Monday, July 31, 2017

Sam Shepard - One of the Great Playwrights Dies

His plays have had a huge impact on many writers and creative artists. He was also one of the rare artists able to make waves as a playwright, and as an actor.  

I had to post something today to mark the death of Sam Shepard because his plays had such an impact on my career as a fledging writer. With this post, I was hoping to include a scene from True West, one of Sam Shepard's groundbreaking works as a playwright. But alas, there isn't a really good digital transfer of the Steppenwolf Company's stage production of the play (starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich) which aired on PBS in 1984. 

How about a scene from The Right Stuff, a movie that showcased Shepard's acting talent when he brought his outlier creative energy to his portrayal of hotshot pilot, Chuck Yeager, who made history by being the first flyer to break the sound barrier.  
Shepard playing Yeager was the perfect match of thespian and real-life personality. One reason is that neither creative artist, nor the pilot were really appreciated by the masses upon achieving their breakthroughs. Sometimes the only ones who first appreciate the magnitude of a pioneer's accomplishment are those who endeavor to make their own mark in a similar field and fall short of those who came before.     

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