Monday 4th September 2000 the last episode of Spin City was screened in Australia. This was for Michael Fox his farewell to acting. I arrived home in time to see the last 6 minutes of the show but even from this brief view it was evident that this was a lovely episode. I was moved and impressed by the quality of the performances.
Here was a man evidently and understandably involved in a very emotional time of his life. And there was no doubt that strong emotion was underlying the event itself as well as the performance. But what made it a potent, well focused, complex, believable and thoroughly moving performance was that as well as the emotional quotient there was an extraordinarily strong sense of purpose binding the whole together.
One TUESDAY Rehearsal Room participant suggested his 'purpose' was "to help" - it could have been so. My own suggestion was - "to share". I am not saying that this was the label Michael consciously applied (though maybe he did) but I am suggesting that it was the sense of purpose which provided the foundations of the performance and not the emotion. In fact the natural emotion, which was embodied both in the farewell and the scenes, was in fact the "obstacle" for the character. The character actually appeared to want to remain in control and not give way to the emotion. So it could be said that Michael was endeavouring to "share controlingly" or perhaps "share unemotionally" which was difficult because there was a large element of emotion present. The result of this struggle was a very moving, intelligent, thoroughly professional and very effective performance.
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