However trippingly the title Six Degrees of Separation may fall from the tongue, the concept it refers to has little basis in the reality of professional theater. Few working actors are more than two or three degress of separation from any other actor, director or technician and the industry average probably is something more along the lines of 1.5.
For example … Knowing that Peggy Taphorn, the new artistic director of Temple Theatre in Sanford, NC, is a friend of my friend Peter Saputo, in whose mountain home I’ve passed many a carefree hour, I was aware of her proximity to me in the network when I drove to Temple today to audition for Rick St. Peter, the Artistic Director of Actors Guild of Lexington. He’s the man Peggy has jobbed in to direct Temple’s upcoming production of Hamlet. My score improved unexpectedly, though, when it came to light that Rick knows my friend BJ Koonce! BJ is Executive Director of Centre Stage where I played Ben Hecht in Moonlight and Magnolias two seasons ago. I found out today that when our show closed, it was Rick St. Peter to whom BJ shipped all of our hardest to find props (fake bananas and wads of peanuts, mostly) for him to use in his own production of Moonlight at Actors Guild.
Pictured here is Edwin Booth as Hamlet, circa 1870, contemplating what a piece of work he is.