Stopped by a studio tonite to pay respect to one of my first acting teachers. Bill Alderson was there at my beginnings, with Sandy and Bill Esper and Fred Kareman. I met some of his students and colleagues tonite and a few shared that Bill had mentioned me, from time to time. We laughed as he recalled that each would then pull out their cell phone to look me up.
There were three posters on a wall inside and I took a photo of them, cause they were to me a distillation of my entire process. I showed the photo to Bill later as I was leaving. He began to share a memory from my first semester at The Playhouse, fall of 1970. This was probably a month or so into our studies. One day, Sandy called me up to the front of class and told me to sing something. Without any thought I began singing Fire And Rain by James Taylor. By the end of the first verse, I had broken down, tears streaming down my face.
That was my introduction to my Inner Life. Sandy had intuitively found a way to help me leave myself alone, to bypass my intellect and get in touch with my feelings and emotions. Understand I’d now been home from Vietnam for about a year…and I had been emotionally shut down for some time. This was a pivotal moment in my education; I knew that even then.
But to have my teacher tonite still remember that moment with such accuracy, some 45 years later….I found that very moving. Each of us who aspire to artistry have been guided by the knowledge and talent of our teachers. I try never to forget this truth.