I lost a mentor this week. Alan Poindexter passed away.
Earlier on Wednesday, in the car, for NO REASON I started recounting the last play I was cast in by Children's Theater, Lily's Purple Plastic Purse. I recounted how Alan was never happy with my performance. He seemed to always want more from me and I didn't understand what or how to give it to him and I said, out loud in the car:
"Why would someone who knows me, who knows what I'm capable of, who's pushed me in the past and seen where I can go, cast me in a role and then not be happy with a single thing I do in it?"
Later that day I found out he'd passed away.
Alan was a truly complex artist. He asked a lot, and from children, but it was always because he believed in our ability that much. In our greatness.
Nothing I write can touch grief. An old childhood friend is trying to collect memories from all of us who grew up with him and I keep trying to write a few good ones out but they are everywhere.
The time I was 7 and he yelled at me in the stairways for being too loud backstage and I was TERRIFIED of him.
The time I was 11 and he was the wicked witch to my Dorothy in the wizard of oz and I was still TERRIFIED of him.
The time I was 14 in ensemble and he made us all come in and do our monologues for just him and he made me do it over and over and over again and I was shaking.
The time I was 15 and he cast me as Lilly and then wasn't happy once with my performance and I internalized it and thought it was personal instead of seeing it for what it was: Alan. Always-pushing me to go further. Pushing me to be better.
The time I was 20 and was trying to sleep with his roommate when really I wanted to be closer to the dark, to the place where Alan lived, to know him and everyone around him in a different way, not as a mentor but as a friend. (He just shook his head and laughed at me in the best mentor-ey way ever)
All of these memories during my whole life!! He has been consistent in shaping me.
Alan, you were one of the great artists and you gave us all the chance to be great too.
You will be missed.