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Category Archives: Acting
June 14, 2017 by Mara Purl
My father let us see that love really is reciprocal. I helped him walk when he was ninety-nine, reassured him his journey made sense, made a difference, and had value greater than the gold of kings. When it came to the real paternity test, he passed with flying colors. Read more
July 14, 2013 by Mara Purl
“A Year for Mom” are posts written the year of my mother’s illness and her passing. It had started as one of Mom’s bright ideas. Though she and Pere had been unable to fly to California to see my sister Linda perform the remarkable one-woman show The Year of Magical Thinking, she imagined that, somehow, the show could come to her. Read more
August 30, 2011 by Mara Purl
I like to think of myself as unsinkable. That’s probably a good thing, given my affinity for water. An ocean-lover at age three along the Connecticut coast, I became a competitive swimmer at my school in Tokyo (where I grew up), and always knew I’d live along the California coast someday. It sure came in handy to think of myself as “unsinkable” when I crewed on a Greenpeace voyage to save whales. And I’d say it’s been an even more useful quality during the heaving storms of a career in the entertainment business.
We can’t think of the word “unsinkable” without thinking of Margaret “Molly” Brown.… Read more
August 20, 2011 by Mara Purl
My father—affectionately known as Pere, thanks to the French part of our heritage—is the happy dad of two daughters. And, with both of us being in the entertainment biz one way or another, one might even say he’s the father of two Divas, though both my sister and I try to keep our drama on the stage, rather than anywhere else.
When did Pere find out he was a dad of divas? Was it when, at age three, I insisted on performing a show each evening on the hearth? (I thought it was a stage.) Was it when I came home, at age twelve, with the lead in “Cinderella in Flower land?” Was it when my sister landed the part of Millicent the Witch at age five?… Read more
August 14, 2011 by Mara Purl
“Art for art’s sake” is a phrase that derives from the nineteenth century French expression “L’art pour l’art”—meaning that the intrinsic value of art is the art itself, separate from any utilitarian function. Wikipedia goes on to explain a connection to “inner-directed” or “self-motivated” individuals.
Artists—and I use the term both specifically to mean those who create fine art with their hands, as well as those who practice and live by other art forms such as acting or composing or writing—most certainly have to be self-directed. For one thing, no one in their right mind would recommend the life of an artist to anyone who could happily do something else.… Read more
August 1, 2011 by Mara Purl
For authors, a book tour comes with the territory when a new book is released. Authors often fly from city to city in an exhausting tour-de-force, appearing on local talk shows, speaking to reporters, signing their new book at bookstores, and maybe visiting a few book clubs along the way. Traditional tours like this aren’t done as often as they used to be, what with budget constraints and new methods of marketing. Still—unless we’re also speakers—we authors don’t get out much! So we won’t be denied our fun. I’m looking forward to the wonderful in-person tour stops I’ll be doing next fall.… Read more
June 20, 2011 by Mara Purl
Men who wear their hearts on their sleeves are stronger than they may appear.
May 23, 2011 by Mara Purl
But the moment your plane angles in for a landing and you glimpse the island of Manhattan, you realize you were wrong, New York will always exceed your expectations.
This was my city for the first few years after college. Ten minutes after receiving my diploma, the truck carrying my few worldly possessions headed south from Bennington to The City. I couldn’t imagine moving anywhere else.
I bought used furniture and wheeled it up Third Avenue on a dolly.… Read more
April 25, 2011 by Mara Purl
There’s only one day of the year when we’re allowed to put all our eggs in one basket: Easter. For those of us who indulge in Easter Egg Hunts, or perhaps plan them for younger members of the community, the object of the game is to race around the garden finding as many colorful eggs as possible and collect them in a festive basket.
The rest of the year, we’re admonished not to follow the practice of placing all our eggs—a metaphor for hopes, plans, or expectations—in one basket—a metaphor for person, object, or project.
There was a time I probably took that advice too much to heart.… Read more