Saturday, September 4, 2010


When I was a student at The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute I had a horrible acting teacher who screamed at me because I had never lost anyone I loved. It seemed unacceptable to him that at 20 I had never experienced death.

Wouldn't he be pleased now?

I just found out that a good friend of mine has died unexpectedly. I am not even sure if I believe it yet. I called his number but he does not answer. And I feel stupid for not picking up the phone before this to say hello, sing a song or laugh about something only we would think was THAT funny.

I want to write more about James but feel exhausted. Better to drift off into slumber where this isn't true.


Joy Keaton said...

I know... I spent a good portion of the morning trying to find a photo I know I have of James & I at one of your Halloween parties. He was Chita. I had no luck finding it but I know it's here. I'm so glad we got to talk this morning. Remember that bellowing laugh at Teahouse of the August Moon? How we KNEW it could be nobody but James, and of course, it was. I'm feeling the big sad.

Barbara said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's especially sad when someone so young is taken from us with no proper goodbyes.

Betsy said...

I'm so very sorry, Gary! Write more when you feel like it...James would have loved it and it will do you good, too. :)

Lorenzo said...

Ah, that slumber does bring a reprieve from mourning, very real but brief. Sorry to hear of your loss. Wishing you strength and serenity from here in Spain.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Sorry about the loss. What an out of it teacher expecting that you would have experienced loss by age 20. I had the bad luck of having done so a few times by that age, but it's not something I cherish.

Lee Strasberg? Another quality you share with Marilyn.

Gary said...

Joy there were so many times he made me laugh and Teahouse was certainly one of them. I just imagined him sitting in the theater hearing us speak Japanese then having to ad lib in Japanese as well! How could he not laugh? I am feeling a bit sad too but those happy memories are healing some of the hurt.

Thank you Barbara. He was only 47 and there was nothing going on with his health that would indicate this was going to happen. At the moment there is no closure but I am hoping for a little of that at the wake/funeral on Thursday.

Betsy, I think you are right. He would LOVE all the attention. He was quite the character. Thank you for your condolences.

Lorenzo - Sleep is my go to method of coping. It is nice to know someone in Spain is wishing me well. I appreciate it.

Gregg - Thanks. I think that teacher was a miserable, angry, frustrated, hateful individual who heaped so much abuse on his young students probably because we were full of the possibility he lacked. Sorry that you had dealt with death at a young age. You would have been a star in his class though.

lettuce said...

what a shock. so sorry for your loss Gary

Gary said...

Thanks Letty. I find it amazing how quickly something can go from unbelievable to acceptance. It has been quite the week.

Steve Reed said...

Gary -- so sorry! And even sorrier for not reading this sooner! :(

WAT said...

That acting coach is a dumbass! Or maybe HE'S dead by now. LOL!

Sorry to read about your bud James.

Heartbreak sucks don't it?


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