"I just dropped out of nowhere,” Sam Shepard said of his arrival in New York, at nineteen, in the fall of 1963. “It was absolute luck that I happened to be there when the whole Off-Off Broadway movement was starting.” Shepard, a refugee from his father’s farm in California, had spent eight months as an actor travelling the country by bus with a Christian theatre troupe, the Bishop’s Company Repertory Players. Acting had been his ticket to ride; he’d been so scared at his Bishop’s Company audition that he’d recited the stage directions. “I think they hired everybody,” he said. . . .
from "The Pathfinder" by John Lahr. New Yorker, February 8, 2010