have won Pulitzers, Oscars, Tonys, Golden Globes… the list goes on.

So why does this trashy little place matter so much to its members?

To use myself as an example, I dared to write, direct, produce, and spread my wings as an artist at EST. I had never stepped into any of these roles before.

In 1987, EST actress Christine Farrell asked if I’d join a group of leading ladies in an evening of our own making. She knew that we’d never be cast in the same play, and she simply wanted to be onstage together for a change, instead of competing for the same roles. EST member Pamela Berlin joined us as DIrector.

We wrote, workshopped, disagreed, re-wrote, disagreed better, re-wrote better, learned to trust, performed, published and produced MAMA DRAMA, a collaborative piece that is still performed in academic and community theatres nationwide.

My development as a leader is directly attributable to EST. By the late-80’s I was sick of performing, but I wasn’t trained to do anything else. I wanted to work ON a play instead of IN it. Because EST members are able to initiate their own projects, I did. I wrote. Directed. Managed. Experimented. Convinced people to work with me for free.

It became clear to me that I could bring a project to life by identifying strengths in my collaborators that they didn’t necessarily know they had. The trick was to reflect them back so they were somehow quantifiable.  Each time this happened, a profound level of trust was established in the group and we often believed that together we could do anything! (This was frequently followed by a spectacular and unforgettable failure.)

Immediately after the experience of writing, directing and producing, I shifted my career, a direct result of exploring these roles. Writing is now one of my great passions and part of my daily life, and it would never have happened without EST. It’s where I discovered my “CEO shoes”, and they fit so comfortably I never wanted to take them off.

Curt, Christine, Leslie, Rita, Annie, Donna, Marianna and Pam changed my life.

There are many EST stories just like mine. Why? Because this theatre is the place to try out new stuff and know that it’s OK to fail. In fact, absence of failure is a bit suspect, and falling flat on your face is certainly the quickest way to learn: check out the 6 Principles of Theatrical Intelligence.

And at EST, once a member always a member, so we get to fail again and again!

These days I’m back at EST experimenting in yet another role: Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. 

I believe it’s essential to spread the word about this model of creativity, and work to ensure that it builds a financial foundation for its future. Because EST is not only a theatre that is deeply loved – it is a theatre that knows how to love back.

What could be better than that?

 

Photo above left: The Ensemble Studio Theatre by Christopher Cayaba

Photo above right: MAMA DRAMA, clockwise from left: Leslie Ayvazian, Christine Farrell, Rita Nachtmann, Anne O’Sullivan, Ann Sachs (seated, center). Not pictured: Director Pamela Berlin, Donna Daley and Marianna Houston.

If you’d like to see what’s going on at EST: please join us!

 

What It’s All About…

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

This is my daughter Abigail, with her 2-year-old son Gabriel and 6-week-old daughter Lucy. My grandchildren. Was ever a word so apt? Grandchildren. These two little tykes have taught me the most profound lesson in my life-to-date: they are the reason I’m here on this earth.

Cliche? Yes. Over-the-top sentiment? Absolutely. Never did I imagine these hackneyed terms would apply to me! I always thought it would be fun to watch my children if they became parents, however, this generational connection stirring in my soul has caught me by surprise:

  • I find myself whispering words of wisdom into their ears.
  • My inner child (it’s OK to groan here) behaves with utter abandon, yet…
  • My hard-fought-for skills of diplomacy and restraint seem effortless.
  • I have never felt better about forging my own trail on my own terms.
  • I am compelled to continue growing, to be my best self for them.

My twice-daily-ritual, morning and night, is to recall everything I am grateful for. Gabriel and Lucy have given me the gift of a generational lens, through which the love in my life has multiplied a thousandfold. I am so thankful.

And that’s what it’s all about. For me.


Happy Birthday Jim, Forever 47, On What Would Have Been Your 55th Birthday…

Friday, January 22nd, 2010
Jim in the Adirondacks, 2001

Jim in the Adirondacks, 2001

Those of you who read my blog may remember that I wrote about my brother Jim Sachs, who died in 2002 (see September 9, 2009). Today is his birthday, which in our adult lives we used to share with childlike relish at midnight Eastern / 9pm Pacific time, as my birthday is the day after his.

Our enormous family spent as much time as possible with Jim in the months before he died. We accompanied him on one last trip to the Adirondack mountains, where we had spent every summer of our childhood, and we frolicked together at his home in California. It was an unforgettable time.

One day during that last summer, Jim and I were sitting alone by the pool at his home in Atherton, and I read a limerick I’d written for him:

 
 
You darling young brother named Jim,
Came into the world with such vim
And vigor and smarts
In all of your parts
That your four siblings welcomed you in.

You barely were two
When your family knew
That you had your own way of thinking
You’d play in the dirt
Wearing Chris or Pat’s shirt
Making toys and inventions (some stinking!)

And when you were nine
I remember the time
I thought you were rather deluded
You concocted some stuff
An object – enough
To prove to me what you’d concluded.

You explained it to me
With great patience and glee:
The widgets ’n’ stuff (on the side)
Worked together to make it
With no need to fake it
Add – multiply – subtract – and divide!

You went on to say
In the future some day
Smart people would show up to hock it.
Your further conclusion:
(I thought, a delusion)
We would each carry one in our pocket!

At twelve you were solving
The problems revolving
Thru Dartmouth’s math classes each week.
And word got around
That the kid from the town
Was the true and original geek.

Now I was much older
Clearly wiser and bolder
(The Dartmouth men were all mine)
But YOU had the gall
To break down the wall
Into Dartmouth’s mainframe! (So fine.)

Your room in our cellar
You (solo) the dweller
Had carpeted walls plus a lab
To produce your photography
Math and geography
Your Life – As You Saw It – Way Fab!

As we all got older
(Less wiser, less bolder)
You seemed to take off in a spin.
Your toys and inventions
Broke all known conventions:
Apple’s Mouse, Laser Tag, Ted Ruxpin.

And now I see YOU
With your life partner Sue
And Jessica, Betsy and Chris:
You’ve taught us to squeeze
With such joy and such ease
Each minute with its unique bliss.

And so with this ditty
Altho itty-bitty
I’m striving to thank you and say
That you’ll be in my heart
And each memory part
For the rest of my life, every day.

Neither of us could speak for a while. Then Jim, to me, oh-so-quietly: “Vigor and smarts in ALL of my parts?” (Pause) “Like that.”

We sat silently by the pool for a long time.

Sometimes there are no words.


“This Is The Wisdom I Have Learned”

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

William Goyen’s House of Breath opened on November 4, 1969 at Trinity Rep, in Providence, Rhode Island. Every year I celebrate this play on this date. Why?  Three reasons: it was a theatrical production ahead of its time, I became a member of Actors’ Equity during its run, and it marks the occasion I fell in love with Roger Morgan.

Roger in 1969

Directed by the brilliant Adrian Hall, with sets and lighting designed by Eugene Lee and Roger Morgan, House of Breath was a powerful, poetic piece about an East Texas family in the early twentieth century. The production pioneered non-traditional casting before the term even existed, and explored trans-gender issues in flamboyant Adrian-Hall-style. The late great Ethyl Eichelberger (known at the time as Jim) played the role of a sexually repressed young man whose imagination transforms him into a black showgirl. I played Jim’s dead sister Jessie, brought to life through the memories of her family. (See Roger, above, in 1969, and me, below, in House of Breath.)

Ann in House of Breath, 1969

It’s hard to describe how everyone loved that play. We knew it was groundbreaking. And it’s romantic to remember the magic of that opening night when Roger and I were caught completely off-guard by the depth of our connection. Each of us thought it must have been the high of the production that swept us off our feet, and partly of course, it was. What I have recognized over forty years of acknowledging November Fourths, however, is that the collaborative experience of that project provided the foundation upon which Roger and I subsequently built our lives. The spirit of the work at Trinity quickened the pace of our courtship – of course we fell in love that night! We didn’t know at the time that it marked the beginning of a collaborative, creative and frequently improvised life.

2009 (40 years later)

Roger always loved one particular moment in the play. Young Jessie (my character) remembers her brother dressed up as a King in a pageant, and declares with great wonder: “This is the wisdom I have learned!” referring to the power of memory.

“This is the wisdom I have learned” is one of those code phrases that pops up in our marital dialogue, often with humor as a “duh” kind of realization. Recently, however, the phrase has come to represent the collaboration, risk, and belief that we’re doing something that matters: 3 of the 6 Principles of Theatrical Intelligence. I shall always be grateful that Roger and I met in the middle of the wonder that inhabited House of Breath and Trinity. It was within that context that our lives changed forever.

 

My Brother Jim Sachs

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

My recent infatuation with Twitter makes me think of my brother Jim. He was a man of few words and the 140 character tweets would have suited him just fine. I’m sad to say he’s not here to join the fun; he died of cancer in 2002 at the age of 47, leaving a void in the hearts of his wife, three teenagers and his enormous family. Jim certainly left his mark.

His name, with 3 of his colleagues, is on the patent for Apple’s mouse (below). 

Jim’s Name on Apple’s Patent for the Mouse: 1988

He invented the electronic book a dozen years ago, and predicted it would take about a decade to catch on. Need I say more? No. (But I will… he was my little bro, y’know?) Jim’s electronic wizardry made Laser Tag and Barney possible (remember that  talking, purple dinosaur?) I often wonder what other breakthroughs he might have come up with, if he’d only had a bit more time.

Jim has been on my mind this summer, influenced no doubt by the death of our mother. I’ve been flooded with memories of older-sister-younger-brother shenanigans from our childhood in New Hampshire. In retrospect, Jim was the first person in my life to give me a glimpse into what I now refer to as Theatrical Intelligence.

One particular memory from the early 60’s keeps coming back to me: he was a serious 8-year-old and I was a rather dramatic 16, preparing for one of those standardized tests and trying to make sense of a word problem that had one train going X miles an hour colliding into another train going Y miles an hour and I was nearly apoplectic at the image. Jimmy (as we then called him) asked “What’s the problem?” And I launched into a harrowing description of children being catapulted from the train and lovers “untimely ripped” from each each other’s clasp and infants rendered orphans and… Jimmy stopped me and said “Ann, it’s a math question.” To which I immediately responded “It’s a tragedy!”

I will never forget that little face peering up at me through 1960’s glasses, shaking his head in disbelief: “I guess that’s why you’re going to be a Broadway actress,” and I, with deep disdain: And you’re going to be an engineer!”

It was a pivotal moment: we understood that each of us viewed the world through a completely different lens (albeit his lens in this case sure was clearer than mine!) Over the years we reflected back on that particular moment, and as we grew older confided in one other about our contrasting perspectives. We both loved learning, and never ceased to learn from our differences.

Looking through my Theatrical Intelligence lens today, I see that Jim’s dominant roles were Designer, Technician and Producer, whereas mine were Actor, Writer and Producer.  We came together as conversation partners as Producers, and were able to expand our capabilities by incorporating the other’s vision.

Shortly before he died we had a boffo laugh when we secretly agreed that together we would have made one perfect person. How blessed have I been, to have such a brother.

Sometimes I think that writing this blog is not only a way to explore the world of Theatrical Intelligence, but a way to continue my conversations with Jim. 

And when I miss him, which is every single day, I find myself saying…

“This is for you, Jim.”

 

Launching a Blog = Birthing a Baby*

Friday, May 29th, 2009

(*sort of)

The Creative Process Takes Shape

The Creative Process Takes Shape

About nine months ago I began thinking about creating a blog. The buzz in my women-owned-business community was that blogs were the wave of the future. I knew my blog-ological-clock was ticking because the future arrives quicker and quicker these days, so I got busy, fast. My new venture Theatrical Intelligence® was taking shape, and wise minds suggested that a blog would be a catalyst for conversation in anticipation of my upcoming book.

Since my concept was not fully conceived, I googled ‘blog’ and learned that the word is a contraction of the term web-log.  Googling ‘theatre blogs’ confirmed that my beloved theatre industry lags in the blogosphere, and I saw that theatre students, as always, were ahead of the curve. So I decided to do what the students were doing: learn blogspeak and sign up for Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

I watched. I waited. I learned. And after a couple of weeks I experienced what can only be described as blog-hunger. The symptoms were oddly familiar: there was a primal creative force driving my every moment, an obsessive craving for 24/7 knowledge-exchange-with-wise-women, and the wildest dreams imaginable. It was exactly the same as the baby-hunger that had consumed me three decades before.

When I was pregnant with my daughter in 1974, none of my friends had yet taken the plunge into parenthood. I trembled as I described to my doctor the feeling of leaping into the unknown where no one I knew had ever gone before. She tactfully reassured me that “others had done it.”  Giving birth to Theatrical Intelligence® feels exactly the same way. Yes – others have done it! But to me, it is tremendous, terrifying, exhilarating, exhausting, and ultimately the most creative thing I have taken on since giving birth to my children. It feels as if I’m taking a courageous step into a new frontier.

A New Life - Welcome!

A New Life - Welcome to Gabriel!

You are hereby invited into the new terrain that is Theatrical Intelligence. Will you please help me expand my reach beyond my current network by answering two questions?

  1. What is the most fulfilling work you’ve ever done? Please describe.
  2. In what way are you happy (or unhappy) in your current work? Please describe.

Your answers to these questions will help inform my new concept, and I thank you in advance for contacting me.

The picture on the right is my first grandchild, Gabriel. His journey into the world gave me the analogy of birth and blog, creativity and community. Not to mention love. Thank you, Gabriel!

And to everyone: Welcome to the Theatrical Intelligence community.