05 August 2008

And the Award Goes To... (1)


Recently, I was honored to receive the coveted "Brilliante" 'blogger award from Friend Patrick. This is an award that functions rather like a chain letter or, perhaps I should say, it's rather an ever-expanding, world-wide web of love and appreciation. I was honored more by Patrick's comments about the Aviary than by the award itself, I must admit. It may be my recent grapples with a theatrical competition, or my reading about the founding of American business practices within the first three decades of the 20th century, or it may simply be my elementary-school self rearing his pudgy head, but I'm a bit turned off by the appearance of competition of late. (Not just the practice, but the appearance, mind. I hereby willfully acknowledge that such is silliness. Nevertheless.) So I wanted to move this honor of Patrick's forward, but eschew the conventions of the award itself. Plus, I kind of wanted it all to relate to this here 'blog's mission statement. So instead of listing here my choice of seven honorees, I'm going to do a few entries, now and then, in honor of fellow 'bloggers within my circle who help me with my struggle to live fully, freely and honestly. This being the first.

It's only proper to begin with Friend Patrick. His was one of the first 'blogs that I added to my little sidebar of links, and he's done a lot with Loose Ends. It's probably the strongest of his web presences in terms of representing him, as I'm not aware of any website he has set up. If you poke around a little, you may find his Friendster:) page, and various mentions of him as an actor or director in various biographies and reviews. You could be inclined to mistakenly take him for the un-photographed "Patrick Lacey" who appeared in Babe, but you'd be wrong. I think. At least, I hope Patrick would have told me already if he (in particular) appeared in a movie with talking animals.

I met Patrick doing one of my first New York City shows--Significant Circus--that self-same show that introduced me to the colorful world of circus-theatre. He was playing a dog. Brilliantly, I might add. Some time later, certain of the creative relationships formed during that show maintained, and he, Kate Magram, Melissa Riker and I formed our informal creative-artist support group, The Exploding Yurts. We would meet with semi-regularity, and mainly discuss whatever self-initiated projects we were working on or toward. We were mixed disciplines, and Patrick and I were the actors of the group, so there was an immediate affinity there. Patrick also creates beautiful masks, so I consider him to be a talented visual artist as well. I'm not sure what came first with Patrick, that feeling of comradeship or the feeling of loving friendship, but we gots both now, and that's the way I likes it. You know how you never have friends quite like you did when you were young? Well, I think the same can be said of the first real friends you make upon moving to a new place. Patrick is one of those.

So I'm a little biased. I admit it. And you are free to judge for yourself how brilliant Patrick is; after all, you can read all about his mental processes at Loose Ends. You can decide if I'm off my nut when I say he's one of the most sensitive and daring actors I've had the pleasure of working with, who uses his body in such imaginatively expressive ways that I'm often stunned. You just go ahead and tell me if I'm off when I say of Patrick that he commits more concentration and thought to all his work--acting, writing and other craft--than anyone else I know. And hey: If you think his 'blog doesn't evidence a passionately intelligent mind, one that takes nothing for granted, as well as a beautiful spirit, one that reaches always for truth and beauty, you go ahead and comment to that effect. Plus he's viciously funny. Or so I think. You're welcome to disagree.

You'd just be wrong. No crime in that.

But to bring things back around to self-aggrandizement for just a moment: I've learned a lot from Patrick. Our differences and similarities are very well-matched, if you ask me, and I regret not having made more opportunities to date to work with him as an actor. We've only done so twice, in fact. In the aforementioned show, and a one-act play in mask: Icarus. Icarus was itself a learning experience for me that could probably take up a whole entry, but one of the plain ol' techniques I learned from Patrick in that process was how to rev up an internal engine of sorts of performance energy, so there was a lot of drive there, but allow it to translate into simple, specific, one-at-time movements, so elemental to gestural work. There are myriad little technical things like that I've picked up from Mr. Lacey. Most significant to me, though, have been our shared moments of empathy and discussions about life as an artist. Not specifically as actors, mind you, but as artists. Patrick has an abiding and unashamed affection for the notion of our work being artful, and that as much as anything else has fueled me through some very tough times indeed. We both acknowledge all the difficulties of being an actor, living in New York, being young, growing older, trying to love more and hate less, etc., etc. And what we come up with is that someday, yes, we will have it all. And in the meantime, despite all its worries and tribulations (or perhaps [for me, at least] because of them) the struggle can be pretty great, too.

Now, Loose Ends is great for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it isn't the first thing you'll notice upon visiting, but Patrick is tied into an incredible network of 'bloggers. He gets anywhere from ten to 30 comments per entry, from folks of a similar mindset philosophically. Whereas Odin's Aviary tries and tries to stay within the borders of a kind of set of rules, Loose Ends weaves its way through every aspect of Patrick's life, rather like the trequetra that holds so much meaning for him. It's style is personable, and you never can be absolutely sure what you'll get. One day it will be a dialogue, the next a theory paper, the next a nature observation. The commonality is Patrick and all that goes with his personality, which is a lot. With other people, this kind of online journal might quickly be mired in ridiculous self-interest and immolating detail or preachy self-importance, but owing to Patricks's personal insight and outward-reaching philosophy you get quite a different experience. Identification and, occasionally, a much-needed pause to consider life outside of the rush of it all.

And so, this award goes to Patrick Lacey.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

Dearest Jeff! I love this love post to Patrick :-)
I hope he has gotten to read it and feels the huge hug that all of your warm words create!
xo

Jeff Wills said...

You're next, Riker.

Because: Riker?! I...!