Her influence is great, I'd surmise.
Anne Hardcastle calls everyone "lovey".
She turned 80 on the 12 of July and I was fortunate to be in attendance for the event. It was a rehearsal day and we took a break to sing "happy birthday" and have cake and celebrate her.
I'd seruptitiously taken her photo the week prior and painted a portrait for her. Her eyes welled up when I presented it which was the best response a fledgling painter could ever hope for.
I met Anne last summer when I was in Gananoque doing "Assassinating Thomson". She came up to me after opening night and held my hand for a long time and we chatted at length about art, the importance of vulnerability and the beauty of the world.
I now have the pleasure of being onstage with her. We're currently in rehearsals for "Leading Ladies" at the 1000 Islands Playhouse here in Gananoque and will be opening sooner than either of us can imagine.
I've been blessed to have lots of time between scenes to chat with her. She's had an incredible life. So full. She says thing like, "Lovey, life is complicated but you get through it with kindness and a good heart".
Ashlie Corcoran, who is directing the show first met Anne when she was a student at Queen's University and Anne was a teacher there. Ashlie described her as a "fierce woman", and other students revered her commitment to the craft and the work. I'm told that she's been "retired" for a few years and that this is a rare opportunity.
Every day brings another great conversation, and one of the highlights of the past two weeks has been while waiting for an entrance I made a comment about being a grown man, to which she replied, "oh, lovey, don't ever grow up and don't be a man... be a lovey, because lovey's are unpredictable."
Here's to the Lovey's, and the unpredictables.
"Leading Ladies" by Ken Ludwig opens Saturday, july 22 and runs to August 19, 2017
1000 Islands Playhouse, Gananoque