I'm a theatre person. Bit by the bug when I was 16, I have been involved in every aspect of the theatre, from technical and directing to writing and acting. The smell and the feel of an empty performance space fill me with joy. If you have a stage and unwisely leave it untended, you may end up seeing me on it. I'm a ham. It's why I woke up this morning excited for my chance to meet LB Adams.
LB is also a theatre person, using her love and skill in the art to help teach soft skills. She is energetic, friendly and welcoming, a part of my tribe. LB tells me the story of her start in drama, as a member of the school chorus who encountered and incredibly embarrassing and traumatizing moment, then deciding she would become an actress, someone who could do it all and never deal with that trauma, but could triumph over it. We both laugh and reminisce over how all creatives seem to come from some trauma, as though the problems of the outside world taught us to create out inner worlds as a safe haven. It's not that we are crazy. It's that the most creative and imaginative people tend to be covered in the deepest scars.
We talked a lot about the power of connectedness, something you get a great feel for on a stage. If you've never been on one, take a moment and imagine something You are there, on a stage, in costume performing your favorite piece. You know your lines, you have your direction down and you are in that moment, under the lights, the focal point of attention for a few hundred people. You fellow performers are on stage with you, performing their parts as well. Now pause that image. Take a moment to look at the audience in you vision and realize that they are watching every gesture you make. Every word and every movement of your body impacts them, creates a wave of emotion. It is the same with your fellow performers. They are doing their work, making their art, based off of you and your actions. Everyone is connected and, when it works right, it is one of the most powerful things you can witness.
Everyday you are connected to people all around you. People who are impacted by your words, your motions, by the slightest glance you make. We are all connected. The only difference between you and the performer in your vision is a stage and a script. It's a powerful thing to think about. LB is amazingly passionate about the power of connectedness.
One of the top rated questions among thespians is simple. What was your favorite role? You often expect to hear about a Shakespearean lead, the love interest in a musical, or even some outlandish comic relief. Those stories can be good, but LB has given me the best answer to this question I've ever heard. She was "Nurse" in Equus. As she notes to me, remember it is not "The Nurse," just "Nurse." During this role, LB had only a few lines, so developing character was an exercise for an actress involving patience and imagination. She spent a lot of time thinking about it, deciding who this character was, how the were related to others, how they were connected. During a performance, she made a gesture, just a subtle physical movement and heard the audience react to their own anticipation. This is connection. It's also great acting, what we all aspire to. It was the first time she had felt that.
We trade stories about shows and projects. We talk about horror movies, about how that genre is like a high wire without a net, so amazing to watch when incredible, but how it can go so wrong so fast. I observe that fear is best when it is fear of the unknown. I am a huge Wes Craven fan, LB loves Stephen King. We talk about actors we love, and how Denzel Washington in literally anything will get both of us to take a look. Read the phone book, make a PSA, make an action film, the right actor can get us to give a look at anything. It is a great way to spend some time. I have missed these talks when they were an everyday occurrence in my life.
It's nice to have these moments.
I want to have more of these moments, and I am sure I will. Chatting with LB has a special nostalgia, a wonder, that I have been missing a lot lately. We have a common background, a shared language and set of customs. It is a foundation for relationships, as it is for most of us, and I can't wait to build upon it. To chat about new movies and old roles, to speak our shared language while sharing our own stories.
Favorite Dinosaur: Dogosaurus Rex (a Lab)
Why: Because it is adorable. (I need to look this one up.)