Saturday, March 19, 2011

Missed Friday/ A Note For My Brother

Ok I didn't get to post yesterday, but I have an excuse that is totally legit I assure you.

My alarm went off at 4:30 am yesterday morning. Nothing is right about that sentence. Knowing that I would have to greet the day at such a cruel hour of the morning, I tossed and turned all night completely unable to sleep.  I think I logged about forty minutes of sleep before the wretched beeping began. Awesome.

I had an early flight to catch for Louisville, Kentucky. Home sweet home. Sadly I have never been able to sleep on planes so the flight, while smooth, was rather painful.  The rest of the day looked like this: go home and make myself look less tragic, eat brunch with my brothers friend who just arrived from NYC, run an errand, get in a much needed two hour nap, shower to try to look less tragic, eat dinner with the fam at Proof (so so good), grab a cocktail at 732 Social with Neill and his friend, drive home, fall asleep with all of my clothes on. I hate when I do that. But it was necessary. Sadly the blogging didn't happen. Please forgive me.

Now onto other thoughts.

I flew into town with the sole purpose of seeing my brother in a production of All's Well that Ends Well.  His production was worth the price of the plane ticket and then some. Spectacular would be the word I would choose to describe it. Spectacular and hilarious. He was incredible and I was so proud of him.

I have always said that I don't like to "act" onstage. I like to "live" onstage, and that's what I always love to see from other actors. Neill is someone who truly lives onstage. He is the character he is playing from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. It takes an incredible amount of skill to pull it off and he does it oh so beautifully. He is particularly good with Shakespeare and heightened language pieces. It just rolls off his tongue and you actually understand what he is saying. I am not good at Shakespeare. It's taken me a long time to admit that and be ok with it because as a theatre actor you are supposed to love speaking the Bard. But I don't. It's not my thing. What can you do?

As the older sibling it's usually you who sets the footsteps for the younger ones to follow, but in our case I followed in Neill's. He was a performer from day one. He was outgoing, engaging, and fearless. I was more reserved and didn't crave attention. I was athletic, I was academic, being an actor wasn't really on my radar.

I will never forget seeing Neill in his first play, Alice in Wonderland, and he was the most delightful of Cheshire Cats. As it was an after school program-type-deal, everyone's mom had to volunteer for one performance. It just so happened I was not in school on my mom's volunteer day so I went with her and sat backstage. That's the moment when I realized I wanted to be a part of the theatre.

I observed people running around, putting on costumes, fixing their hair, getting into places. I was taken in by the excitement, the energy, but most of all the camaraderie of being a part of a whole. I wouldn't have been able to put it into those words at the time because I was eleven, but I still remember that day, I still remember that feeling.

It's hard to say how things would have panned out had Neill not gravitated towards the stage. Would I ever have thought to follow suit? I guess we will never know, but I do know that I will be forever indebted to Neill for that moment. When I would imagine winning a Tony award I always saw myself saying: "And finally I would like to thank my brother Neill, for inspiring me to be an actor and who continues to inspire me every day."

I may never win a Tony so in the meantime I dedicate this blog post, On March 19th, to my brother Neill. For his inspiration. Now and always.

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