Archive for the ‘Work as Play’ Category

Words. Words. Words: 10 Beloved Quotations

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

I began collecting quotations during my high school days. These words are not all related to the theatre, but they’re all theatrical!  This piece was originally published in June, 2013. 

1. “All the world’s a stage, and most of us are desperately under-rehearsed.”  

Sean O’Casey  (March 30, 1880 – September 18, 1964) 

Sean O'Casey

 

2. “I got my start by giving myself a start.” Madame C.J. Walker

 Born Sarah Breedlove  (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919)

Madame C.J. Walker

Madame C.J. Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. “The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place.”

Stella Adler (February 10, 1901 – December 21, 1992)

Stella Adler

Stella Adler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. “The theatre is the involuntary reflex of the ideas of the crowd.”

Sarah Bernhardt (October 22, 1844 – March 26, 1923) 

Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Bernhardt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. “A whisper can be stronger, as an atom is stronger, than a whole mountain.” 

Louise Nevelson (September 23, 1899 – April 17, 1988)

Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. “If you give an audience a chance they will do half your acting for you.” 

Katharine Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003)

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” 

Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967)

Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. “Theatergoing is a communal act, movie going a solitary one.” 

Robert Brustein (Born April 21, 1927)

Robert Brustein

Robert Brustein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. “Those that don’t got it, can’t show it. Those that got it, can’t hide it.”

Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960)

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. “The theater is so endlessly fascinating because it’s so accidental. It’s so much like life.” 

Arthur Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005)

Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a BONUS! Number 11…

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” 

George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856 – November 2, 1950) 

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits:
O’Casey: The Irish News; Adler: John Chiasson-Liaison/Getty Images; Bernhardt: Paul Nadar; Nevelson: Pedro E. Guerrero; Hepburn: Hooked On Houses; Brustein: Berkshire Fine Arts; Hurston: The Poetry Foundation; Miller: Associated Press; Shaw: Magazin Gracija. 

When Work Is Play: A Postscript

Sunday, April 14th, 2013
NOTE: This post was originally published in 2009, when I launched my blog. It has been slightly revised. 

When my son Sam was about five – oh, so many years ago – he and his best friend Alex had a conversation in our neighborhood sandbox about the different kinds of work people do to make a living.

I strained to hear as they listed all the jobs they could think of, and the specific work each job required: teachers, doormen, policemen, pediatricians, bus drivers (can you tell they were city kids?) the green grocer, our neighborhood barber… their descriptions were straightforward and accurate.

As they ventured into unfamiliar territory such as street-sweepers (Mayor Ed Koch reached everyone) deep sea divers and astronauts, the job descriptions became expansive. The little guys’ imaginations were limitless as they discussed what they might do as grownups.

A photographer-in-the-making

When Alex’s mom came to pick him up I re-capped my favorite quote of the day regarding our sons’ versions of our work: 

Alex: My Mom’s a writer. She writes. 

Sam: My Mom’s an actress. She auditions. 

Later that night, Sam and I reflected back on the sandbox conversation.

Mom, when you go to work, you do a play, right?  

Yes, I told him.

There was extended silence as he thought this through.

That’s what I want, Mom… a big smile. When I grow up, my work is gonna be play. 

There it was. At 5 years old he had established a vision for his future.

 

Sam with 4x5 MAINE Sam w Digital @ NMAI

As Sam grew, he continued to explore work as play: he was never without a camera, loved playing the drums, developed a hunger for travel and architecture (like his dad), always enjoyed collaborating, and founded a rock band with some buddies. 

Above Left: on the island of North Haven, Maine, preparing an onsite shoot of a Community Center project

Above Right: photographing the theatre at the National Museum of the American Indian, on the Mall in Washington D.C.

Below Right: experimenting with his new 4×5 camera, taking shots of his family in New Hampshire

Sam w 4x5 HANOVER

It has been 25 years since Sam declared that his work would be play. He is an architectural photographer, a back-up drummer for a bunch of bands, and he has launched a photography company that is growing rapidly: The Photo Booth Party.

As I think back on those years watching him exercise his theatrical intelligence (before I had even come up with the term) it’s no secret that I was embarrassingly proud.

These days if you observe my son hard-at-play, his joy is impossible to resist. It is positively contagious.

No wonder.

His vision: “…my work is gonna be play” is now his reality.