A chance meeting with a talented Cape Town actor at my fave Gardens Centre has filled me with inspiration, admiration and maximum respect. I don’t know if he would want me to name him here (I’ll wait to see if he gives me that permission) so we’ll call him Actor. He was looking gorgeous; sparkling, clean shaven, and full of beans and I asked him what he was up to. He told me that tomorrow he would be graduating from Butler school. He has been in intensive training for eight weeks. I found this totally extraordinary.
Most actors are totally ego driven and pre-occupied; it goes with the territory. Puppeteers experience things very differently because they have to forget about themselves and invest everything in their inanimate creation, giving it life. Improvisers also have to let go of their ego and agendas because they have to work with each other. But being a butler is the ultimate in service and ego free work. Everything you do is for someone else. And I can’t imagine what an unbelievable experience it must be to do that.
I think Actor has made a brave, humbling, interesting choice. But more importantly, he has gotten off his bum, put big money where other normal out-of-work actor moaning would be, and he has embarked on another really interesting work-creating journey. Of course, the director in me is already thinking of the one-man play this experience could spawn. And I can’t wait.