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Burns in the City
"Stand By For Mars!"
Burns in the City
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Delphinus, in the Northern Sky

James H. Burns (written 9/10/2012)

Some time after 9/11, I wrote this note, for our friends who work on Broadway. I believe it may still have relevance, revised here, on our eleventh year since....

I have a great many problems with this date, as I'm certain so many of you do.

(And it's impossible to write about this, without perhaps sounding at least a little trite, so forgive me.)

But something pleasant, easy to ignore:

It's eleven years later, and we're still here. Still able to perform, or write, or otherwise create, or, also wonderful, to be able to embrace those passions.

I was just thinking of the guts it took for the actors who resumed their places on the stage so soon after that day in September.

'Remember the courage it took, for some of us, just to walk down the street. And these folks were resuming one of the toughest challenges, in the arts.

For some, no doubt, it was a blessed respite. A chance to escape the horror, as they inhabited a character, or sang and danced in a chorus.

For others, the first steps into the theatre had to be like walking through quicksand.

A surrealism, upon surrealism, as it were.

But there was also a certain degree of grace, from whatever one's mindset was, in braving those boards, again.

I remember the marvelous story a friend of mine in the cast of "Kiss Me Kate" related: The producers gave free tickets to many of the relief workers, and police and firemen--

And how extraordinary it was for the cast, in those days, to try to lend some comfort by their entertainment, to those who were working so hard...

It was overwhelming, AND wonderful, for them, to be able to meet some of the rescue workers, and others, afterwards, at the stage door.

What ALL of New York's actors, and musicans and stagehands did in those days helped shed some light.

Maybe not a big thing, in the big picture.

But a really big thing for those whose hearts were touched.

Like always.

James H. Burns

(Originally published as "Grace, And Remembrance.")

You can reach Jim at

(James H. (Jim) Burns, a writer/actor living in Long Island, has written for such magazines as GENTLEMAN'S QUARTERLY, ESQUIRE, TWILIGHT ZONE and HEAVY METAL. More recently, Jim has made several contributions to Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, and written Op-Eds or features for NEWSDAY, THEVILLAGEVOICE.COM, THE SPORTING NEWS and THE NEW YORK TIMES.)

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