A writing drill suggested one time in a writer’s group meeting — a starting point for working on memoir — was this: “I meant to be. . .”
Try it if you like, though if you’re younger than, say, fifty, it might not hit with the same force some of us old folks feel. I meant to be — damn, all the painful reverie lines you can follow with that.
But it’s not about you or me I’m writing. It’s about that guy in the news all the time. You know the one. Where would that line — “I meant to be” — have taken him?
Here’s what I think. It would take him to, say, the School of Drama at Yale. A substantial career would lie ahead of him. Imagine, earning his MFA and tackling the Broadway audition circuit. Would he not have been, and very quickly, a dominant presence?
You think I jest, but no. Stop for a moment. Think about drama and actors and the stage and all that stuff. Consider Shakespeare. Henry IV, for instance. Would the man not have made a stupendous Falstaff?
But it is not in the classical theatre that he would have found his niche. I thought for a moment about The Music Man and Professor Harold Hill. Then I thought no, not quite. He would, however, have been magnificent as Max Bialystock in The Producers. Not as good as Zero Mostel, but then who could be? Better than Nathan Lane, though? Yes, I think so. A better Max Bialystock than Nathan Lane.
Ah well. The theater’s loss is the GOP’s loss as well. And richly deserved.