That’s the word that’s been on my mind.
This past week our community of theater and film artists lost a great talent and friend, the incomparable and generous Philip Seymour Hoffman. And, with Phil’s passing, I’ve had pause to take a deeper look at the fabric that unites us all.
When word first hit of Phil’s passing, his community of long-time friends from LAByrinth Theater Company (which he was a member) immediately started gathering in a NYC apartment. Every time the doorbell rang, a new person would stumble in with shock and tears. Phil was more than just a headline to many, many, many people. Phil was a leader and a friend to an army of theater and film artists that called him family. Our Phil.
Being in Community is what supports us as we navigate this often challenging journey of being an artist.
We build families with each project that we work on (shows, films, classes, etc). And then we do it again. And again. When we work together so intensely to make art, we become like family. Maybe it’s for a week, maybe it’s for years. Maybe it’s a lifetime.
The process of creating is an entanglement of our souls when doing the kind of work that we do.
The moment that we start to reveal our souls to each other as we rehearse and create, despite not wanting to always be vulnerable, we make strong bonds with each other.
When I work with you, we create a bond. When you work with your scene partner, you create a bond. These are the bonds that make up our Community.
We are greater in numbers. We are greater as a collective, a community fighting for the same dream.
This is not about me. This is not about Phil. This is not about LAByrinth. This is not about you. This is about all of us.
Reach out to another artist and create together.
I look forward to continuing to build community with you and supporting your artistic growth.
And, as always, let’s get into action…
“These are words I live by in every play or film I do.” Ron Cephas Jones, LAByrinth member
Ron was first directed by Phil in “Jesus Hopped the A Train.” This production started in a tiny little theater on West 21st Street. I remember sitting in the aisles in a hot theater just to see the sparks fly onstage. This play is so special to me because it was the first time I started casting for LAByrinth and was welcomed into the family.
Here are some tips that ring in Ron’s ears, in Phil’s own words:
With much love,