Friday, January 4, 2013


If you asked someone to describe her performance, the word, 'dexterity' would hover on the edges. Few would actually say it--some genuinely lacked the vocabulary, others felt it an odd word to use in reference to a voice. Her body did move, but slowly, languidly; she was dexterous, but her movements were not, particularly.

Her voice was another matter entirely. She was a scalpel in a room of kitchen knives, a rabbit among wolves and foxes--"Don't throw me into that briar patch!" Not always winning, not always the best, not always the one who was right for the job, but always, always quick and keen and rapid. When she sang, it sounded like a pure sine wave, clear as a bell. When she spoke, there were echoes of that, in how easily her words sliced through others, spreading silence and thought where there had been sound and fury. Or the other way around, when she so wished.

And it all made sense. Sometimes these stories stretched belief, the playwrights had an idea that wouldn't translate properly onto the stage, with no actor to play it properly. "Which always feels like a person from a few thousand years ago being gifted with divine skill for piano playing to me," she would say off-handedly, when someone brought up the subject.

Unless it was a compliment to her, specifically. Then she would smile and laugh and bow, knowing that she couldn't seem too proud or she'd hurt her reputation.

Offstage, she played the innocent, the giggly young girl who had no idea she was so charming, so wonderful, so splendid, whose hair fell perfectly all on its own, whom one would envy and perhaps hate if she were not so nice.

Onstage, she was herself.

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