Joys of the NEC
GE: Alright, we’ve talked a lot about the problems and the low points of the NEC and your participation in it. But there had to be some high points, some moments of joy that you remember. That stood out over some others.
DTW: Well you know, pleasure is something we take for granted and it doesn’t stand out for just that reason and becomes ordinary in a sense. While pain and shit like sticks with you more permanently in the memory. But I would say hey, the emphasis on some of the negative and low points are only because they’re the things you only have to deal with in order to survive. . If you don’t deal with those things you’re not going to survive. While the pleasure thing only confirms the success the success of surviving in a way. But I would say that I couldn’t have done this shit for the majority of 25 years unless the pleasure was superior to whatever problems and pains I had to deal with. So that despite the way the shit has hit the fan financially in the past five years, and not being able to sustain things like we did before..twenty years, I would say that for 20 years before no matter what the low points were we overwhelmingly the high points were the ability of our artists separately and collectively to achieve success in their field of endeavor. For me it is anytime that we realize a play that was a triumph. And as you know, I don’t care what the reviews say about it or the question of success and a commercial hit and all that. I mean that can be enormously pleasing but it sort of speaks for itself so you don’t have to. It takes care of itself. I’m talking about all the rewards and attention and attitude taken towards you when society gives you its rewards and heaps its acclaim on you. Everybody basks in that glory, it’s obvious. And when I say those moments explain themselves I’m talking about a consistent pledge to get a play to opening season after season. And when we succeeded and realized the play I would say; “Hey, that’s a triumph.” And if I had to go season by season, line by line I could show you what I mean. Gus, the first three years of the NEC were not only a pleasure but I mean shit, we were having such a goodtime that we used to joke and say that the NEC had fifty excuses to have a party. You know, going to rehearsals was a party, getting past the first week we’d find more reasons to party, and the end result when things turned out right. Not because you got a good review but because you can see that you saw something realized. You saw people grow, you saw the impact it had on the public, you saw people enjoying the shit, not talking about the review but just enjoying it for itself. I mean the times when somebody would come back to see the shit for the hundredth time. It’s like I was talking to you before about Samm –Art (Williams) talking to me on the phone about all the writers respecting each other and shit. And I said; “Yeah I knew what he meant.”
But it’s as I always told you Gus, if I wasn’t having any fun with it I would’ve given the whole fucking thing up a long time ago.