Three of the most important ingredients in life are courage, humility, and passion. With these three key ingredients, we create the recipe for self-expression. And through this recipe of self-expression, we create a feast called empathy.
And this is what Robyn Marin has done.
The word courage is derived from the Latin word for "heart." Therefore, the ultimate act of courage - of taking a risk without knowing the outcome - is speaking your heart. To open up and reveal your truth - and risk rejection and humiliation. To unveil your losses, mistakes, missteps, desires, joys, silliness, and true self for everyone to see.
In this way, Robyn is one of the most courageous people I know.
When Robyn came to me to workshop AGFFN over two years ago, it occurred to me that there would be some difficulties that had to be drawn. In rehearsal, I would often say things like: "Now I am talking to Robyn the character"... or. "Now I am talking to Robyn the writer" ... or. "Now I am talking to Robyn the actress." Don't forget: the show is performed by Robyn the actor, playing Robyn the character written by Robyn the writer, based on Robyn the woman. This hall of mirrors confusion would have made people seasick. However, Robyn Marin has that other essential ingredient: humility. She has always known that AGFFN is far more than a one-woman show about a woman named "Robyn." The play is a testament to human resilience and an inspiration to her audience, to all of us who have had our hearts broken and been knocked down... and somehow managed to get back up and into our lives.
With this hall of mirrors meta-meta confusion in mind, I approached Robyn with re-writers, direction, and suggestions on the idea of breaking down whatever remnants of the "fourth wall" that existed and blowing up the boundaries between play and reality. Her humility was extraordinary. She was open to everything. We had a wonderful time concocting and playing with all the ways we could blur the lines and give the audience an experience of really being with Robyn. That is Robyn the woman. The person. The survivor.
And that means we get to experience the ultimate ingredient of Robyn Marin: her passion. Her passion for LIFE. Her passion for LOVE. Her passion for LAUGHTER. Robyn has the most sharp and beautiful passion for the ridiculous, and the naughty... and has a passion for the painful poignancy of our past traumas. Her passion for her belief in the human spirit, and our ability to learn, live, and love is what makes this show so meaningful.
I've described AGFFN as a series of episodes about surviving heartache in middle age: "Like Fleabag meets Sex And The City for those of us passed the way point of our lives..."
Proud as I am of that comparison pitch, it misses the mark. Because when you add up Robyn's ingredients of courage, humility, and passion... what you get is an amazingly empathetic experience... and no matter how old you are, or what your journey of love has been... you will respond with: "Ahhh... that is life!"
It's been a pleasure to workshop with the writer Robyn, to train the actress Robyn, and to direct the character named Robyn...
... but the real honor has been in enjoying the person... and I know you will too.