A winter's tale

Friday, January 16
PITTSFIELD — For Scot Vighi, cold brings fire.

The 46-year-old actor and hypnotherapist stood in front of his Breathworks headquarters on North Street on Thursday afternoon — temperature: 12, wind chill: minus 7, his breath: visible — and passionately read from William Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

He does this frequently, for 18 years, in fact. For some, it may seem extreme. But there's reason behind his irrationality.

"It's part of the actor's homework," said Vighi, who is preparing for a run of "Hamlet" at the Notre Dame Hall in April. "It's part of an internal intention to remain focused while the external environment is harsh."

It looks as though Vighi will get more opportunities to practice this bold Thespian behavior.

Forecasters are calling for another bout of dangerously cold temperatures today combined with even more extreme wind chill factors. The high should reach 4, the low is expected to dip to minus 8, and wind chill factors could reach minus 20.

We could even flirt with the record low set in 1964, when it dipped to minus 12.

Arctic air from northern Canada is being drawn into the Northeast and looks like it will stick around through next week. Lows over the weekend will range from 4 to 12 degrees, with the highs in the 13 to 25 range.

Vighi thinks people make too much of a big deal about the cold, all weather in general. Think of the Buddhist monks, he says, who sit outside in snowstorms in an attempt to channel and use their inner heat.

The English word "spirit," Vighi added, comes from the Latin "spiritus," which means breath.

So go ahead, take a big breath of that crisp air today and hold it in. Live a little.

"Reading in the cold is exhilarating," he said. "I find a great pleasure in developing the internal fire outside in the cold."


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