Last week, a wonderful acting teacher whom I studied with at Circle in the Square Theatre School passed away. She was 82. I only studied with her for a summer, but it was the most influential and creative summer of my entire life. Jacqueline Brookes, the woman who played Ellen Barkin’s mother in Sea of Love (1989,) and counseled Elijah Wood in The Good Son (1993,) taught the likes of Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Kevin Bacon. She was caring and motherly to her students, but she was also able to unlock something within the actors she taught that they may not have been aware of before. During my time with Jackie, sense memory and the Method were the main focal points. Her class and the techniques she taught have helped me on many a project as a professional actor. She touched so many lives and in her honor, I closed my eyes, and hummed my favorite song, let go, and was able to just be.
In her own words: