If we are lucky, we all have had that teacher or mentor who touched our core and gave us inspiration or direction or a good old fashioned kick in the butt at some crucial moment in our lives. I used to think these teachers came to us most importantly in our formative years, but as I got older and discovered life is a long journey and an unfolding mystery, that the more you know the more you find yourself just at the beginning of knowledge, I have changed my mind.
Greg Baker was an English teacher and swin coach at the Latin School of Chicago who over decades touched the lives of so many generations of students, that he was a bit like the Jimmy Stewart character in Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life" dream/nightmare sequence on steroids - it is hard to imagine what direction my own life and so so many others would have gone without him.
When he passed away ten years ago, a scholarship fund was established in his name to support opportunities for deserving and under-privileged children to get a quality education at The Latin School.
I'm excited to be having a premiere screening in Chicago on April 11 of my latest production Disconnect as a benefit for the fund. I wish that Greg could be with us to see it. But his spirit and legacy will inform the evening and hopefully this new generation of students will find something of his teachings buried in the DNA of this contemporary story.