Friday, March 27, 2015


                                                     Celebrating World Theatre Day

"It's with a kind of sadness that I celebrate World Theatre Day, as we very recently lost a colleague and friend who for me embodied the vey best kind of thespian; warm hearted, with a passionate mind  and a lightness that was both fun and full of gravitas... on any note... maybe it was his wonderful baritone voice that denoted a poets understanding of whatever it was he was saying, rich and velvety, with Oak like strength... sounds like I'm describing an exquisite wine, or secret honeyed elixir of Kings, but man your ear would just drink it in... and it felt as though you were working with Richard Burton, and working with David Wasse was just like that, it was this exceptional experience that transported you and the audience at the same time.  I first met David when I was cutting my stage teeth in London Ontario... we met through a wonderful confluence of talent that seemed to have the stars align above us, in galaxies bold that would transport us well beyond our immediate frontiers in and into the future when we performed selected scripts from previously aired episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation, which for us became a huge cult hit in London Theatre Scene called A Celebration of Star Trek.  

In those days, I was so crazy serious about acting man, with my face covered in thick Metallic gold and silver make up... I would become DATA... well, one hot summer night the air con was down, and at the peak of the Space drama, Wasse' skin cap had come loose under the heat of the lights, the audience was howling so loudly at the contrast as he kept the operatic heights of the scene aloft... with all nuance of Patrick Stewart, and all the charm that was innately his, and the blocking was such that all I could do was observe his skull cap with the utmost of curiosity as it was springing up at the corners, with every dramatic syllable that issued forth under David's command, and so with every nerve going... the spirit gum would not keep those corners down under that heat, and we played that scene as written, intensely straight, and operatically high; there we were; me covered in thick metallic Data make up and David with this crazy skin cap adorned with minimal Picard hair, and   the audience was howling with laughter, howling so hard that we could hardly hear ourselves, and when we finished the scene and got into the wings, we were looking at each other, and David looks at me quizzically and a bit annoyed, and he says to me "what were you doing out there?  What on earth were they laughing at?  So I turned him around to the mirror, (still in character) and at the precise moment he belly laughed so hard that his cap actually sprang off his head, the spirit gum sticking to only his fore head... leaving the cap over his eyes... he says... "Oh you wonderful Ham, I know exactly what you were doing... you just took it all in didn't you, well done!" and then with a wonderfully deprecating sense of self he continued... and here I thought I was being brilliant"  Which of course he was being brilliant and that's why that scene was just killing it that night, well you can just imagine the fun he had with this little discovery for the rest of the show... especially when he later falls under the intoxicating spell of love with Doctor Beverly Crusher or so I think the story goes, as he was now in control of that skullcap! 

David Wasse calling me a wonderful ham is for me now a cherished moment, thanks to his generosity, and as I write this, it really does seem like yesterday that we were on that stage together.  He was a true gentleman, and special soul, and incredibly brave on stage and off, and I keenly feel the loss for his family especially having lost my Dad last year.  He and my Dad had a delightful conversation after a show one evening, and David relayed some of the conversation which I think steered towards the game Chess; so in my fantasy of heaven, he and my Dad are maybe playing some multi level game of Star Trek style Chess.  The loss of a parent is a sorrow, and one that seems both inescapable and inevitable, and yet unsustainable thanks to memory.  Godspeed David, and God bless his wife; Bronwyn, and their family.  


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