Friday, August 28, 2015

Having finally seen Waitress, I'm reminded of how much I liked Adrienne Shelly: her acting, directing, writing were all utterly charming. In interviews she always had a guileless, quirky sweetness about her, and always looked like a radiant ingenue even in her late 30s, which belied her fierce intellect below the surface. Plus she'd attended my alma mater, Boston University, only a couple years before me. I'd always wished to see her make it bigger than she did, but this allowed her to create a lot of her own opportunities in film.

It still stuns me to remember that she was murdered in 2006, at age 40, by a 19 year-old Ecuadorian construction worker, in her own Manhattan apartment. She had a happy marriage, a 2 year-old daughter, and WAITRESS had just been submitted to Sundance. It would be her final acting and directing project. She never had the chance to flower into the fully-fledged writer/director she certainly would have become on the heels of that film's plaudits.

It seems such a senseless waste of life of a woman who clearly embraced the bittersweet humor of everyday life. That some violent kid could just take it away from her, and from those that loved her, blows my mind. Remembering Ms. Shelly gives me pause and reminds me that every day is precious, that your life can turn on a dime. Perhaps I'm driven to write this because of the recent murders of journalist Alison Parker and her cameraman Adam Ward, whose deaths were equally shocking and sudden.

On this, my wedding anniversary, I am grateful for my life, the love of my life Christine, and the great family and friends that surround me. I guess my tribute to the late Ms. Shelly is also partially meant to inspire all of us to seize our opportunities to live every single day as fully as possible. Even when things are presumably on track and stable, tragedy can strike– yet the world must continue on. This seemed to be Adrienne's own outlook. May your legacy live on, Ms. Shelly. I admired your work greatly.

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