A METHOD ACTOR



I remember once at rehearsal of the local community playhouse production of "The Diary Of Anne Frank", the actor playing the father, Otto Frank, suddenly stood up on the front of the stage and pulled a big fat joint out of his pocket. As ours is a pretty straight little town, and the theater a carefully guarded family activity, several people actually gasped.

"What’s everybody flipping out for?" he asked the rest of us. "Suddenly you’re all paranoid. For the first time, I see you actually IN character! What are you afraid of? Somebody is going to yell at us? Somebody is going to spank us? If the Police come in the back door now, and we get busted, what do we stand to lose? Maybe fifty bucks, a few weeks in the local jail? It’s a nice warm place, and the food is good. And who’s likely to come busting in -- unless one of you slips out and makes a quick phone call?

"In Germany in 1942, it was a capital crime to be busted with matzohballs in your chromosomes. If tomorrow the drug warriors came and took your daughter away to a camp somewhere for their final solution to the menace, would you weep and ask, "What did I do wrong such that she was destroyed by marijuana? What was the root of her moral weakness?" And someday when they use the power you have given them and take you away for some reason which makes no sense to you, will you then ask, "Where is my moral weakness, such that society should be protected by removing me from it?"

"Some day in this country, it could be a crime to be a heathen, a crime to be unemployed, or a crime to refuse to vote for one of the Parties’ candidates. You could be sent away for the remission of your sins through the shedding of your blood. You could be foreclosed.

"But don’t worry," the gadfly thespian reassured us. "This is a simulated marijuana cigarette. This is a simulated hazard. I am an actor, and not a Jew."

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