The Legacy of Neil Simon

Master Key Master Mind Experience First Year

Personal Pivotal Needs is something we talk a lot about in the Master Key Master Mind Alliance.

These are everything to us.

Legacy is one of those “PPNs”.

Legacy is usually defined as leaving an amount of money or property left to someone in a will.

Legacy is not the most pivotal need for me at this time, but I’d like to honor the legacy left by someone that impacted huge chunks of my youth and early adult life. And I’d like to think his Legacy is a whole lot more than about money and I bet Mr. Simon would as well.

Neil Simon was one of my favorite playwrights. I’ve been out of theatre and “the biz” for a bit. But just a few days ago at the fabulous age of 91 the prolific Mr. Neil Simon departed this playing field and it stirred up so much in me that had been long packed away.

I began to recall my past life as an actress in both stage and screen and dug out some of my most treasured and very worn plays. I was truly blessed to play Diane in California Suite back in the 80s. Way off Broadway and I’ll leave it at that. But the preparation and exploration of the character and the play itself, shifted so much of who I thought I was up to that point.

Brighton Beach Memoirs was the second of Neil Simon’s I was cast in. The group who performed this brilliant play became a second family and I’d never eaten so much boiled cabbage in my life!

To me, Neil Simon’s art was the epitome of visceral story telling, so rich that an actor could completely surrender to the voices of the brilliant emotional journeys and ride the waves of the sometimes subtle, biting depth of pain lightened only by sheer genius wit.

His movies and plays changed my attitude about so many things, they taught me so many things I had zero understanding about!

He could write each character with a depth of genuine emotion and vulnerability that satiated a starving actor that no meal would satisfy. He had a way with characters and each experience that was like the sweetest kiss or the most bitter lemon.

He had the most amazing ability to extract humor from the saddest experience and weave characters, whether bit or lead, that all could identify with. He showed how sad and funny life can be and brought humor to such tragic situations and yet did it in a very human way.

His legacy lives on in a big way in my world and has inspired me to bring it back with my boys. I can’t wait to snuggle up and watch Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, the Odd Couple and California Suite on the next movie night.

Thank you. Deeply and profoundly. Honoring you Mr. Neil Simon. Thank you!

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