dear james

Although I doubt I will ever be completely coherent when it comes to James Thierree, I suppose now is as good a time as any to write about him. While I strive to enjoy every production or performance I get to see and try to find something lovely in it, there is something about my dear friend James. Now I suppose I should give a bit of a caveat. He is not REALLY my dear friend James. Well, not yet. I tend to feel a familiarity to those I adore theatrically or cinematically. They become part of my creative family, a wayward cousin or roguish sibling perhaps.

And sometimes it’s because I have interacted with them in some way (Matt Damon, that is directed at you… thanks for stopping me from walking out in front of that cab, I owe you one) but usually I imagine it’s simply because I know their body of work well (and it’s not smutty, I don’t mean their real body).

So back to James. Now he is truly one of the most magnetic performers I have ever seen on stage.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see him perform at BAM three times (yep, the same place I saw Sizwe Banzi) and each time I am blown away.

Check out this bit from AU REVOIR PARAPLUIE:

By early Fall 2010 I knew he was going to be returning to BAM but I was a complete slacker and didn’t purchase tickets. As the performance approached (most shows at BAM are a very small number of performances), I realized that if I missed this show I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself. So I scrambled to get tickets and we ended up paying more and sitting in the second row. Which only added to the magic of the experience. This was billed as a solo piece called RAOUL. It was this amazing exploration of a man alone (although there were other people involved, giving life to magical creatures and helping to create the illusion that Raoul was often battling with a physicalized version of himself).

The moment when his small, fragile home literally falls apart was heartbreaking and gorgeous. I cried, tears of the best kind. Tears of knowing that I am witnessing magic, pure and honest theatrical magic. I felt lucky and honored by the gift.

I can often find a way to describe works of beauty but my buddy James leaves me speechless. And forever changed. Seriously, I would give anything to actually know him, to get to take a class with him or something and learn just a tiny bit of the eloquent skill he brings to his work on stage. I guess I’ll add that to the wish list (I first wrote dream list but since I actually want these things to happen, better to start that manifest destiny now).

James just had a baby with his girlfriend so he has mentioned that he’s not going to be doing as much traveling. I guess I’ll start saving for the plane ticket to Paris. Wanna come along? It could be a fun trip. I’m great at international travel.

I’m off to start learning some French (I always wanted an excuse).

Prend soin de toi,


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