The first time I met David Fetzer, we bumped heads. Literally. I rounded a corner in the Tower Theatre too quickly and ran into David head first. After two minutes of apologies, he introduced me to the event’s co-creator for an interview, we exchanged numbers, and then he took off to go act in a play. Since that time, I’ve had the honorary pleasure of being able to call David a good friend … and a great co-conspirator for creativity.
With all of his talents––writing, acting and musicianship (Mushman)––David had a gift for influence and encouragement. Any time I saw him on the street or at a function, he would always be engaging, warm and kind with his soft-toned voice to ask how I was doing and what I was working on. And if I had nothing, he’d modestly tell me about his stuff and inspire me to do something. One of my favorite memories was riding in the back seat of his car to watch a rehearsal at the U for New Works Theatre Machine. Somehow, we got onto the topic of The Simpsons and argued over which season was the best, which eventually led to us talking about writing a one-act play based on that friendly argument. Through his own passion for creativity, he would encourage others to put forth their own creations and inspire people to put more art and culture into this city. He had an infectious attitude and a bright sensibility that I wish we all had more of.
Back in March, I saw David in the halls of the Rose Wagner where he was acting in not one, but two productions at the same time: playing the iconic Arthur Dimmesdale in Plan-B’s Scarlet, while simultaneously playing multiple characters in The Third Crossing. He would get down on himself about blowing lines during rehearsals, but then would immediately perk up and point out how fun it was with the knowledge that even though it was a job, it was a fun job, and he wouldn’t trade it for anything. The last time I saw him was at the Salt Lake City Film Festival premiere of Must Come Down, where he happily let Kenny Riches do most of the talking during the film’s Q&A. We hugged, asked about each other’s projects, promised to do lunch soon and then laughed because we both knew “soon” meant February. I congratulated him on the film and he thanked me for the support before being led to the foyer to sign DVDs. The last thing he said to me was, “Thank you for coming—it means a lot.”
That was David to me: always kind, always creative, always encouraging and thankful for everything. He was a testament to the idea that if you work hard and are kind to everyone, great things can happen.