This post is addressed to the “Homies” of Gabriel Girvan Macdonald in the Nelson, B.C. area.
A tongue-in-cheek look at one young man making his way in his new world.
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Gabriel Then and Now
The Actor’s Craft
We, the collective Tevye of Sholem Aleichem, we the Elders of the tribe, stand in awe of an 18 year old Young Man who has already plumbed the shallow psyches of Peter Pan and Charlie Bucket in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and confronted the depravity of murder and cannibalism through the eyes of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Through the many roles this Young Man has played in his already decade long acting career, he has had to contemplate the human psyche in all its bewildering complexity. His own meagre repertoire of personal experiences would of course barely suffice for the role of Danny Zuko in Grease or Richie Cunningham in Happy Days.
Can you imagine casting the person below as the murderous Sweeney Todd?
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Fast forward 15 years
Student at Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, B.C.
Leaving home in a sense involves a kind of second birth in which we give birth to ourselves.
(Robert Neeley Bellah)
While not as dangerous as leaving the primal village to roam about at night in a jungle where large carnivores forage for easy prey, autonomy is not without its pitfalls. Many a young person falls victim to the intoxication of independence. Leaving the home nest, gaining autonomy and giving birth to yourself at eighteen years of age and launching yourself into a tough, competitive world is daunting enough, but add to that the idea of making it in the domain of the performing arts, and the odds for success seem narrow indeed!
Nearing the end of his first year away from home, our Young Man has shown reassuring growth in his march towards his goals. His work ethic is remarkable. In his first few months at his apprenticeship he has thrown himself into his new life with sustained enthusiasm. He approaches new challenges with confidence and looks forward to broadening his talent base beyond his current comfort level and into new areas.
The latest event in his career as performer took place at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria in a fundraiser for CCPA. For the evening, the David Foster Theatre became the Casino Royale, hangout of Secret Agent James Bond. Vocal solos of some students selected from auditions done recently for current and future productions provided the entertainment for the non-gamblers. Gabe chose to channel Tom Jones and sang a passion filled complaint, I, Who Have Nothing, to a noisy room of gamblers.
What words of wisdom can I give them? How can I help to ease their way? (From Sunrise, Sunset)
We, the collective Tevye, the Elders of the tribe, wish the Young Man a slow, gradually incremental journey in his apprenticeship to life. The event at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel coincided with the immature and self-destructive antics of another young man who clearly has too much notoriety, too much money, too much adulation. At a time when success should be an aspiration, a slow march towards a goal, he has already reached all the goals. What more does life have to offer Justin Bieber? The excesses in Bieber’s life contrasted nicely with Gabe’s choice of songs, I, Who Have Nothing.
We, the collective Tevye, the Elders of the tribe, wish our Young Man gradual, incremental growth as an artist where he may learn through his own maturity, the richness of the human condition.
On the one hand, we wish him enough Nothing until he is able to show himself worthy of the rewards of honest success through hard work.
On the other hand… we wish him only just enough success that he can safely handle at each stage of his life.
Picking up girls: Photos of Gabriel engaging in a variety of Bondish behavior
and at Casino Royale at Oak Beach Hotel.
Gabriel and his Grandpa sing The Way You Look Tonight
Post Scriptum: * ( Sunrise Sunset, from Fiddler on the Roof)