There are a lot of performances of Gene Wilder that I will cherish for my lifetime. What I find truly amazing about my memories of this great talent is that they aren't just about the performances. When I look back, I realize that I have been learning about this craft (entertaining) from Gene Wilder every single time that I sat down and watched him. He taught me the "usual" lessons of a great actor: timing, listening, being present in the moment, and how to deliver a line among many other courses. However, I was also learning about nuances and details. How the change in expression can take an actor's intention to a whole new heighten level. How, if you care about your character, the audience will too. None of his performances lacked thought or purpose; therefore, they rang true every time. He was able to reach audience with his sincerity in everything that he did.
Being a natural introvert, there are very few people in this world I feel I would go out of my way to introduce myself to if the opportunity arose. Gene Wilder would have been one of those people. I feel sure that we would have had things to say and I would have left the conversation a better person, and a better artist than I had been before it began. While I'm sad that that opportunity will never come, I am confident that I will keep learn from Gene Wilder every time I watch a performance of his or listen to one of the many conversations on his career and acting that he has left us. For that, I will always be eternally grateful.
Thank you, Mr Wilder. You have inspired me beyond words.