Tag Archives: acting

Tending the Spark

The Unfortunates
Ramiz Monsef

There’s the intoxicating flame of creating, of feeling inspiration hit you. And then there’s the equally heady, very different feeling of watching someone you’ve inspired — a child, a student — catch fire himself. Sometimes the two come together.

Before I turned full-time to publishing, I was — like my wife Maura — an actor and acting teacher. About sixteen years ago, we had the good fortune to teach a young man named Ramiz Monsef who took to what we were teaching as if he had been born to it. It was a little humbling to watch as he inhaled both the techniques we were offering to him and his classmates and the philosophy behind them and made them very much his own. Inspiration comes from the Latin meaning literally “breathe in.” That’s what Ramiz did.

That was half of his lifetime ago, but we’ve kept in touch with Ramiz, following as he continued his studies and launched a career, eventually becoming a resident actor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

This summer Maura and I headed up to Ashland, home of the OSF, to watch The Unfortunates, the original musical that Ramiz had helped to conceive and write, which premiered at the festival. Continue reading Tending the Spark