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The big summer holiday has been and gone, fireworks and barbecues etc and sadly Michael Jackson.

My stint with the Idaho Shakespeare Company is a couple of weeks away from being over and I have had a great time. The thing about acting is that you get encapsulated in time and nothing else seems to exist while youíre doing that job. Of course that really only applies to jobs that take six weeks or longer, stage, film and sometimes television. You get tightly involved with the people, the part and a whole different rhythm from everyday life. It can take a while to get over it and itís often the reason that romances and friendships donít last. The people get involved because of their close and unnatural (in reality) proximity in a short intense period of time and suddenly itís all over and reality sets in. It can set you off balance and thatís often when we make mistakes and bad decisions. I have. Now, I think Iím more grounded in myself and I am lucky to have friends and family to keep me in reality. Itís always the balance between the two. You have to give 100 per cent of yourself, when youíre doing the job, but you must learn to detach from it and move on when itís time.

This week I visited the Boise Art Museum and was amazed by a couple of the visiting exhibits, well worthy of a Tate Modern showing. Maybe theyíve been I donít know. One is by Devorah Sperber a New York artist, who Ďcombines commonplace materials with simple optical devices to study the connections with art, human perception and technology.í It is extraordinary what the brain tells us to see, when it may not really be there. She is a fascinating artist. The other exhibit is by Ann Weber a California artist, who uses cardboard to create huge beautiful sculptures of spherical shapes, pods, gourds and organic spires (left). I could very happily have one, had I had the money and the size of room to accommodate it.

Today we are overwhelmed with stories, images and the music of Michael Jackson. It is the day of his Memorial Service in Los Angeles. What a tragedy that he died so young, but doesnít it often happen with those who really transcend their lives, John Lennon, Elvis, Princess Diana, and Rudolf Valentino? One could go on and on. Some of the Press is commenting that we should focus more on the darker side of his life.

Why, say I? We can only speculate on what really happened and it adds nothing but gossip at this point. We are entrenched in gossip nowadays and what does it do but feed our prurient side? Michael Jackson was an extraordinary and magical musician, with feet of clay I am sure, like all of us. But I do believe we should be celebrating the best of his life and his music and not dwelling on what may or may not have happened in the other side of his life. Of course let us not forget that gossip equals money and most media, TV, magazines etc, survive on it.

I did meet the Beatles once, on the set of ĎA Hard Dayís Nightí, I was with David Hemmings at the time and the Beatles were terribly impressed - ď Ooh itís David Hemmings, ooh lookĒ. Needless to say they were impressed at meeting David, who was better known than I was at the time! They were ordinary, lovely, funny lads and it would have been hard to guess at what was to come and the level of superhuman status they would achieve, especially John Lennon, mainly because he died young and in such sad circumstances. He (Lennon) made a remark once, which offended many people Ďthat the Beatles were bigger than Jesusí. Well of course they were because they had the powerful tool of the worldwide media behind them to create the myth, the legend. Had Jesus lived in our times he would have no doubt been bigger than the Beatles. Such is the extraordinary and overwhelming power of the media.

Well I seem to have rambled on a bit this time, but at least I did not Ďtreatí you to stories of my golf games and my granddaughterís golf lessons and my grandsonís swimming lessons. She listens intently, he doesnít. Vive la Difference! Jane
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