Who Tells Who's Story?
By Charles Packard
I was in my office late one evening last week. The sounds of a Porgy and Bess rehearsal began. Stage door slamming, greetings, music, laughing, hubbub.
The stage manager barked something to bring everyone's attention to the piano; and the piano started playing.
Part-by-part, baritones, tenors, altos and sopranos repeated back the Gershwins’ melodies. I had to get close and see the people from whom these sounds were coming. Bouncing down the steps all I could think was, “This music is HARD! Do we have the people that can do this?” I went on stage and stood in back and part-by-part I thought, “YES, we do.” Baritones, tenors, altos and sopranos each proved their place at the piano.
I stood in back but as badly as wanted to jump in and join and offer advice and encouragement I stayed behind. I know I don’t really belong in this group. I worry that I won’t be respected or accepted. Who am I to tell them how to tell the story of Porgy and Bess?
People who know me well know I have long been self-conscious regarding my legitimacy as the teller of some stories.