And Indrani believes works of art can change individuals
April 24, 2013 7:59 AM   Subscribe

Wallace Shawn reads his monologue The Fever, at The Lannan Foundation, in Two Parts. (Wallace Shawn previously, previouslier.)
posted by Going To Maine (4 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Nice use of the "Inconceivable" tag. Did not know his talents encompassed so many facets of theater.
posted by Jaymzifer at 8:48 AM on April 24, 2013

Yeah - there's a pretty large gap between his character actor work & his career as a playwright / stage actor.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:54 AM on April 24, 2013

To get a deeper understanding of Wallace Shawn--the living, breathing person--watch him in "My Dinner with Andre," especially in the scenes at the beginning and end that are sandwiched around the dinner at the Russian Tea House. It's difficult not to read these as hard biography. He walks through the streets and reviews his life--he led an "aristocratic" life as a child (as the son of William Shawn), attending private schools and being dragged around in limos.

In "My Dinner," all of that is a distant memory. The movie takes place at his nadir (again, assuming the Shawn parts are largely biographical). He's bone poor. He's a struggling playwright trying to pay the rent. His days are sad trips to the post office and stationery store. He takes acting jobs for money and waits endlessly for his agent to call. His girlfriend works as a waitress three nights a week. On and on.

Kudos to Shawn for sticking it out in New York, rather than flying to LA and working as a hack actor or script doctor. He's a playwright who's never given up or sold out.
posted by Gordion Knott at 9:33 AM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

LOVED The Fever. Thank you!
posted by latkes at 10:46 AM on April 24, 2013

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