If any of you were fans of The West Wing or Desperate Housewives (or pretty much any other show in the last couple of decades) then you were familiar with Kathy Joosten who passed away last weekend.Kathy was one of the founding members of a theatre company I joined shortly after moving to Los Angeles and I encountered her at my very first company audition*.
She was running the audition – meaning she was in charge of the waiting area, taking resumes and ushering people into the actual audition room. She took my resume and looked me and it over and said:
“Well, you’re fresh off the boat aren’t you? This is a nice New York resume but you’re in LA now. You need to move these credits around, drop that credit and you need a different picture.”
That may not be an exact quote because in my head all I was thinking was “Oh My God Mrs Landingham is talking to me!!!!!!!”
And it was like having Mrs. Landingham talk to you. Same voice, same demeanor – a little gruff, vaguely annoyed maybe? But there was a bit of a warm sparkle in her eye and what she was saying was totally kind and very thoughtful (and right!).
And that’s how she was – she could be sweet or fairly cantankerous – she certainly didn’t suffer fools (or those she thought were fools) gladly but she respected hard work and was quite generous in a quiet sort of way. For instance – we weren’t close friends or anything – just acquaintances – but she was one of the very first people to give me a shot and have me work on some furniture for her when I started this Cheltenham Road venture.
And I think that sums it up beautifully. Remember her example if you’re feeling too old for something, or stuck in your life – she scaled a huge and very difficult mountain and she did it with talent and hard work. You can too.
*For those of you who have joined this blog more recently, I moonlight as an actor sometimes doing small roles on TV and larger roles on stage.