Friday, March 12, 2021

Jolee's Ghost Light Shines Through the Pandemic

Yesterday, when the world was acknowledging the first anniversary of the delcaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was thinking about today, the anniversary of the lights going out on Broadway and in theaters across New York City. 

This was a particularly big deal in our home, as my daughter Jolee is an actor and worked front of house at The Public Theater.

This made me think of an amazing tattoo she got back in 2018, a "ghost light" on her thigh:

Jolee explains:
"A ghost light is an electric light that is left lit on the stage of a theater when the theater is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark. The light stands on a wheeled mount, and the bulb sits within a wire cage, and is placed center stage. Ghost lights also have superstitious justifications, as there are countless stories from centuries of theater about ghost lights being left lit to either appease the ghosts of a theater or to scare them away while no one is there to do that themselves."
She adds:
"I chose a ghost light for a variety of reasons. I wanted a commemorative tattoo for the art in which I've dedicated most of my life's work, but also had a sort of ambiguous nature. A deeply personal tattoo, yet also has a universal understanding amongst other artists. I like to think that the light for my love of theater remains lit throughout my life, no matter what happens."

As we look forward to the future, I like to think that the "light at the end of the tunnel" that is just out of reach is a ghost light, illuminating our way to a day when theaters will be open and vibrant again, as actors re-take their stages and bring their art back to life. 

This super cool tattoo was designed and crafted by the incomparable Alex McWatt (@alexthreekings) at Three Kings Tattoo (@threekingstattoo) in Manhattan. Alex has tattooed everyone in our family and his work has appeared numerous times on Tattoosday previously (click here to see what else we've featured).

Thanks to Jolee for sharing her tattoo and words with us here on Tattoosday! I look forward to seeing her on stage in the future, emanating her own light as an actor, and continuing to make me proud.

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