The dear and talented Elaine Stritch passed away last week. Imagine my surprise when I logged onto my blog after 10 months to find this post I had been working on. I usually have 4 to 5 posts in my drafts folder but this time it was only this one. A bare draft of only a title and two clips of this legendary performer.
This feels like a sign. I have been thinking for months of reuniting with my blog to share with (all three of) you some of the people, places and things that have been making their way into my mind and soul, changing how I think and how I want to live. From the very beginning Elaine Stritch was one of those things.
This puts a smile on my face. It feels like things might be aligning. Perhaps my intuition isn’t that bad. Perhaps I should listen to it more often instead ignoring it over the drone of everyone else’s thoughts on Twitter and Instagram (I am too in love with it).
I think this post about Ms. Stritch will be the first of a series of posts. A series of people who have made a deep impact on my thoughts, my heart and my actions. Even if I’ve never met them, even if you think it’s silly, I’ll tell you about them. I’ll own it, and I will celebrate everything they offer me. I truly feel you never know what can happen if you just put it out there into the universe. I think Elaine would approve :)
Ever since I was a little girl I have loved the company of adults. I just knew I could learn so much more from them than the kids my own age. Now, of course, I LOVE kids and I observe them observing the world and it’s the most fascinating thing.
As a child I also loved actors. I loved the idea of acting, the lifestyle, the drama, and the ideas. I loved watching actors being interviewed. They spoke of feelings, ideas, and opinions way more than anyone in my own life. I don’t mean interviews on Entertainment Tonight, but real interviews about their history and their craft. Today, someone like Amanda De Cadenet does incredible interviews with some of the most fascinating women in the industry. I lived for that kind of conversation.
Elaine Stritch is one of those actors that I always found fascinating. First of all, she was everything I was not and I loved it. I will never be the big personality she was, but I can aspire to have her courage and her confidence. I will never be as free as she was on stage, but it’s definitely something to aspire to! Mostly, I loved watching her perform. I never felt she was acting, she was always being. Perhaps ‘being’ a bit bigger than ‘normal’, but still so truthful and genuine. There was always a mystery to her, and a sadness, and as a young person I was drawn to it. I was drawn to her ability to feel so deeply and be able to share it with us.
Obviously, being the Sondheim fanatic that I am, my favorite Stritch performances are when she is interpreting his work. These two numbers, from her ‘Elaine Stritch: At Liberty’ concert, are perhaps my favorite. I could watch them for hours, and I have!
Most recently, her documentary ‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me’, moved me deeply. It’s a masterclass on life, and love song to the theatre. Well, a love song through the Stritch filter.
Elaine, you will be missed. I can’t imagine how much more you could have taught us, but I’m so grateful to have been a student at all.