Saturday, April 19, 2008


Last year I performed in what turned out to be one of my favorite roles ever.
Dr. Seward came to life in 1897 when Bram Stoker published his now famous, Dracula. I, of course, didn't meet Mr. Seward until much later, but scarcely after meeting him he shouted something I'll not soon forget.

"I shall solve you Renfield!"

Over and over again, "I shall solve you! I shall solve you!" After the lunatic had finally exhausted himself, he slumped into his chair, a wooden, uncomfortable looking contraption, the type with a tall, strict back which looms far above the head of its victim. After panting for several minutes Seward finally collected himself somewhat, apologized and sat silently. Without warning he began to tell me of Renfield, the Doctor's obsession, his folly.

You see, the Doctor had a theory. If only he could find the root of one man's insanity, locate the dungeon where even one man languished, and turn the key, he believed he could free them all. If he could "solve" this maniac Renfield's illness, fame and fortune would pour in from all quarters. Perhaps the good Doctor could even find the key to unlock his own soul....

I'd go on but I don't want to ruin the book/play for you!

I guess I remember Dr. Seward so well now because I can relate to him, at least superficially. I've always had this longing to know, a yearning to understand. I guess I've even fallen into the trap of believing if I could solve even this one problem, suddenly everything else would fall into place.

Although this train of thought may seem a little extreme, I believe its only a demented form of the idea poetry's appearance is based on. Interestingly, I don't think I'm alone in this belief...

More on that tomorrow!

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