Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Celebrations and Nostalgia
This post has nothing to do with photography—it is strictly personal and reaches into my recent past. But, since this is on my mind and I am in blabbermouth mode, I am not going to sit on it any longer.
On occasion, I have mentioned, here, that I taught film acting and ran an actors' studio in Los Angeles for three decades. Having been retired less than four years, I haven't yet fully completed my long period of mourning for what I gave up. I may have left the life behind, but it will always be a major part of who am I am and it will always occupy a large and special part of my heart.
So here is the story. You have probably heard of the new DreamWorks film, The Help, based, of course, on the runaway hit novel by the same name. Well, it happens that the screenplay writer and director of that film is one of my students and the actress, Octavia Spencer, who plays Minny, also studied with me. No doubt, you will hear a great deal more about these two in the months and years to come and every time they make the news, you can bet that I will be bursting with happiness for two exceptionally talented, hard-working people—two people I adore.
I loved teaching with a passion that was difficult to put aside. Life changes—even the good ones—can be painful. Every time that phone rings and it is an actor asking about coaching, I feel a little ache in my heart. I begin wondering, again, if leaving was a mistake and I have a day or two of wistful thinking about the joys of watching talent blossom.
But, that was another life in another place. Now, I am that retired teacher who basks in the pleasure of memories and celebrates the triumphs of my precious students from a distance. It was a gift to have witnessed the journey of so many talented individuals. They taught me so very much and I will always be grateful. People often ask me if I have any children. I frequently quip, "No, but I sure borrowed a bunch."