Monday, January 01, 2007

Bob Dylan, "The most supreme craft of all craft"

I always liked the stage and even more so, the theater. It seemed like the most supreme craft of all craft. Whatever the environment, a ballroom or a sidewalk, the dirt of a country road, the action always took place in the eternal "now."

My first appearance in a public spectacle had been on my hometown school auditorium stage, no small music box theatre but a professional concert hall like Carnegie Hall built with East Coast mining money, with curtains and props, trapdoors and orchestra pit. My first performances were seen in the Black Hills Passion Play of South Dakota, a religious drama depicting the last days of Christ. This play always came to town during the Christmas season with professional actors in the leading roles, cages of pigeons, a donkey, a camel and a truck full of props. There were always parts that called for extras. One year I played a Roman soldier with a spear and helmet - breastplate, the works - a nonspeaking role, but it didn't matter. I felt like a star. I liked the costume. It felt like a nerve tonic . . . as a Roman soldier I felt like a part of everything, in the center of the planet, invincible.

from Chronicles, Volume One, p 124/125