Michael Lear: Part One
By Michael Moriarty
Now is as good a time as any to announce the appearance, on this 26th day of June, 2014, the disturbingly powerful presence in my life of one Michael Lear.
How can I summarize this creation's meaning? For one thing, the name Michael Lear encapsulates my whole, life-long relationship with William Shakespeare. Plus, and most prophetically, my eventual relationship and residency in Canada.
Stratford Ontario's Shakespeare Festival.
The third most important actor in my consciousness, Laurence Olivier, entered my life in 1964 with his performance, with London's National Theater, of Othello.
"Finlay, get off the stage! Olivier's Othello
is going to chop you into little messes!!!!"
Those three actors and their live performances on stage?
Seemed to have set for me an unreachable height and an unsustainable standard.
Nonetheless, I entered acting since, as my father so gracefully put it, "There seems to be nothing else you can do, Michael."
I actually wanted to be a jazz musician and composer.
However, my father gave not one ounce of encouragement and offered nothing but smug disdain for my earliest efforts at music.
Later on, much later in my thirties, when I was performing with my trio in New York Nightclubs?
"George"… my father, was suddenly shocked at how good I had become.
By then it was too late. I was already made famous as an actor.
Once categorized by the mainstream press as anything in America, you are never freed from that bondage.
So what has Michael Lear, my prospective, autobiographical fiction, have to do with those three giants of the theater?
It is my last and hopefully most successful attempt, reach or grasp at the pinnacles of glory contained in the acting careers of Paul Scofield, William Hutt and Laurence Olivier.
I have three Emmy Awards, a Tony and a Golden Globe.
All that's left for me to, as I said, "reach for" is the Academy Award.
It seems a shame for me to not at least try!!
But on my terms. And, pray tell, Michael, what are those?
This ultimate film creation, Michael Lear, is an elixir of my life, offered to the world as fiction.
Oh… the fourth major acting influence, of course, the one influencing acting worldwide, is Marlon Brando.
Having presented the four major corners of my acting world, this ends Part One of Michael Lear.
How many more parts are to come?
Only God and Michael Lear know that.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.