Don gave me a book of Steve Martin’s plays for Christmas. On the plane to Vegas today (later) I read Picasso at The Lapin Agile. I saw the play in New York and I read it before and I truly love this play. It is funny and smart and sometimes I don’t understand what they are talking about and it doesn’t matter. It makes you want to do something good, something important. The play is about one night in 1904 when Picasso, Einstein, and a Visitor (Elvis), meet at the bar Lapin Agile in Paris. Three great minds of the Twentieth Century who changed art, music, and our understanding of the universe.
Picasso: My name is Picasso. Are you an artist?
Visitor: I had my moment.
Picasso: What kind of moment.
Visitor: I had my moment of …. perfection.
Picasso: I know the feeling. I just had it over there.
Visitor: It’s a good feeling.
Picasso: Yes, it is.
Visitor: I think not many people have it.
Picasso: No, no they don’t.
After reading this I put the book down in my lap, closed my eyes and thought about my one moment. An instant that was well….. perfect. I was playing Louise Bigelow in Carousel. For my non theater friends Louise is mainly a dancing role and the first time we see Louise is in the Ballet. I entered the stage in the dark and the lights came up. I raised my arms above my head in complete silence. The conductor was to take his cue to start the orchestra when I lowered my arms and began to dance. Our eyes were locked. My arms were raised and his arms were raised, then in perfect synchronicity we lowered our arms, me beginning the dance, him beginning the music that carried me away. It was a brief moment, a breath, inhale arms up, exhale arms down, but I knew I had just experienced something rare and elusive. It was as if time had stopped and I entered a different reality that was huge and expansive and beyond my comprehension. Where everything begins. Where anything is possible.
I was nineteen.
I am positive we did other performances , but I don’t remember any of them and it didn’t happen again. I have performed in hundreds of shows since then and never once experienced such bliss. That is o.k. I was smart enough not to chase it. I knew I was lucky enough to have that feeling of perfection even once in a lifetime and it was enough.
I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t even know if I was any great artist as a dancer. My moment of perfection will not hang on someones wall or come through your IPod and break your heart. My moment is just mine. It lives inside of me and I cherish it. I can recall the moment with perfect clarity anytime and I will never take for granted that for one short instant I danced with God.
You are beautiful – it made me cry (surprise?). I am so happy you had that moment and I am so proud of you to articulate it and share it. I love you tons!
Peggy Hickey shared your blog with me. Is this the Carousel we did together? Long time no see. — Dennis Castellano
Yes, Roger was my Carnival Boy. My least favorite moment was when I had to leap sideways to laying across his shoulders. He is tall. I am short. Scard me everytime, but I knew he would never drop me. It's nic eto hear from you.
It makes me happy when I check your blog and you have posted a new one. Keep them coming. How blessed you are to have had that one perfect moment, and even better you remember it. Thanks for sharing it. Love to all of you.
What an eloquent and powerful moment (described with such clarity) that obviously carved your heart and life's path with a wisdom few would value let alone treasure as you have. You were and are truly blessed, as are we to get a peek into that beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing. Leslie Harvath