I was something of a loner in these early days at The Public Theater. Although I had friendly relations with the small staff from the Great Northern Hotel when we had all moved into the Astor Library building, I seldom went out to lunch like the others did, and I was never on the inside track of office gossip.
Now he was asking me? I didn’t know what to make of it. Actually, I felt like hiding, but, as with Joe’s scary request that I take his director’s notes at Troilus and Cressida previews during my first summer, I couldn’t think of a plausible reason to say no. So, as I had done then, I said “Fine.”
“If I had permitted myself to be more vulnerable, I would have continued in the acting profession,” Joe said, “but the ego of an actor is a very difficult thing to have to cope with because you yourself are the instrument.”
Excerpted from a chapter in Gail Papp’s forthcoming memoir