Ted Swartz reconciles loss of acting partnerby Anna Groff
Actor Ted Swartz shared with youth during Tuesday evening worship three elements for “good acting.” He also spoke about the suicide of his long-time acting and business partner, Lee Eshleman.
Swartz of Harrisonburg, Va., is a comedian, actor and founder of Ted & Co.
Ted Swartz speaks during evenig youth worship on Tuesday. Photo by Anna Groff.
The first element of good acting is to be present in the moment, he said.
Second, listen to each other. “As actors, we can tell when our partner’s not listening to us,” he said.
Third, practice empathy. When these three elements occur, actors call it “swapping molecules,” or chemistry.
Swartz said that acting offers the best metaphor for faith, as you learn from “pretending to be other people.” He added that the three elements of good acting are the same prerequisites for reconciliation.
“You have to be honest,” he said.
This worship service combined a message with live drama and a video clip of a skit performed by Swartz and Eshleman.
On May 17, 2007, Eshleman, 43, died by suicide. He was Swartz’s acting partner for 20 years.
“Our relationship felt like brothers,” he said. “We joked that our relationship felt like a marriage.”
Swartz told of the time, after Eshleman’s death, when he was working on a scene of the biblical story of Jacob returning home to Esau to ask forgiveness. The director told Swartz that the scene was not working and asked him to consider what it would be like if Eshleman was Esau and how Swartz would respond.
Swartz said he thought he was being present and listening—the first two elements—but missing the third element in the scene.
“I don’t think I was honest with my pain, guilt or anger,” he told the youth.
Swartz closed his message by performing the scene of Esau forgiving Jacob. He played both parts.
- 10 years later ...
- Q & A: Dorothy and John
- To obey or not to obey
- A witness to war
- The power of nonshootout
- Love the church
- Stewards of grace
News stories, digests and Meno Acontecer
- EMM board appoints Nelson Okanya as new president
- Digital bridge at Pittsburgh increases participation by 42 percent
- Theologian Gordon Kaufman dies at 86
- Kidron pastor threatened with note and nooses
- Pittsburgh Mayor still talking
- Opinion: Confessions of a white anti-racist
- MC USA funding system not working
- Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship launches
- Conversation rooms help to build a strong convention bridge
- Pittsburgh 2011 delegates decide to experiment
- Children collect money for day care
- When bridges lead to a 'new creation'
- Q&A between young adults and Executive Board
- Film provokes discussion of immigration
- Gospel challenge: 'Be all you can be'
- Pink Mennos focus on healing and hope
- Ted Swartz reconciles loss of acting partner
- Hipps calls for reconciliation over promoting justice or purity
- Executive Board hears immigration concerns
- Banks first Mennonite woman ordained in NYC in 100 years
- DNA connects Swiss, Puerto Rican Mennonites
- Unflagging patriotism
- For the Ordination of Minister Addie Sanders Banks
- Fewer churches leaving Mennonite Church USA
- Second accident for Bluffton bus accident survivor
- 'Peace Pastor' blog reaches thousands
- Noticed and welcomed or invisible and lonely?
- South African elder celebrates learning
- Endowment to expand pastoral development
- Official account of Spaulding dismissal
- MCC Binational to disband in 2012
- Mennonites speak at peace convocation
- Especial de Meno Acontecer Julio 18, 2011
- Iglesia Menonita Hispana - Julio
- AMBS busca registrador académico
- Proyecto La Voz
- Pittsburgh 2011
- ¡Bienvenidos al Meno Acontecer de Agosto, 2011!
- Joven ¿esperanza, futuro, educación?
- Retiro anual de estudiantes de IBA - Septiembre
- Conferencia Femenil Hispana Menonita
- Educación Continuada 2011 ...
- Recursos de estudio para la congregación
- Nuevo recurso de Dionisio Byler
- Reflexión pastoral - Agosto
- Del Dr. Nuñez
- Our good idols
- Investing in hope: Desolation and consolation
- Death makes me angry
- Christian mission is not exotic
- Freedom Riders remind us of racism
- There is a time for departure
- The Pittsburgh experiment
- July book and film reviews
- Determination and perseverance
- Pink Mennos and conventions
- Pink Mennos and conventions II
- Pink Mennos and conventions III
- Spaulding dismissal
- Spaulding dismissal II
- Supports Spaulding dismissal
- Mennonites pay for war
- Gets choked up, too
- Subscript, not superscript
- Thanks for MPH story