image of me in a Commedia play.
Enter Stage Left
“Love art in yourself, & not yourself
in art.”--Konstantin Stanislavski.
1960--16 years old, sophomore in high school, got my driver’s
license, first car a 1952 Chev business coupe, got laid for the
first time, wanted to turn out for football, play at fullback, but
joined the Stage Crew instead, became a scene painter secondary
to my love of sketching/painting, created a painting of a Mississippi
riverboat on an 80’ X 30’ scrim.
1961--Junior year High school, while wrestling with a friend
back stage over a Yankee screwdriver, hit him in the mouth
& knocked out his front teeth, chained the disliked Shop teach-
er’s new Edsel to a phone pole, then felt guilty when it pulled
the bumper off.
1962--graduated from high school, saw Elvis while
attending the World’s Fair in Seattle where he was
making a movie, made the transition from stage hand
to actor, playing Sitting Bull in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN,
winning the Best Actor of the Year award.
1963--decided against college, went to work
in my father’s machine shop located next to
the Duwamish River, got fired because I refused
to pull out a dead wharf rat that had crawled into
a welder & got fried; can still smell it.
1964--got a scholarship & attended a community college, starring as
Benedict in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, began to get serious about
writing poetry, inspired by English professors.
1965--graduated from Highline College first in my class, having
dreams about achieving success as an actor & writer, transferred
to the U of W, English & Drama major.
1966--Viet Nam War was raging & I got drafted right out
of school, but got a 120 day delay for boot camp because
my mother was dying.
1967--got out of boot camp, designated the
Outstanding Recruit Squad Leader, six months
later reprimanded for my bad attitude; got fired as
Captain’s Driver at NAS Miramar.
1968--discharged from the service,
started back to college as Drama major,
had to help an old girlfriend, impregnated by
old friend while I was away, to find a midnight
abortionist, both illegal & traumatic.
1969--became a college Star in play after play,
1970--auditioned for the U of W’s fledgling BFA Professional Actor’s
Training Program, accepted & began three years of conservatory
training; hell, I was on my way--too bad it didn’t work out.
Sex, drugs, & rock ‘n roll;
the 60’s were all that & more--my baptism of fire.
Posted over on dVerse Poets Pub MTB