He was a great, generous, full- of- life man. I knew him when he was the U.S. Ambassador to France and I was living there and then, later, during some of the Special Olympic Games that his wife, Eunice organized. What a family! Right? I am sad at this loss. Although he was ill with Alzheimer’s for quite some time but one is never prepared when death comes. I am sad.
I am also tired. Sunday there were the very fun Golden Globes and parties that followed, and yesterday, our day off, I ran lines for 4 hours, did my acupuncture therapy session and such, went out to dinner with friends and then couldn’t go to sleep. As a result, rehearsals today started off rocky. I forgot my lines and was generally out of it.
Still–and interestingly–I learned a lot about better ways to approach certain moments, moments that I was never fully happy with during our New York run. I feel– and Samantha Mathis, who plays my daughter agrees- that our relationship in the play is way stronger. This means that we clash more, which makes the resolution stronger.
All of us in the cast, the understudies and stage managers and, of course, our writer/ director, Moises Kaufman, get along so well. There is lots of laughter during rehearsals. Samantha had everyone over to her house to eat and watch the Golden Globes together. They said it was really fun. All of us agree that Ricky Gervais was waaaay too mean, though.
Today, I remembered a story that Katherine Hepburn told me while we were filming “On Golden Pond”–actually Michael Jackson was with me then and she was mostly telling the story for his benefit. She told of seeing the greatest American stage actor, Laurette Taylor, in “Glass Menagerie.” She said that it was a transcendent performance unlike anything she had ever seen. 15 years or so later, Taylor reprised it. Hepburn was there to see it and she told us, “The magic was gone. The problem was, she’d lost her hunger.” (what an important lesson for young, rising film star Jackson, who had just done “The Wiz”..”don’t lose your hunger, don’t phone it in…ever!”). Well, I am reprising my role in this show and I have to make sure I am still hungry.
And so, to bed, to sleep, perchance to dream…but staying hungry.