Maya Angelou

I heard Maya Angelou say something a few months ago and it has stayed with me.

She said...

"Bitterness is like a cancer, it feeds upon the host but does nothing to the object of it's displeasure."

I mention this today not because anyone is "bitter" at Tale's closing but because I feel it's important to remember that although we can feel sadness, melancholy and even slight anger at certain situations in life we need to focus on the good things. Life is indeed change and without it we have no growth.

When I'm on stage at night looking out at the audience standing on their feet at the end of the show, I know that we've done something good. I know that we have moved folks in a positive way. I know that we have taken people on a journey that they will hopefully remember for a long time to come.

I made a promise to myself a long time ago that my work, whatever it is, be a catalyst for positive change in the world. If I can affect one person in a positive way then I've done something good.

Tale's message of love and hope is one that is universal in our world. It is one that I take each night as I don the character of Carton and is a journey that I am truly grateful to have trekked.

But most importantly grateful to have shared it with all of you.

Here's to a few more performances and a few more moments to cherish.

Comments

Heather said…
James, I just wanted to thank you for all you've done with Tale. I don't know if you remember me, but I came backstage last month with my sisters after seeing the show for our birthday (we were the triplets). Anyways, the show was so moving and I can honestly say that it was the best show I saw during my stay in New York. The show and meeting you made the best birthday gift ever. I just wish I could see the show one more time before it closes. Hopefully the tour will be coming to Cincinnati. I hope others can see Tale and its message like I did. Thanks again.
KathyP said…
I have heard this quote before and the next line states that...
"...But anger is like fire. It burns all clean."

So while I agree that bitterness can eat away at your spirit and leave you wounded-there is something to be said for anger.
Bitterness lingers.
Anger, can come in bursts, like a gust of wind.
It then swiftly leaves you just as quickly as it came.
Left behind is a sense of peace, calm and satisfaction.

And a soul will find that bottled-up anger eventually leads only to bitterness.

As in Tale, the strong voices that started the revolution were found out of - passionate anger. And injustice can only be fought by passion.
Passion and anger go hand in hand...
..just let it burn clean, as the wise MA says.

"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns all clean."
Rae said…
Hi James,

Your words are so true. Every cast member we spoke to last night was so positive about the experience associated with "A Tale". I was concerned that I would feel a bitterness from the cast when I attended the performance for the eighth time.
I was so happy and proud that the actors were as passionate and sincere about their peformances this time as they were the first time I saw the show in August.
I will never forget the experience of "A Tale of Two Cities".
Thank you.

Rae
Renee said…
I don't really know why, but I stayed away from seeing "A Tale Of Two Cities" for a long time. It probably had a lot to do with the portrayal of "A Tale of Two Cities" in "Forbidden Broadway." I guess I thought your play would be tragically corny and a waste of time. However, I am so happy that this past Election Night, I saw "A Tale Of Two Cities" through one of my discount ticket connections. THE SHOW WAS AMAZING!!! As I was sitting there in the audience, I kept thinking about how much I wanted my pastors to see the production. I am a 54 year old African American woman living in Harlem, but I attend the most incredible church in the world in Jersey City. The name of the church is "Hope Center for the Visual and Performing Arts". We believe that the Arts will steer the culture. We use the Arts to tell people about Jesus. You can check us out at www.cityhopecenter.org. Anyway, I am bummed that the show is closing. The talents in "A Tale Of Two Cities" are above and beyond anything I've seen on Broadway in a very long time! On every single level...the scenery, the lighting, the costumes design, and of course the singing was incredible. I plan to try and see the show before it closes with the creative team from my church (my pastors). It's hard to imagine the mentality of the person(s) making the decision to end the run sooner than originally planned! In closing I want to tell you that I love what you wrote in your blog. Your attitude is positive and filled with hope and love. Prayerfully, I will see the show again soon and may God continue to Bless you, your family and the rest of the cast and may heaven continue to smile upon you all.
Grace said…
Hi James,

So sad that the show is gonna close so soon. I won't be able to catch the closing performance, but I'm glad I've seen it twice, and enjoyed it very much. This is one of the shows that could touch my heart. And I really enjoyed talking to you back in October when I did a short interview backstage.

Best wishes to you and the cast, and wish the tour a success. And I hope you and the show will come to China in the future.

Grace from China
Devin Richards said…
Well you've been positive throughout the whole experience man and I am very proud of you for holding it all together throughout. Now go home and take care of that pretty daughter and wife of yours. You three deserve some real time together. It's been a pleasure once again.
devin
Artistic1 said…
A beautiful message. It has left hope and a positive impact on me...as I woke yesterday, and today, I don't feel so sad about what's happened, but more hopeful and with new, recharged resolution to continue in this journey we call life. You can be sure that your work has touched more than one person out there in a soulful and positive way. Your devotion to Tale and your work are hugely admired, and have made a big difference in this experience called "A Tale Of Two Cities", as I am sure your colleagues will agree. Break a leg with the "Count" reading (I do hope you will continue to blog for those of us "left behind").

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