Lee Brock: Keep Moving Forward

Doug GoldringCommunity

It is Tuesday morning. I open the New York Times Arts section. Eli Gelb is nominated for a Tony award for his work in Stereophonic. I laugh and quietly let out a celebratory “Whoo!” sound. I’ve known Eli since he was fifteen years old.

Eli took The Barrow Group’s six-week summer intensive when he was fifteen – twenty-two years ago! A kid, with talent, and an apparently strong desire to express himself. He studied with us for years and performed in many Barrow Group plays. He kept at it.

In 2018, he appeared in Skin Tight at the Roundabout in NYC. Seth, TBG’s co-artistic director and my husband, sat in a packed audience waiting for his appearance on stage. Our faces broke into huge grins as he proceeded to light up the place with one of the better performances we have ever seen. Amazing!

Five years went by, then Eli told us he was cast in a great play at Playwrights Horizons. As Eli always did, he threw himself into the project completely, sharing the process with us and inviting us to see the play. We did, and, no surprise, Eli hit it out of the park. Then, the move to Broadway and a Tony nomination.

Eli personifies an exemplary artistic drive that so many artists share. A passion to move forward step by step, honing and developing his skills, and then, when given the opportunity, sharing the fruits of his passion with others.

This phenomenon is not unfamiliar at The Barrow Group. Two nights ago, I observed the same phenomenon with a group of Barrow Group artists. Scott Organ, a Barrow Group writer and teacher, shared a draft of his newest play Diversion with a stellar cast: Tricia Alexandro, West Duchovny, Deanna Lenhart, Jeaniene Green, Connor Wilson, and Colleen Clinton.  All Barrow Group performing artists who get each other, get what we do, and effortlessly apply their formidable skills to their art.

The results are beautiful and unforgettable.

Art happens one step at a time. And if you’re lucky, and the steps line up, it can lead to spiritual experiences that audiences will remember their entire lives.

One step at a time.

– Lee

Lee Brock teaches many classes at TBG, including the 6-Week Summer Professional Acting Program and the 1-Year Professional Acting Program.

Check out TBG’s full schedule of classes.