Sunday, February 22, 2009

Acting from Adversity

Theatre can be many things to many people. Spiritual, emotional, funny, witty, and just a plain adventure when disparate forces collide and produce something we hope is theatre. But another thing theatre can do, as can sports, is to provide inspirational stories as well. Gold medalist Donovan Bailey had one leg shorter than the other yet became the fastest man on earth. I think many people succeed because of adversity, not despite it. My son Justin has dyslexia, and at 22 years old has never read a book. He was misdiagnosed three times by the testing agencies of the Catholic and Public School Boards. They thought he was just slow. That isn't the kid that I know. It took Doctor Don Richardson to diagnose him, and to provide the support that he needed. Through a collusion of events Justin got the lead in Miss Julie. He is on stage practically the whole time, and he worked his butt off to make sense of the words, that would at one moment make sense and then the next, disappear into alphabet soup. I don't think he will fool anybody into thinking he studied at The Stratford Conservatory, but his acting is very real, very convincing, and I am amazed that this kid who basically can't read or write is onstage for 90 minutes spouting Strindberg. I think for many kids, theatre is a way of living great literature from the inside. All it takes, is heart, imagination, hard work and a dream. Anything is possible.

1 comment:

Kelly Hill said...

Justin does a fantastic job with the challenging language and lengthy monoloues. I look forward to seeing him more productions.