Mudcat Café message #1261408 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #36225   Message #1261408
Posted By: Jeanie
01-Sep-04 - 04:54 AM
Thread Name: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
This is a great thread. Writing to people from years past to say thank-you was something I had occasionally thought of doing, but had never actually taken the plunge. It takes a certain amount of courage, maybe, but it is a wonderful thing to do, both for the recipient and the writer. I was finally kicked into doing it after a 'self development' course a few years ago, where we took time thinking about and listing all the people who had had a positive influence on us.

I got back in touch with my acting teacher, Don Fellows. Like all the best teachers, he taught so much more than his allotted subject, he taught about life and the living of it. He loved all of us, warts and all, and we loved him. He was a real stickler for time-keeping and for accuracy. We had him for "scene study" classes: anyone who even slightly hesitated on their lines had to sit back down and not do their scene again til next week, when they knew it inside out. One of his favourite sayings was that when acting, everything needs to be done "moment by moment by moment", so that it becomes real, as in real life. This taught me more than I can say about how to approach life, how really *living* your life can only be done one moment at a time. Otherwise, you can spend your life merely performing it from the outside, like a bad actor.

Even if you didn't know the name of this lovely man, you will have heard him and seen him in countless films and TV series, playing every rank imaginable in the US forces (he's even doing it on BBC TV tonight, in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'). The stories this man can tell ! He was one of the sailors on the first night of 'South Pacific' on Broadway - in other words, this man goes back a long, long way. I think he will be 82 this year, and still working !

I wrote to him to thank him, tell him news and so on and had a lovely reply back. That was three years ago. This thread popping up has reminded me to write to him again. So - thank you for reviving it.

As for thanking people from the past face-to-face, I had the lovely opportunity a while ago, out of the blue, to thank my German teacher, Mrs. Craig, last seen in 1966. We only had her for a year before she left, but she had such a fun style of teaching that stood out streets ahead of all the rest of the teaching I had at school, before or since. I used to think "If ever I'm a teacher, I'll do it like Mrs. Craig", and it was so lovely to be able to thank her after all those years.

Thanks for this thread. It's got me looking forward even more to the start of term and the drama classes I teach.

Cheers !
- jeanie