Friday, June 28, 2013

20th Anniversary Memories - Eddie Goes to Poetry City

An additional memory. Jenny Mercein was in a number of UTC61 shows in the late 1990's... Here are her memories of the first, Eddie Goes to Poetry City. George McGrath, pictured left, a veteran of many UTC61 productions, recently passed away.
George McGrath and Stephen Waldrup in Eddie Goes to Poetry City
There's a Picasso quote that goes something along the lines of, "I spent my childhood trying to paint like an adult and my adulthood trying to paint like a child." Or something like that... In any case, when I think back to doing Eddie Goes to Poetry City with Edward Einhorn and UTC61, that quote comes to mind. Oh my goodness, we were so young and SO FEARLESS! I had worked with Edward on one small ten minute play when he asked me to do this Richard Foreman play at NADA. I studied Foreman in one of my theater studies classes in college, so I jumped at the chance.When I learned of his concept that I would play both Marie and Estelle, I didn't bat an eye. Sure, I would have to get in a fight with myself and slap myself on stage. Sure I'd have to simulate sexual acts in a tiny basement theater with my parents in the audience. Why not!

Julia Martin and Jenny Mercein in another
UTC61 production, Sweeney Agonistes
Edward (and Ian Hill and so many other of those wonderful collaborators from the early days on the Lower East Side back when Ludlow Street and the surrounding areas were filled with theaters and not fancy restaurants) asked me to do all sorts of crazy things and I just did it. We all did. Maybe we were too young and inexperienced to question whether or not we "could" or "should" make such wild choices. We just went for the ride. Edward cast some wonderfully fearless actors, especially the late, great George McGrath, who taught me lessons that continue to resonate today. Now, when I get scared confronting a role, or I find myself in my head judging myself, I try to think back to those days in the (yes, rat-infested) basement at NADA with Edward and the crew and just go for it! Marie and Estelle would expect nothing less.

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