Waiting for 2010
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 03:21 PM
As the New Year closes in and we all take a little time for reflection, I can’t help but wonder what I’ll be doing at the close of the next decade -- and the next, and the next... I get solace and inspiration from a 'Studio 360' episode from last February which featured several older folks who are still productive, or had even started something new later in life.
The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Elliott Carter blew me away with his keen insights and artistic vitality at 100 years-young. Not only did he complete a composition to celebrate his historic birthday at Carnegie Hall, but it was just one of 16 other pieces he's completed in the last two years.
I was especially taken by the residents of the Lillian Booth Home for retired entertainers who were working on a production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.” I am a huge fan of Beckett and was wowed that resident Adene O'Kelly had actually met, worked and laughed with the great writer (who was not known for his sense of humor). Actors Alex Reed and Bill Story were rehearsing “Godot,' and I sympathized with their attention and dedication to his every word.
(Quick aside: when I went to see this year's Broadway revival of 'Godot,' starring Bill Irwin and Nathan Lane, I brought a script to make sure they didn't add so much as an extra 'What?' – they did pretty well but for an exchange at the bottom of the first act).
Ultimately, Kurt's old boss Gene Shalit had the words to help bolster us through the New Year:
'Keep your sense of humor, keep your enthusiasm... Enthusiasm in life is the secret to good life.'