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 was introduced to Samuel Beckett through Waiting for Godot. I performed the role of Estragon in 1992, though I’m actually more of a Vladimir, as I am certainly an introspective being. I’ve continued to study the play and find its view of reality depressing and enlightening. I’m also reading some of Beckett’s other works–the quote in the header is from Beckett’s novel The Unnamable. “…I can’t go on, I’ll go on” is a phrase that exemplifies the outlook found in works from this period in Beckett’s life. A similar sentiment is expressed in the opening line of Godot, “Nothing to be done.”

Beckett’s view of life is one with which I identify.  This blog is an attempt to make sense of this life.  This Beckett life.