(Image: Flaus and Bruce Kerr in Waiting for Godot (La Mama Theatre, 2011))
The face is out of Rembrandt.
In one of his YouTube clips my image appears and age is making us converge.
I have known John Flaus – but not well enough – for decades and admire him greatly. He has chosen to work a narrow furrow, but it is extraordinarily deep.
In 1992 he wrote:
Everybody is an actor, each of us wears a mask – except for saints and simpletons. Our motives may be several: affectation, emulation, defence, attack, manipulation, self-indulgence. We select our own role, choose when and where to perform (thereby selecting our audience), write or improvise our own scenario, decide how much is too much and when to stop. Each of us is the sole recipient of full satisfaction and (hopefully) understanding of our own performance. If we misunderstand we come to believe in the Role and mistake it for the Self; we are in “bad faith” as we delude ourselves. The situation chooses us and we become misguided critics of our own acting. (1)
He has played many roles – actor, critic, teacher, broadcaster, script editor, academic and poet – with a dedication and intensity that makes Jesuit missionaries seem merely frivolous.
He describes himself as “Irish by extraction, Catholic by indoctrination, Anarchist by conviction”.
He has played Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, appeared in over 100 films or television dramas, taught at La Trobe University and the AFTRS. His knowledge of film is encyclopedic, and profound. His reading is prodigious.
His Parallacts (subtitled “Motley Saws and Modest Conceits”) are two line compressions of images and reflections, a form of Flausian haiku, work that Pierre Ryckmans might have envied.
I admire him and salute his achievement.
Welcome to your ninth decade!
1. “Thanks for your heart, Bart”, Continuum vol. 5, no. 2, 1992, p. 179. Also available at: http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/ReadingRoom/5.2/Flaus.html.