Since far too often we only publicly say nice things about people when they are dead I’ve decided to randomly pick a Facebook friend every day and say something nice about them.
June 5, 2019
Today’s person: Reggie White!
First time I remember seeing Reggie he was doing a staged reading for a fundraiser for the Playwrights Foundation. The second time I saw Reggie was at a fundraiser for Theatre Bay Area. I walked up to him, introduced myself, and told him I wanted to cast him in a Mime Troupe show - right then. He was a little like “What? Who are you again?” I told him my idea for the show I was writing and directing, that he would be perfect for a role, and I could give him a few minutes to think about it. I then spent the rest of the event slyly getting his attention from across the room to let him know I was watching him. It was fun - at least for me.
In the middle of the night, through a series of texts, he said yes. And what an amazing job he did that summer. Sometimes it takes people a while to pick up the “we’re all in this together” comradely way we do do things, but not Reggie. He was there day one, and played his Hero/Villain with a lush, robust, provocative dazzle that was all I could have ever wanted. He swept around our stage in his full-length hoodie cape, scanning the audience like a musical Svengali looking hungry for adherents, inspiring all to join his cause.
It is our great misfortune that Reggie is so damn good, because if he wasn’t in such demand nationally he would have been a member of the Mime Troupe years ago. Funny, articulate, willing to throw himself into the insanity, a great smile, and a real passion to use his considerable talent to tell stories that change people’s lives for the better, Reggie is an all-around wonderful talent and person. I remember one year he and Amy Lizardo were standing in front of me, big smiles, asking about being cast in an upcoming Mime Trope show, and it almost broke my heart that all our contracts had already been allocated to Collective Members. We hadn’t worked with Amy (who has since been snatched up by OSF), and that might have been our last chance to work with the generous spirit and awesome talent that is Reggie White.