Jul 9, 2007

Actors at War

Simi Horwitz's story in the current Back Stage kind of blew my mind. I don't even know what to think about it: It's an in-depth, mostly in-their-words account of four actors with strong theater and film credentials who've enlisted and have served, or are serving, in Iraq. I was alternately moved, chilled, awed, and depressed by it. Here's a typical double-edged gem, in a story full of them:
Della Salla has also rethought his personal goals. The turning point came two weeks after he returned from Iraq and went to a commercial audition. "It was macabre," he says. "Here I was, sitting around with actors who were busy as bees—talking about their careers and auditions, chatting away on their cell phones…. I just felt like saying, 'Do you have any understanding of what's going on in the world?'

"I then had to go on camera," he continues. "Because I had been wearing a helmet in Iraq, I still had tan lines where the straps had been. The casting director stared at the lines and said, 'You really should be careful. Use sunblock on your vacation.' I was ready to bust a gut. I said, 'Yeah, yeah, I'll remember that for my next vacation.' "

It's worth reading in full.

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