Rest in Power.
That was the theme of my weekend. Rest. In Power.
It could have been several different things. My nephew had a birthday, it could have been that. In fact, baseball is in full swing. An apology for a Cubs loss or two could have been the order of the day. I sat by the pool. I started a a new show on HBO. But, no, Rest in Power was the theme. That’s because we lost a fantastic actor. The one and only Chadwick Boseman.
Why would Chadwick Boseman have anything do with me and my weekend?
Well, he was a tremendous actor, that is something we OBVIOUSLY have in common. And both of us are currently in the midst of a second half career power surge the likes of which I have rarely seen. Then, at 43, Mr. Boseman was playing Black Panther, Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall. That is a murderers row of sports, entertainment, politics and fantasy. And inspirational. Holy shit. He was a leader, not only as a real life lawyer, dismantling Brown vs. Board of Education, but also leading one of the great comic book worlds of all time.
He was also someone I probably knew. Or at least might have. He was from South Carolina, an unexpected powerhouse of young actor training. We are teeming with theatrical talent all over our state. I’m just happy to play a small roll in helping tap into one of our great, literally unknown resources.
Because surely Chadwick auditioned for Governor’s School at around the same time as I did... we graduated college the same year, I do know that for a facr—him from Howard in 2000 and me from the College of Charleston.
But the main reason people were reaching out to me is that this big beautiful, artistic soul was busy battling what I have. Colon Cancer. Stage Four. His was originally diagnosed as Stage 3, but as we all know, cancer likes to get out there and and go where it ain’t. Mine didn’t. Mine was basically diagnosed at Stage 4. It debuted fabulously and, unfortunately, has stayed that way ever since.
But this is not about me. That’s one of the pitfalls when something like this happens—there is a tendency to make it all about them. About the actor. “Oh woe, how can I make the passing of this person I’ve never met all about me. How can I get as much sympathy, as many autographs, as many how you taking its and as many how do you dos.
I don’t want any of that. I simply want to honor his passing. I want to a honor a subject I know a little too well. Because when it comes down to it, him and me the actor, him and me the artist. him and me the person we simply were from the same place, did the same thing, and he died of what I currently am fighting off. And he handled his so much differently. He never mentioned it or made it part of his world in such a way as I have. Not that I that choice. In the places where mine is making itself manifest, I have to speak out. It’s too painful not too. And by pain I mean ouch, this ouch pain thing hurts. And yes I said ouch pain. It looks like his is being monitored by chemo and surgeries. Mine was chemo and radiation. I actually start a new round of chemo on Friday.
But the dignity with which he followed his path, with which he carried his cross daily is inspiring. I hope we all follow in his path.
So I just want to add my voice to the chorus of people wishing peace and love to his family. I hope his end was as painless as can possibly be.