Jack Freimann (John Freimann) – my teacher, my mentor, my friend – wrapped his whirlwind tour of this life last afternoon.
Jack and I didn’t have the sort of relationship where we talked about “feelings”- we always talked about The Work. He took me seriously as an artist in a way that no one in my life ever had before, expected my complete authenticity and full presence in return, and would tolerate no bullshit, no matter what was going on with me at the time with my health, or anything else.
His belief and faith in me was a first, his support was real, unwavering and endless, and his high expectations were my benchmarks: he was the one I wanted to do my best for, he was the one I wanted to be proud of me. He still is. He had me mining for every ounce of life from depths I didn’t know I had, didn’t think I had, for every scene, every role, every production – I was terrified to let him down.
The pics are from Henry VI, The Plantagenets. Joan la Pucelle (of Arc), a part I wanted desperately, terrified me on so many levels – with its acting challenges (monologues and fiery death scene), and physical requirements (fencing and broad sword fights) – at a time when I couldn’t hold a pen in my hand or move an inch without pain. I auditioned, and Jack cast me, and never once asked me if I could do it, let on if he had any doubts that I could, or let me think I couldn’t. We just did it.
He is an indelible part of who I am as an actor, a singer, an artist, and a person. I am shattered, but I count myself extremely blessed to be part of the HJT that Jack Built.