Sunday, October 7, 2018

Kevin O'Brien's "An Actor Bows" proves a good read

I just finished Kevin O'Brien's book An Actor Bows. I've seen him perform a number of times at Chesterton conferences - including this September portraying St. Francis - and a few times on television, and bought a copy of the book just last week.

A quick read - my recent insomnia helped!

I enjoyed it.

His journey from atheism to Catholicism, his struggles to survive as a working actor, his writing of play after play were fascinating. He was honest about himself.

My only quibble was with some of the things he revealed about his wife's struggles She was aware he was writing about them and he gave her a chance to respond, which she did, but I would not have done it.

That aside, it was well worth reading.

The play writing part interested me as that is what I like to do, too. I've written and directed a few plays for school, and my middle-schoolers are currently rehearsing one of my plays (Stone Soup). And I might be adapting Everyman for the spring high school play.

As for the acting part, while I like to act, there is no way I could make a living at it the way he has. I can act, though I suspect not as well as he does, but the idea of constantly doing interactive mystery theater and traveling all the time would be well out of my comfort zone. Writing and being behind the scenes directing are what I like.

As long as I'm at my current school I'll be able to continue to write and direct. Once I retire, it might be more difficult. Maybe if I get involved with community theater I'll be able to do that. Once I do retire I plan to get more involved with that - I already have some connections.

I still would like to do some Christian theater the way that O'Brien does. I'm interested in some of the "older" saints whom I could write plays about and perform. The real St. Nicholas? St. Jerome? A hermit? Hmm.

Much to think about.

Pax et bonum

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