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.
May 27, 2019
Today’s person: Margo Hall!
There’s a line in Pygmalion where Eliza is referred to a “consort battleship,” meaning she is magnificent, indomitable; her speech, manner, beauty, baring, her sharp intelligence are awe-inspiring and intimidating. Add to all that the talent, the insight of a master actor, and a passionate Motown soul, and you’d have Margo.
For years, for me, there was always an “Oh shit, Margo’s here...” feeling whenever she entered a room. Not because she wasn’t kind, thoughtful, and gracious, but because she was an ACTOR. Where she was a dagger of truth, I was the cheap plastic knife that always breaks when you spread cold peanut butter. Velina was intimidating enough, but at least I knew her before she was VELINA BROWN. Margo was a majestic mystery, someone I knew from her amazing work, but after all these years in the same area and business had never really worked with. I didn’t know her personally.
Until I warmed her tiny, cold-ass hands.
I had a great time doing Black Odyssey, but one of the best things I got out of it was finally working with Margo, and one of my favorite moments each night was when we briefly crossed paths on stage and she would place her frozen hands in mine. (I’m a really warm person, which means I’m sweaty onstage a lot, but also that I’m a human space heater on cold nights.) Margo would put her cold little fingers in the toasty oven mitts I call hands, and for a few seconds I could do something for this magnificent actor that reminded me that we are all in this thing together. I could warm her hands.
And really a kinder, more thoughtful, more helpful stage-mate I could not imagine. Fun and funny, interested and fascinating. I so wish we’d been cast together decades earlier so I would not have been quite so intimidated. Oh, she’s still intimidating, but I missed out on years of having her as a cast mate and real friend, and that sucks. I blame casting directors. I normally do comedies, she normally does dramas. But she is much funnier than some people think, and I can be serious as Helen Mirren with a staph infection. Now with Jazz we’ve worked together twice, and hopefully we’ll be cast together more often in the future, and I can share the stage a few more times with the admirable, amazing, cold-ass hands having Margo Hall.