I was cast in Endgame as Hamm.  Rehearsals have begun.  Things I have learned in these first two rehearsals:

Beckett is very funny.  (I knew that, but I forgot how funny.)

Beckett is depressing.  (And it seems even more depressing because of the contrast with the funny.  And, again, I knew this, but forgot how depressing.)

You can take the actor out of the character, but you can’t take the character out of the actor.  (I love, love, love Beckett.  I think I understand him.  But when I get home from rehearsal and I think I’ve left the depressing thoughts on the stage, I go to sleep and I dream…  When I wake, I’m bitter and depressed.  Hopefully this will be only short term.)

Beckett is a poet.  (The words, the rhythm, the pauses…)

I am not as good of an actor as I would like to be.  (Beckett is a great challenge for any actor.  Of course, we’re only just beginning, and I’m sure I’ll be happier with my performance by opening night, but I don’t know that I will ever feel that I have done justice to the script.)

Beckett is challenging for an audience.  (My students will either be bored out of their minds or be altered irrevocably.)

I love acting.  (But I hate memorizing lines, and these [pause] are [pause] tough.)

I’m very lucky to do what I do and get paid for it.  (And very, very grateful.)


I’ve not read Infinite Jest or any of his works, but I knew who David Foster Wallace was, and I knew I would one day read his work.

From Laura Miller’s review of his collection of stories, Oblivion:

Wallace can still be funny, but his humor has been creeping away from the playful, omnivorous sort on display in his first three books (The Broom of the System, The Girl With the Curious Hair and the reputation-making novel Infinite Jest) and toward a bleaker variety — as if he were making a slow switch in allegiance from Thomas Pynchon to Samuel Beckett.

I’ll be heading to the bookstore later today and using the B&N gift card I got for my birthday to buy Infinite Jest and Oblivion.  I’m currently directing a very depressing play, so I’ll probably wait until after that show has closed to start reading them…

And one can only speculate on what he might have achieved if he had become acquainted with true sexuality at a less advanced age.

I am lost.  Not a word.

–Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies

Must keep going.  Must keep going.  No, I can’t.  I can’t keep going.  Yes, you can.  No, I can’t.  Oh, shutup.  You shutup.  No, you.  No, you.  No, you.  Oh, real mature.  How could you say that?  Oh, what’s the point.  It’s hopeless.

Homer Simpson, The Simpsons Movie