I'm posting this video "The Old & The New" in memory of Jeremy Geidt who died today, Tuesday August 6 2013.
I first met Jeremy about fifteen years ago. He was a repertory actor for the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, and, as I am want to do, I had stumbled in - unskilled and unqualified - to a gig working as run crew for the theater. I was a fledgling filmmaker at that point, having finished my first short film which was an incredible film school but a terrible film and was somewhat desperately wrestling the beast of a new idea into some sort of manageable film project.
For those of you that are not in the know about such things, "Run Crew" means that I wore all black and moved set pieces in and out of place, set and cleared props and/or would "fly" in various backdrops and etc as called for. All done as the stage lights were off as "Magic" is the call of the day when creating theater.
The experience changed and informed my life and creative process to this day: The role of the audience in the shared live experience, the meticulous timing exercised by cast and crew alike, the professionalism brought to each part of the process and, most importantly, the camaraderie shared and shown by all - again - by cast and crew alike.
I mention this because Jeremy Geidt, during this time, was one of those people that helped, knowingly or unknowingly, set that exact tone for all of the productions. And in turn for life itself. It is the individual acts of kindness and openness, extended to each person regardless of the role they're playing, that inspires each of us to strive for that same quality. Individually and collectively.
Cut To: A Decade Later. In 2009, invited by Amanda (Palmer) to participate in her New Years Eve show with the Boston Pops, I was commissioned to create a short film that would be screened to the Pops' live performance of B jork's composition popularly known as "The Dancer In The Dark Theme".
I wrote this piece with Jeremy in mind. While on it's surface it is about Father Time passing on the reins of responsibility to the Infant New Year and all of the olds and news on both sides that come with these sorts of rituals, it was also a nod to Jeremy himself for what I had gained by working with him as a "just" a run crew guy long before I would ever be recognized as a director in my own right.
Of course he was still fueled by professionalism that was, in turn, still fueled by kindness and openness. And I will tell you guys that it was no small thing for me, with Jan, his wife, reluctantly and beautifully agreeing to "act" again after so long a time, to be able to work with him. Now fueled by the same lessons I had learned so many years earlier.
There was a ritual in our days at the A.R.T. that everyone shared right before the main rag went up. Not "Break a leg". Not "Merde merde merde". Each of us would look at each other in our various teams and just say "Don't fuck it up".
Simple. Open. Kind.
Thank you Jeremy. You are always with me.
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