What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Lurching Line November 2, 2015

I had a wonderful director and mentor years ago. He was a loving and kind man with some of the most wonderful stories.

My personal favorite was about his time with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He did all of his training there, and obviously the program helped him to become extraordinarily successful. After a while, RSC gave him a chance to have a line in a show. I can’t remember which show it was, but he played a guard and had one line. Just one. The rest of the time he was on stage he just had to stand there looking severe and intimidating.

He went into his first rehearsal as a real performer with the company, and he was determined to prove himself. He was going to be the best guard the RSC had ever had! They got to his line, he opened his mouth to speak, and projectile vomited all over the stage.

He had made himself so nervous he had gotten ill.

His role was taken away, and it was years before they finally let him speak on stage again.

But he always told the story to us laughing the whole time. Because if he could make it from one line making him puke to a star, what could the rest of us manage?


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