Why sandwiched between my last post and the one still in my head? Robert Redford, in his early years enjoyed performing in live theatre. Barefoot in the Park had opened in October, 1963; he was playing the character, Paul Bratter when Kennedy was assassinated. The theatre went dark the next day but the following day he was reluctant to perform; "how can we perform" at a time such as this? Live Theatre created a two-way experience and he knew instinctively following the death of Kennedy that they HAD to perform. He could feel a difference in that first and subsequent performances. "The tone of the laughter" had changed. It had become louder, harsher, a bit more violent. It was as though "an innocence had forever been lost". A nation had changed. The laughter had changed. He had changed.
Leonard Maltin, film critic and author did a superb job interviewing Redford who normally stays out of the spotlight for accolades of his work. Redford, age 78 is nominated this year for his work in "All is Lost" and his other movies, "The Candidate", "The Sting", "The Way We Were", "The Great Gatsby", "All the President's Men", "The Natural", "Out of Africa", "Indecent Proposal" sit alongside a long list of movie greats. His only "Oscar" was for his directorial debut, "Ordinary People" released in 1980.
Although shy, Redford is a story teller and I appreciated the freedom in which he spoke. Always giving credit to friends and colleagues he made along the way, the love of his work, his curiosity in the human spirit and humility were the tunes that played the loudest last night. In an industry that craves the attention of others, Redford's humility was refreshing and endearing.
This website is not about movies in the sense of being a movie review but one that discovers depth and character in people. Redford's humble beginnings in Southern California clearly had an impact on him. The subtle context of racial and economic inequality in the neighborhood he grew up in, his passion and desire to be an artist at an early age, the journey of walking through open doors of opportunity through stage, television and movies were all layers to his story. The political climate in which he lived like the assassination of President Kennedy had an impact on him. With each of these events, his curiosity grew. The people and experiences along his road shaped the stories he told.
I have a wooden sign in my house that reads, "home is where your story begins". I love the idea behind this quote. It's meaning conjures a sense of motion and in part, a sense of choice. Your story is interesting because no two stories are a like. People, events and experiences continue to sketch and color your story which ultimately shape those around you. Will you take the time to tell yours?
This website is about discovering the timbre or the sound of one person compared to that of another without a sound being sung. It is about faith. It is about choice. It is about a story. It is about connection.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than
he ought think but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has
assigned. Romans 12:3
My faith has continued to be a path of discovery and curiosity. At one time, I believed it was enough to be a good person with a positive moral compass. As I have grown closer to the heartbeat of Jesus, however, I continue to discover something greater. Each of us are connected through our stories. We need to do less talking and convincing of our own opinions and more listening to the hearts of people. It is their life experiences, the people and events that have shaped them into the people they have become where the thread of communication begins. It is one tiny and very delicate thread that begins to connect us. That tiny, transparent thread gently reaches someone else, which ever so slightly weaves into the next thread until after minutes, days, hours and years connects to others. Too many times, that first little thread is broken but sometimes, those threads are allowed to stay and if we stand back discover the magnificent wonder of a web.
Robert Redford was in another movie, "Charlotte's Web". His voice was that of the horse who see's Charlotte and faints. Although Redford was quick to acknowledge all of his acting experiences as positive, he had the least to say about this as he preferred the experience of acting with other people. This provides the perfect ending to this post. It is both ironic and magical at the same time. The story of Charlotte's Web is about a spider web. It is about Charlotte's individual and continual work at building a web. The pig, Wilbur, stands back and admires the work of his friend, Charlotte. He ponders and agonizes over the meaning of his own life in comparison to hers. Each step in his journey is one of curiosity. What he hasn't realized is the subtlety of the web that had been building in his own life. In the final chapter, Charlotte finally has the word that captures her friend Wilbur, it is "humble". “Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.” ― E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
We were not intended to be the solo voice in a performance but an interactive stage where each actor brings to the screen his/her interpretation of the story. The tone of the laughter may change but it is what connects us to the web; that web is life.
A person who searches for depth and beauty in the simple things.