Thespians, Billy Crystal, and a Gravedigger

Can you make an actor out if a guy who flubbed his one line in a college production of the Bard’s, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and who was far more interested in the sweaty but sparkling young dancer in that play who came off stage to rest near me waiting for her next cue to return to the footlights, bearing the “Scent of a Woman,” as in the Al Pacino movie of the same name? I got my offstage line right, breathing heavily and murmuring indistinctly, “Oh God!” Not likely, and not ever. The guys  at my fraternity nailed it when they induced  the itinerant caricaturist who came around every year or so to picture me on a stage littered with garbage as I held poor Yorick’s skull aloft. Billy Crystal got it right when he played the gravedigger in a movie adaptation of Hamlet. Hey, I knew Billy Crystal, and you’re no Billiy Crystal! So in this session theater loving Jordan abandons searching for my thespian credentials, asking whether I regret not becoming an actor. Indeed not, I answer, because I love to talk, and had plenty of chances to “act” as a lawyer, lately as a Zoom and in person speaker, and now as a podcaster. In this podcast I tell of my respect for the ancient art of acting in whatever way one might use what might be described as a God given talent for projecting ideas and personalities to lend a better understanding of life experiences on the stage, or in achieving one’s goals in any other field of endeavor. An attorney is called upon in court to be unafraid to put the best face he can on his client’s case, whether by an over the top dramatic performance or an understated but persuasive argument quietly but convincingly expressed to the judge and/or jury. Of course one must walk a fine line not to harm the client’s case by going beyond the pale of truth, or by allowing too extravagant expression blunt that truth. In this podcast you’ll hear me talk of the last criminal defense in my career when I defended a family man like you and me who struck down and seriously injured a bicyclist, then fled the scene until the police caught up with him twenty miles away.A tough case to plead for no imprisonment, especially opposed by a  DA who wanted no plea bargain but wanted to incarcerate the defendant in State Prison for over ten years. This took acting, albeit not on stage. Actors let it fly. So do I lawyers. Listen here and you’ll find out the result. Who knew when we started this session that Jordan would turn it towards the serious art of acting. My head was spinning with ideas on that subject when we left off. I hope we return to it! Hasn’t acting on or off the stage been used for thousands of years for both good and evil?

People, always people!