Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

08 August 2011

Thanksgiving in August: David

I met David when I was working as the dramaturge for a ridiculous production of John Fletcher's The Woman's Prize in 2008 while I was writing my thesis. David was adorable in the show, but the show was just a mess, and I remember at one point maybe six weeks into rehearsal when I looked at David and another actor and asked them if they had done any work on scansion. They took me into the lobby and we spent time going through the script looking for iambics (Fletcher tends to use eleven-syllable and twelve-syllable lines instead of Shakespeare's standard ten). I remember that David had been a little scared of me before then, but I think that was a turning point in our relationship... when he realized I wasn't scary and I realized he was a different type of student.

David produced the Midsummer I directed in '08 and also played Puck. We spent lots of time together for this show; Puck is a near-impossible part and I don't think either of us realized that before we started. And it isn't as though David wasn't doing well in the part, but he is a perfectionist and wanted the work to make way more sense than it was ever going to make. We were both frustrated with Mr. Shakespeare but, tellingly, never became frustrated with one another.

David and I thought of doing Crave together, as well, and organized everything so that it would happen. We were scared we wouldn't get the rights, and he and I were both scared we wouldn't be able to handle doing the show, and then we all got really excited for the show. David and I figured out how to talk to one another during this time in a way that actors and directors sometimes get, where the director doesn't have to finish his own sentence because the actor knows precisely what he means. Those are the best, and David and I have that way of working together. As an actor, David is filled with a furious power, an extraordinary empathy, and an unpredictability that make him fascinating to watch, and he was superb in Crave.

That summer we also took a roadtrip to Endstation Theatre in Virginia (one of four I have taken) and David was basically the in-car entertainment. At one point Catie had to pull the car over because we were laughing so hard it was dangerous for us to keep driving. He invented this character named November (pronounced New-vember) who he played on and off for about seven hours. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life.

In his senior year at FSU, David was in MFA director Joel Waage's thesis production of Waiting for Godot, and both he and the show itself were totally brilliant. It was an incredibly moving show and I was so proud of him. Also at this time, he and my roommate Mark began seeing one another and falling in love, and so I got to see David even more because he was always over at the house. He would listen to me talk about queer theory all the time, asking me for reading lists and interrogating my theories about things.

I was close with his whole graduating class that year, but David and I were the closest. He is one of the kindest, most loving, most intelligent people I've ever come across and he never fails to text me at least once a week to let me know he's thinking of me or proud of me or misses me and loves me. It is such a joy to have this man in my life and I am very, very grateful for him.