Missing the band today.
From the ages of nine to thirteen I attended an arts school in North York. It was there that I was introduced to the work of Edward Albee. My drama teacher – Mr. Adrian Comeau, if memory serves – split the my class up into pairs and handed us the scenes we'd be studying. We were to present a five minute section of Albee's The American Dream. Even though we were only kids, Albee's words served as a transfusion or sorts. I immediately connected with this bitter satire from the ...1960's. How was that possible?
Around the same time, at a used bookstore in Kingston, ON, I purchased a beautiful early edition hardcover of Tiny Alice. Another satire, this one aimed just as precisely at social status as the previous. Again, something in his words absolutely captivated me and I still wasn't able to fully place my finger on exactly what that was. I just knew I needed more and more and more of it.
When I was 19 my girlfriend and two of her friends asked me if I would consider joining their cast. They were mounting an independent production of one of Albee's plays. They assured me that it would be a severely uphill battle; our audiences would consist of mostly friends and family, and any actual “theatre goer” would likely dismiss us as having youthful grandeur. I didn't give a shit. It was Albee. Enough said. The play was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. I played George. I was the eldest member of the cast.
It was while waltzing with Goliath (a.k.a. the entire fucking play!) that I discovered exactly what Albee possessed that captivated and invigorated me so deeply. It was his gift for writing powerful dialogue. He fleshes out his characters with such depth that even a classrooms of pre-pubescent children are able to give his words their fullest attention.
I have recently embarked on a career as a screenwriter. I get the blissful hell of attempting to catch lightning in a jar; the quest for good dialogue. For this, I couldn't have had a better teacher.
Thank you, Edward.
Sweet dreams, sir.
I had the absolute pleasure of working with Sandi on the set of Cube Zero. She was an outstanding human being and I'll miss her vey much.