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Back in 2018-19 (pre-pandemic, thank God)I had an absolutely illuminating 7 months in New York City. I discovered the difference, or is it the distinction? between love and nostalgia. I have enormous sentiment for New York, I came of age there, lived most of my life there. But I cannot love it anymore, because it is far too arduous for me now. I'm not as young as I used to be. Alert the media! And all the people and things I was going to see and do in my leisure time completely escaped me. I had all to do preparing for and executing my job teaching and directing, and commuting back and forth from Inwood to the East Side. I didn't even see my favorite nephew, Matt, and his beautiful family in New Jersey! That's how overwhelmed I was. I missed being a tourist. Nola and I will return in that capacity for sure before too long. That is pure fun!
But mission accomplished. I confirmed that I know what I am doing as a teacher and director. I am in command of my craft. And it's valuable. It clarifies text, and empowers actors and designers. I can happily give it away, no holds barred. So I return to writing my acting textbook with confidence. At the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Head of Acting, Janis Powell, insisted that I teach the Meisner Technique the way her mentor, the late Bill Esper, taught it. But in doing so, I found that the sequence that I arrived at in response to the late Dean Freedman's needs at the North Carolina School of the Arts, revealed a much more efficient way to success for my students than the one Esper and Meisner himself used. The exercises become much more transferrable to the challenges of contemporary plays and screenplays. while still working handily on classic, verse and realistic plays ....
Now I'm completing a textbook entitled Joy of Acting that provides very accessible recipes for all the challenges an actor may encounter. It should be out by next late Spring. I'll keep you posted.