T and I are just now back from workshopping a brand new show at South Coast Rep. For those of you who don't know, SCR does a lot of workshops. They commission new pieces and take the opportunity when they are "dark" in the summer to hire professional actors and directors and put them on their feet. These workshops are at once exhilarating, frustrating and hilarious. There is the sheer fun of being in a room full of people one likes and respects, working on material that is SO NEW it has just come off the playwrights memory stick, and the copies are still warm. There is ABSOLUTELY no guarantee one will be asked to be in the full production, but it does fan the flames of hope in one's actorly little heart that one might ACTUALLY have something on the schedule next season.
Anyhow, this one was a new adaptation of "Ben and the Magic Paintbrush" By Bash Doran, a lovely, magical realism sort of piece, that was given to the resident magic expert, Stefan Novinski, to direct.
I have known and worked with him on quite a few shows, and am shattered to learn that he is going away to Dallas to teach. He is the actor-whisperer. I have never seen him angry, or frustrated, and he always gets what he wants. He makes you feel as if you are the cleverest most interesting actor out there and he does it without giving in an ounce of his authority. I keep thinking he should actually be going to teach psychology, not acting. I know his moving doesn't mean anything. He will continue to direct here in LA and around the country, but I want all of his new students to understand that the acting community of LA sends him off reluctantly and with the hope that they appreciate as students what we professionals have been adoring about him for years.
Plus it's thanks to him, and casting director Joanne DeNaut that I met my beloved T and I will be forever grateful that they found me funny enough to play with.