A Favorite Celebrity Can Change Your Life - Hal Holbrook As Mark Twain
Hal Holbrook, PennState Previews
Hal Holbrook and Mark Twain Saved My Life
When I was a teenager, I was taking too heavy a course load in high school of advanced college prep classes and performing in the marching and concert bands as first chair cornet/trumpet. I was the first female to hold that position in the history of the school and my parents insisted I earn a 4.0 GPA (perfect) overall "or else."
Under the load of extra school subjects and a strict and isolated upbrining, which included not being permitted to have any friends, the pressures of up to 20 hours per week of musical practice, and the constant verbal attacks from students in the classrooms and hallways because I was not allowed to talk to them, I became ill.
One night as I went to bed, I said to myself, "I wish I were dead." The next morning I woke up with a fever, both eyes plastered shut by infection, an infected throat and infected ears so bad that I could not hear well. At the doctor's office, I earned that both of my lungs were filling up with fluid. I was sent home with antibiotics.
After three days of being kept in a dark room, alone, my condition was unchanged. That night, I did hear a TV show coming on in the next room and got my pillow and blanket and went out to the couch.
The show was "Mark Twain Tonight!" starring Hal Holbrook.
I had always loved Mark Twain. Watching Hal Holbrook as Twain made me laugh and feel connected to humanity and the common man - all the stories of daily life 100 years before, and how they applied to the current times as well -- even though I was connected to no one in my own daily life.
I went to bed feeling better, and the next morning I was cured.
Hal Holbrook saved my life.
I have gathered books written by Mark Twain and Hal Holbrook and now reread them often. I learned how Mr. Holbrook perfected his show on stage over the course of several decades since 1954. I re-watch a tape of the TV show a year ago and could not remember a word of it, but during one sketch, I had the same feeling as I had had when I was 16. It was like traveling back through time via some sort of portal, I was in two places at once.
I have recently been happy to learn that Hal Holbrook is bringing back the Mark Twain play "Is he Dead?" along with his one-man show "Mark Twain Tonight!" very soon. Mr. Holbrook is still performeing at the age of 80+ and doing a fine job of it.
I have posted my thanks to him on his wesite, but perhaps I will see him in person on stage.
That would be grand!
Quotes That Gave Me Perspective
Hal Holbrook on Stage
Hal Holbrook is still touring, though less often, in the USA with his one-man show entitled Mark Twain Tonight! He has been doing this for several decades. Today, he performs occasionally on college campuses and in local theaters.
Purchase show tickets when available from eBay, listed below.