In Remembrance: Lina Doo
|July 16, 2013||Posted by Becky Maltby under Features|
Becky Maltby is a multi-Po’okela award winner, has performed in more than 60 productions in Hawai‘i and on the mainland, and has reviewed shows for Honolulu Weekly.
It wasn’t like Hitting the Stage came to me and said, “Becky, do you want to be our obituary writer?” Discerning readers may notice the sad trend though. This is the third one of these f***ers I’ve written this year for a dear theatre friend. First Greg Howell, then Glenn Cannon, and now Lina Doo. 2013 has been a bitch.
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Lina was far too young and talented to be taken from us so soon. She had been battling cancer for a couple of years, but she was fighting it. She continued to work. With the news of her passing on July 12, shock and grief-ridden messages poured through Facebook from former students, family, and the many friends who worked with her on stage or under her confident baton as music director. Her positive impact on so many people’s lives is profound and moving.
I first worked with Lina when she was music director for Army Community Theatre’s Fiddler on the Roof in 1999, but it was a year later when I was offered the title role in Funny Girl, also at ACT, when we became close friends. I was petrified at the amount of singing I had in that show. I practically threw myself at Lina’s feet, begging her to not let me sound bad. I needed much coddling. Luckily, Lina was the perfect M.D. for such a basket case as me. With enduring patience and trust, she guided me gently through my tangled paths of insecurity and self-doubt to a courageous place I had never known before as a singer. I could not have accomplished it without her. I probably would have rage quitted singing right then and never attempted it again.
We had total mutual respect after that. She came to my aid once more in HPU’s Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris in which she also performed. She knew I could hit notes I thought I couldn’t hit. Her complete faith brought it out in me.
And when she got interested in film acting, she called on me for advice. She was humble; she liked that give and take from friends. She could easily jump from the pit to the stage to the classroom at KCC where she taught since 1988, to regular background work on the short-lived television series Hawaii, and was never anything but a true professional. A class act.
I know I speak for everyone who knew Lina: My heart is heavy. I will miss her so much. And our lives are far richer for having known her.