Good morning from Palm Springs.
above portrait by Brigitte Lacombe
Before I moved to LA, before I was a photographer, or even owned a camera, I was a young actress living in NYC. By far, the thing I'm most proud of from that time of my life, is being made a member of LAByrinth Theater Company and getting to call some of the most talented actors and playwrights in the world my family. When I first met Phil, he wasn't all that famous yet, he was "that guy from Boogie Nights" to a lot of people - he was around all the time and directed some of the most amazing plays for LAB, including "Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train" - it doesn't matter what other productions I see in my lifetime, "Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train" will always remain one of my top 5 favorites. It was so exciting to be there - my first summer living in New York - that 'A' Train Summer - and to see a line of people going around the block to try and get tickets up in the little 4th floor, 70 seat black box theater on W. 21st Street where LAB used to reside - everyone had heard how good that production was and there was always a full house and sometimes a wait list of over 100 people. It was inspiring and kind of magical. I stayed in New York and spent the majority of my time around LAB for the next 7 years. Phil was the Co-Artistic Director of the company during most of that time. He was kind, genuine, and humble, he had a great laugh, worked incredibly hard, and his razor-sharp sense of truth made the whole company strive to always be better. If he was available, he'd show up - whether it was to watch/direct/act in a reading, or help build sets, or any other way he could lend his support. Other people knew him better than I did, so I'll leave you with a quote from a fellow LAB member and close friend of his that I keep re-reading because it's just so accurate: "... he was a greater guy than he was an artist. A truer friend than he was an actor. Loyal, unaffected, & probably way too unselfish. He was a worker. Gifted, yes -- but nobody worked harder or more doggedly. A stand up, show up guy. Courageous & committed. As an artist, he was like the North Star." - Stephen Adly Guirgis
LAB meant the world to Phil - he'd been part of it since almost the very beginning (about 20 years ago). He gave it his blood, sweat, and tears like many others in this very special little company. Edward Norton was kind enough to set up a fundraiser in Phil's name to benefit LAByrinth. So, if your heart's feeling a little broken, and you feel so inclined, you can go here to donate to a community of like-minded artists and friends of his. I'm certain it's something he'd appreciate.