Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Acquaintance

I had lunch today with a fellow actor in town.  He and I have always been acquaintances, and nothing much more than that.  However, we both happened to be at a favorite haunt of mine, so I figured it would be a nice opportunity to catch up and have a good conversation with someone I respect.

These moments always intrigue me... those moments of openness with people we spend not too much time with.  Will they judge me?  Will they think me daft?  Will they bore me, or will I bore them?  The crossed arms of an acquaintance dinner companion can often communicate disinterest!  Are we making small talk in a desperate attempt to convince the other that we are smart?

We came to a rather strong conversation about theatrical work, which then led to real-life problems we face as human beings (Chekov talk often leads to that...).  I love theatre very much, and want to talk about it almost all the time, but sometimes some actors never, ever want to hear about it.  I think it's important to discuss it with co-artists.  It gives us the opportunity to safely say yes, no, maybe, I don't know...  To have my acquaintance pass no judgement, nor I for that matter, on the theatre talk was refreshing.  The great minds debate in the coffee shops in their youth, and then write books about it all later.  It felt so romantic (and not in the date sense, ladies and gentlemen, I promise), as if I were in a Penguin Edition book of a classic, where two great artists of the past meet to go over ideas.  Who knows if either of us will be great leaders of the theatrical community?  But in that moment, I was being present with the goal of being leader, of understanding that to become something in the future is not guaranteed to me.  Thus, I need to work at becoming it right now.