On the Side of the Angels*I received very sad news that Jay Harnick, the man who gave me my Actors Equity card and very first union job right out of college, died this week at the age of 78. I was friendly with his son Aaron in college and knew their family a little. Jay was a very kind man and a true believer in fostering young talent. He gave so many kids I knew their first break. He dedicated his life to bringing educational theatre to young audiences through the company he founded, Theatreworks/USA, one of the oldest and most well respected children's theatres in the country.
Coincidentally, he lived around the corner from me here on the Upper West Side with his wife Barbara Barrie in the same apartment where they raised Aaron and his sister. My thoughts of course go out to Aaron and his mother. I'll try to keep Jay's spirit with me as I audition for yet another grad school acting program this weekend. Hopefully I'll get another break.
* "On the Side of the Angels" is a song from Fiorello! one of the many Broadway shows written by Jay's brother, lyricist Sheldon Harnick.