Having had two challenging Dads in my life (a story to be told another time), I'm always on the lookout for a different kind of father figure, or at least a mentor. I haven't been lucky enough to meet one in person, but have sought them in the abstract. The following is what I wrote in that regard for an online interview with Indie Theater Now (a great organization, unfortunately ending this year):
I’ve always had this natural affinity for Sam Shepard’s work, partly because of his wonderful mix of the bizarrely comic and deeply tragic. But I don’t have his Western background, and while I’ve had some craziness in my own upbringing, the world of the families portrayed in his plays is often alien. But you can’t always explain why some artists’ sensibilities click. Why did white British musicians find a powerful resonance with black blues artists from the US? There’s just a bone-deep connection.
Here's to Sam Shepard, whose work lives on, and in this bastard son.