the artful mind artzine february 2019

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What is The Third Act Project? Sam Bittman: The Third Act Project is an online community of older men (and women, too) from around the country who subscribe to the notion that as long as one can draw breath then life goes on -- productively, comically, often amid great loss. “Don’t Die Till You’re Dead” is the Project’s battle cry. We are the only online resource of its kind. We inspire one another to become spirited protagonists in our own third acts, filling our lives with what you normally expect to see in the final act of a stage play: The climax of a story and its subplots… tensions brought to their most intense 16 • FEBRUARY 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND


moment … and protagonists and other characters left with a deeper sense of who they are. I curate material from the visual and performing arts designed to trigger conversation. I’m always on the hunt for the words of great writers that while they can often scare the shit out of you sometimes can also inspirit us. I believe that the Project library provides real-world proof that though we inhabit bodies that are getting older, our capacity for intellectual, spiritual, emotional and creative growth remains with us till the end. Tell me about your TV series, The Five Wise Guys.

Sam: The Five Wise Guys is a show in which a group of older men ranging in age from 69 to 84 (and getting older by the minute!) gather regularly to shoot the breeze – often with great hilarity -- about what’s going on in our lives, our thoughts, our imaginations. We’re in our second season now, and all episodes can be seen on the Third Act Project website ( and on CTSB (Community Television for the Southern Berkshires). The wise guys are well-known characters: Matt Tannenbaum, Daniel Klein, Bob Lohbauer, Jeff Kent and me – all of us actors, writers, gagsters, retailers and fires burning! We’ve shot episodes at the CTSB

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