Tonight I’ll perform We Outran the Sun at Triad Stage in Greensboro, NC.  We Outran the Sun will be the opening performance of their smaller, second stage (the Upstage Cabaret) and will help celebrate the beginning of their 10th anniversary season.  We opened The Glass Menagerie this past Friday, and I have to say it’s been such a privilege to work on this role and this play, and to be back at Triad. I’ve rarely felt as artistically engaged (and also taken care of as an artist) as I do here.

I also had visitors over the weekend.   My parents drove down from Michigan and saw the show twice.  I took them on a tour of the set, pointing out to my mother the various glass animals that are named after people in her family.  My parents have been remarkably supportive of me as I’ve pursued a career in the arts, and have seen almost everything I’ve done.  I sometimes feel like a social planner; every time I book a show out of town, my parents get out an atlas and plan a trip.

(Bev and Doug in Vermont to see me in the musical My Ohio this past spring)

My dad’s brother Doug and his wife Bev also drove to Greensboro this weekend. They live in Illinois, not far from St. Louis, where the play is set.  Doug and Bev are in some ways the opposite of my parents: my parents are basically teetotalers, while Doug and Bev enjoy a good night out on the town.  When they came to see Picnic last year here in Greensboro.  I would spend the evenings out with them at Natty Greene’s (a brewpub downtown) and then get up early in the morning to have coffee with my parents.  During grad school at NYU I think they had a hard time understanding why I would spend so much money on a graduate degree in the arts, something I now consider from time to time as I begin to pay back my loans.  I certainly think it was worth it, but it is a career that often appears to be predicated more on connections and luck.  It didn’t help that I had classes like circus and Afro-Brazilian dance.  We laughed over glasses of wine (Doug is an awarded winning vintner as well) and I would try to explain my training.

(Alex Morf, me, Blake Delong, and Meg Fee in The Just by Albert Camus)

Several years ago now, in between years of grad school, I did a play by Camus called The Just at Chautauqua.  Doug and Bev had never seen me in a play before, and they decided to travel with my parents to upstate New York.  I’ve never specifically asked them, but I think when they saw The Just, a dark political drama about young terrorists in czarist Russia, they realized that this was not just something I liked to do, but also my profession.  Since then they have often travelled with my parents, and have seen performances in St. Louis, Vermont, and now twice in Greensboro.  Bev has even taken to calling them my groupies.  I have to say, it means a lot to me.  They followed along with the blog as I created We Outran the Sun, and they’ll be in the audience tonight.

When I performed the song cycle in New York, as an encore I sang a song from Inside the Hand, a play I’ve written.  But I decided a few weeks ago that I would perform something else here in Greensboro.  It’s a song by young British folk artist, Laura Marling, called “Rambling Man.”  I’ve been listening to it a lot recently, in reference to Tom Wingfield, the character I play in The Glass Menagerie.  In the final monologue he says, “I travelled around a great deal.  The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from their branches.”  I understand these words; I often work in regional theater, far from my life in New York.  But I also have family that follows me, bringing with them a piece of home.  Follow this link to hear a simple demo recording of “Rambling Man.”

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