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2008-06-16 5:57 AM
Best Acceptance Speech. Ever.
At last night's Tony awards at a venue no less prestigious than The Radio City Music Hall, a wonderful actor by the name of Mark Rylance (after beating out none other than Patrick Stewart as Macbeth, Lawrence Fishburn, playing Thurgood Marshall and Ben Daniels playing Valmont in Les Liasons Dangereuses) gave what may be the best acceptance speech ever after winning the award for his performance in the revival of the play Boeing-Boeing. Here it is in its entirety:
When you are in town, wearing some kind of uniform is helpful, policeman, priest, etc. Driving a tank is very impressive or a car with official lettering on the side. If that isn't to your taste, you could join the revolution, wear an armband, carry a homemade flag tied to a broom handle, or a placard bearing an incendiary slogan. At the very least, you should wear a suit and carry a briefcase and a cell phone, or wear a team jacket and a baseball cap and carry a cell phone. If you go into the woods, the back country, someplace past all human habitation, it is a good idea to wear orange and carry a gun, or depending on the season, carry a fishing pole, or a camera with a big lens. Otherwise, it might appear that you have no idea what you are doing, that you are merely wandering the earth, no particular reason for being here, no particular place to go. Thank you very much for this.
That was it. No mention of the play. No mention of the director. None whatsoever of his family, friends, dog, personal trainer, nor John Malkovich. Just those glorious words.
It is, of course, the prose poetry of Louis Jenkins, but to be delivered after winning such a prestigious award . . .well, I'm still blown away by the brilliance of it. I'll try to find a video and post it later, as the performance of the poem makes the incredible verse above twice as jaw-dropping.
It's very rare these days that something makes my heart smile with the sheer genius of the human race, but this did the job. So thanks, Mark.
Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of the Abyss.
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