Dear Mixed Magic Theatre,
I am writing this letter to express my thanks and to elaborate on why I extend it. It all started with a phone call from the venerable Bernadette Pitts-Wiley, who was personally inviting me to participate in a program your organization was organizing – rather than simply relying on email, an effective albeit impersonal and, unfortunately, not always persuasive way to reach out. She was recruiting me as an orator and participant in a reading and discussion of Moby-Dick. It was the inaugural event for Books that Defined a Nation, a program your arts organization is doing.
At first, I must admit, I was hesitant. As a self-prescribed writer, avid reader, and disciplined student, I should have already read Moby-Dick, for it was part of my high school reading requirements. Yet I remember drawing a line in the sand as a youth and placing myself on the side that simply wasn’t going to be bothered with such a voluminous piece of literature, no matter how sacred it might be. Furthermore, I had no desire to cross that divide – until, first, the call from Bernadette, and then, later, the discussion and environment I was allowed to absorb. Topping it off was the youth-centric adaptation of Moby-Dick penned and adapted by your own ship’s captain, the innovative and visionary, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley.
If I had to pinpoint my favorite elements from Saturday, September 26, I would have to select the discussions about the lively, independent, and sometimes nearly sordid life of the book’s author, Herman Melville, and the debates and embedded lessons pertaining to archetypal characters, stories, and images referenced by the well-read Melville.
Besides leaving your event with a new mission – to read Moby-Dick – I also left ready to tell someone about my experience, which I found in my mother. Upon hearing my description of your event and my corresponding resolve, she vowed to join me in my Melvillian journey. Therefore, in one stroke, Mixed Magic, you have given me fuel to quench my thirst for more literature, a partner to join me on my voyage, and another personal treasure that my mother and I can share.
So again, I say thank you, and I implore you to continue your good work.
Reza C. Clifton
Online Publisher, Freelance Journalist, Multimedia Producer, Music DJ