RIP Gordon Davidson. You made Los Angeles a destination for theatre. You created my introduction to theatre. You fostered the love of theatre and it’s necessity in community. You created a Golden Era of theatre and made it accessible to everyone. Thank you. We owe you something good.
When I was a kid, my very first show was at the Music Center. We dressed up in our best and drove downtown and when we came up those escalators, there was magnificence. Architecture, people in tuxedos, lights and fountains. It was the swankiest place in the world. And when the show started and the lights went down and the silence fell over the audience-It was reverence and an excitement I’d never experienced, all in one moment. And then from the second the curtain went up and the lights hit the stage, I was mesmerized. Magic! The purest moment of magic. I was instantly hooked.
Theatre is a pure art form because anything can happen in a theatre. There is no separation from those creating the art and those receiving the art and that connection, that touchable connection, is sacred. That connection is what binds us together as community, as society, as living beings. But also, it makes us aware that we are bound together. That connection is what makes it art because until that connection occurs-it isn’t art. It is intention in a vacuum.
There is a responsibility that is fostered in theatre. It is a mission handed down from one artist to the next. If that magic has touched you-you must pass it on to another. There are certain rules that make magic possible. If you have been a part of the work that has created magic, you must share the rules with another artist. There is a natural mentor/disciple relationship that is fostered in theatre. Those who live within the natural order of theatre lead by example. Those who are new are expected to watch and learn and if you want to come out and play-you follow suit…it was like that for me. It was an honor to be invited to be an apprentice. Through that apprenticeship, I was taught how to respect the medium and how to preserve it. Responsibility for that simple mission was accepted on that day at the Music Center. If you want to be part of the magic-you will do whatever it takes to speak such sacred truths.
Education, edification, enjoyment, enlightenment, and entertainment.
This is the legacy fulfilled by Gordon Davidson. That of a true artist.