A few weeks ago two of my students, senior Kelsey Burston and junior Jen Shaw, made their way into my office with a purpose: to show me how to begin a BLOG! I was VERY dubious, but Kelsey and Jen insisted that they would miss me and wanted a way to find out what I was doing, so that, as Kelsey put it “we can live life vicariously through you.”
So, we set up a blog. And I have done nothing with it since! Then a day or so ago Kelsey (now an alum interning at Wolf Trap Opera) wrote me with a question about theatre history (and I always love fielding questions about my favorite subject) but then slipped in, “P.S. I see there's been no updates to the blog .............”
I’d forgotten about it (well, perhaps not really) and I wasn’t sure how to begin – I had no idea what to say, and more importantly that I had anything worth saying!
But begin I must, so perhaps I should start by explaining the title of my blog. La vita e troppo breve per Dottore Gianni, for those of you Italian-challenged souls out there, means Life’s too short for Dottore Gianni. That’s not meant as a negative in any way. Whether I should do this or not, I tend to divide my life into parts, or sections, or acts if you want to be theatrical about it, and why wouldn’t I want to be theatrical about it?
Act I: The first twenty years: the birthing and bringing up, at home and at school, of the young Dottore.
Act II: The second twenty years which includes
Scene 1: College/Air Force/College
Scene 2: Marriage (oi!)
Scene 3: attempting to work as an actor (and paying the bills in other ways)
Act III: The third twenty years: Ithaca College
Scene 1: before tenure
Scene 2: post-tenure
Act IV: The fourth 20 years – beginning about now – fingers crossed for a fine retirement
Act V: well, we all know what that is –tragic (?), but that’s the way of the world, friends, the way every play ends…
It’s pretty clear from the “play” above – tragedy? melodrama? farce? (btw, I could and probably will expand on those “acts” during the course of blogging) – where I am in La Vita – it IS getting troppo breve, when you look at the entire span, “but the days grow short, when you reach September” as the old song goes – I want to live what’s left to the fullest, and while la vita e troppo breve I mean to make the most of it.
One of the ways to do that is to travel as much as possible. I think that Jen and Kelsey were hoping to read about my travels in this blog primarily, and I’ve been blessed with a wonderful way to begin: one year at the Ithaca College London Center (ICLC), teaching one day a week! I have already planned a “highland fling” before I meet students at Edinburgh, and I’m working now on a fall break, possibly to the Adriatic coast of Croatia, from where my father’s fathers hale. I am teaching the same seminar I did in fall 2005, A Tale of Two Theatrical Cities: Performing Arts and the French Revolution, so each semester there will be a field trip to Paris. Of course the usual ICLC trips to Bath, Stratford etc are on the agenda as well. So look forward to those if you like, to additional adventures during 2011-12, and even more exciting ones beyond that.