Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mazen Award Winner: Anthony Winkler

And so, Anthony Winkler joins Matt Richter as the winners of the Summer '08 Mazen Award. (Please pardon the quality of this and other videos during this session.)

This will be Anthony's last 14/48 as a regular contributor, though he is planning on taking the model and seeing if he could make it work in Houston, where he will be moving shortly.

The award is named after local actor, Glenn Mazen, a man who managed to support his family, feed and send his kids to college while working primarily as an actor in the greater Seattle area.

No mean feat. But he did it with the zeal and fervor of a true passionate artist.

So, why is the award named in his honor, you ask? Well, let me tell you:

During the first weekend of the July 2003 14/48, Mr. Mazen, a friend of a number of the members of the Steering Committee at the time, was invited to observe the behind-the-scenes goings on of a typical weekend.*

At the meet and greet, Mr. Mazen was introduced to the participants, and was asked if he wanted to share a few words. He did. And how.

Mr. Mazen took the occasion to deliver a barnstormer of a speech, exulting the efforts of all involved as art in its purest form. He took a moment to remind everyone that what happened at the bigger theater houses in Seattle paled in comparison to the courage, dedication and spirit of 14/48. I recall him shaking his fist at us, encouraging us to fight and make the weekend a huge success. What the speech lacked in brevity, it more than made up for in inspiration.

I'd like to believe that his demands were met satisfactorily.

He was so taken with the experience, that he offered his cabin in the mountains to the Steering Committee to use at their will, which they then did later that summer/fall for a retreat. Mr. Mazen made them feel welcome by sharing a bottle of whiskey.

In the weeks after the retreat, Mr. Mazen passed away.

And thus, the Mazen Award. Engraved on its side is the following statement:

The Mazen is rewarded to Veteran participants of 14/48 for their contribution to the spirit of risk taking and camaraderie embodied in our process.

Thank you, Mr. Mazen, for giving all future artists of 14/48 something to shoot for. And while we're doing that, at least we can look forward to having one of these:

*It was also my first exposure to 14/48 that weekend, as a volunteer. I attended the meet and greet merely because Matt Richter and Stan Shields said I should attend as there was free beer in the offing, to this day, something of a temptation.

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