On Maimon, ON
Letter from America No. VI
Photography: Georgia Oetker
A STORY OF MUSICALLY MAJESTIC MAIMON
I had received a commitment from Maimon to fulfil this role prior to my arrival for rehearsals in California and was surprised one evening early in my stay to learn that an officer called and, in answer to my question concerning Maimon’s absence, quoted him as saying that he ‘was not available that evening or any other evening’.
That officer – following just a little persuasion it has to be said – kindly arranged a conversation for me with Maimon the next day. I remember being escorted by a bevy of officers into a small wooden hut from one end – and Maimon being paraded in – handcuffed – by yet another bevy of officers from the other. It was done with military precision. It was as if Henry II was meeting Thomas à Becket on the beach. They did everything but salute. The two of us sat in chairs facing each other at a more than social distance such as today might well be applauded. The officers would stay in place throughout. Their concern for our (and I do realise it was probably largely my) overall well-being was obvious. As it happily turned out, that concern was really unnecessary. Maimon not only agreed and fulfilled his role, but did so with complete commitment and to stunningly brilliant effect! One multi-Oscar winning notable – on attendance – called him ‘a genius’. I heartily concur.
On, Maimon. ON!
I hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits. Life has slowed to a crawl since your departure, and your colourful enthusiasm has been missed.
I’ve pondered some of the feelings and experiences I had while under your tutelage.
I doubted my ability to accomplish what I said I would do, and found myself completely unmotivated to even try. Had you not contested my negativity, I would have had my name blotted from your script.
Your faith in me sparked my interest anew, and began what was to be an unforgettable experience.
Throughout the production, your enthusiasm was contagious giving ‘the lads’ and me fuel to carry on, each day believing more in ourselves and our abilities. Your working against the system was instrumental in gaining our admittance, not to a play, but to a higher level of understanding – that we have in us innate stores of potential talent and, when exposed, can bring us soaring past the limited horizon stigmatized upon us by society and the negativity that surrounds us each and every day.
My heartfelt gratitude goes out to you and those behind the scenes at LSW. I have had a genuine feeling of accomplishment since the play and often stop and reminisce with others. We realised that all of us have gained an immovable sense of pride in our own accomplishments.
I consider it an honor and a privilege to have been part of this production and look forward to any future involvement I may have with the London Shakespeare Workout.
Most sincerely and gratefully yours,