Kate: Grande Dame of the Theater Jan 12, 2008 10:06:24 GMT -5
Post by martha on Jan 12, 2008 10:06:24 GMT -5
I wouldn't exactly call it a conversation. More like me, shaking in my boots, trying to pretend I wasn't scared to death, while she talked....And she was really sweet. I mean, really, after the end of a day of two performances, having to wait at the theatre to greet people she did not know...when all she probably wanted to do was leave...
I had brought with me a copy of the brief letter she wrote saying I could come back to see her. I thought I might need to show it to someone. I had known this was going to take place for a few months - or at least a month. Yet as I stood there before her, I had not one bloody thing to say and I was twisting and folding that note into knots....
I honestly don't remember much of the conversation - What, you say! How could that be? - I was just focusing so much on not making a fool of myself that I was sort of paralyzed.
So when we approached her and were introduced - the person who brought us over asked us to say our names (I was with a friend) immediately because she liked to know to whom she was speaking. So I told her who I was and then wanted to thank her for allowing us to come back. I indicated the note in my hand which by now was twisted beyond recognition and said: "Miss Hepburn, I was so surprised..." and wanted to continue by saying "when I received your note." But before I got a chance, all I got out was "I was so surprised..." and she butt in laughing, looking at me nervously twitsing that d**ned piece of paper (no not d**ned; Thank God I had it to keep my hands busy; otherwise I would've fainted). And she finished my sentence:"...at my good manners?"
We laughed, I said "no, of course, not" just that I was so happy to meet her...And we talked a bit about the play. She was a champion of it and said how much better it was than so much of what was around. And an example she gave was "Equus," which she said was so much "twaddle, just twaddle."
Then we spoke a bit more and since we were the last to have been brought back to see her, she let us walk with her to her car.
I asked her how she was feeling, because she had damaged her ankle while on tour (this was not the later car accident injury) and had played the part in a wheelchair. Then when she was healed, she liked the chair so much - felt it was so right for the character - that she kept it in the show. So when I saw these final 2 performances, she played them in the chair. But then at the curtain, she strode out strong as can be and I think she took great delight in the gasps that elicited from the audience.
So I asked her how her ankle had mended and in typical KH style, she said, "Oh, all better" - just pooh poohing it and not paying it any mind...
I often wish we had recorders in our heads so at moments like these we could just flip a switch and record it all to look back on...Wish I could remember more...
The lasting memory for me was (a) how kind she was and how she didn't act like she was being forced to stay and talk (after all, who could force her to do anything?) and how she made an effort to put us at ease because she could not have helped noticing how nervous we were and (b) how incredible she looked; just stunning.
PS Oh, one more thing....The person who brought us backstage to see her took us ONTO the stage and we walked across the set to get backstage...For a theatre nut like me, that was heaven.
ah ... almost 2 years later a newbie chimes in ...
judy .. this entire story is delightful on so many levels .. its about our dear katharine, its is imbued with impassioned fandom energy portrayed as the young woman you were at the time of these events and the energy, just as strong, tempered by time, that you feel today. the details you provide that allow us to feel with us your crumpling of the handwritten letter that you now have framed on your wall .. truly lovely. thank you so much for writing this.
just wanted to share my appreciation for the thoughts, the experience, and your gracious act of sharing it with us ..