Monday, June 13, 2011
Mark Rylance, Louis Jenkins and the Tony Awards
Mark Rylance is a genius. He was artistic director at the Globe for 10 years, and last night won his second Tony award for his performance in Jerusalem. I think you only get to being as good as he is by being obsessive and a little bit crazy. He is one of the most widely read people I know about, and can talk very intelligently on almost any subject. This is what I'm gathering from the bios and interviews I've been reading through.
Because I think they're awesome, here is Mark's acceptance speech for Boeing-Boeing, back in 2008, and the poem he read in his acceptance speech last night. Both are by mid-western American poet Louis Jenkins. The poem he recites in the video is called "Back Country."
WALKING THROUGH A WALL
Unlike flying or astral projection, walking through walls is a totally earth-related craft, but a lot more interesting than pot making or driftwood lamps. I got started at a picnic up in Bowstring in the northern part of the state. A fellow walked through a brick wall right there in the park. I said, "Say, I want to try that." Stone walls are best, then brick and wood. Wooden walls with fiberglass insulation and steel doors aren't so good. They won't hurt you. If your wall walking is done properly, both you and the wall are left intact. It is just that they aren't pleasant somehow. The worst things are wire fences, maybe it's the molecular structure of the alloy or just the amount of give in a fence, I don't know, but I've torn my jacket and lost my hat in a lot of fences. The best approach to a wall is, first, two hands placed flat against the surface; it's a matter of concentration and just the right pressure. You will feel the dry, cool inner wall with your fingers, then there is a moment of total darkness before you step through on the other side.
Awesome, right? Have any of you ever tried prose poetry like this? I took a class my last semester that involved a lot of mix genre stuff, such as prose poetry, and other stuff like flash-non-fiction and other crazy stuff. I appreciate Mark Rylance for introducing me to Louis Jenkins, and providing such a good example of literary crazy awesome. Read and study a TON TON TON and a TON more, and its ok to be crazy. When you read that much and are that dedicated to your craft, I don't know if its possible to NOT be crazy in some way. Maybe eccentric is a better word. And look what the possible results are: a nice shiny trophy and people thinking you're awesome.
I love the excitement and motivation I get from introductions to awesome people like my new buddies Mark and Louis. I want to learn more about writing plays. Now...what poem would I recite in my acceptance speech...?