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A&E Blog

In Memory of David Fetzer

by Cara Despain
- Posted // 2012-12-22 - Actor/musician/writer David Fetzer died Dec. 20 at the age of 30. Artist Cara Despain offers her personal recollections.

on the last Wednesday the sun was so bright
blind people could see
and the seeing people were blinded


Anyone who has ever encountered David Fetzer’s multifaceted creative practice will recall how utterly talented he was. Whether on the theater stage, film set, guitar, piano or at the writing desk, David’s acuity and quirkiness were something exceedingly special to witness. He appeared in numerous productions in Salt Lake City over the years with Salt Lake Acting Company and Plan-B Theatre Company; in 2010, seeking to breathe fresh life into the city’s live-theater scene, he founded his own experimental company New Works Theatre Machine.

His commitment to enabling his fellow Salt Lake creatives was amazing, and he was often their muse. He acted in and assisted with the production of several short and feature-length films by local directors and friends including Dustin Guy Defa (Jitterbug, Bad Fever), Kenny Riches (Must Come Down), and Conor Long (Red Coral, Point B) among many others. In addition to his band project Mushman with long-time friend Patrick Fugit, he produced solo music that is sweet, eerie and unique. David imbued all of his work with a magical piece of himself, and this is something that made the characters he portrayed extra bright—it also has garnered him many accolades for his performances. Whether playing Everett Ruess (End of the Horizon), a marine biologist by the name of Jules (Boom), or Ashley Roper (Must Come Down), he exhibited a cool realness that conveyed his compassion for the characters he read. He was genuine, empathetic, witty, hilarious and peculiar, and his characters always ended up with just a little bit of the real David.

Anyone who knew David Fetzer more intimately—as so very many had the fortune of doing—will never forget his endless sweetness, his funny Davidisms, his loyalty, his lovely music, his absolute creative intelligence, his everyday two-toned sweatshirt, his delicious homebrew, his hatred for the misuse of the word "irony," his amazing charm, his crass little drawings and notes, his zany little giggle and his deep love for his family and friends that was custom-fit to every last person. David was an inescapable magnet that pulled the best folks from both coasts, the mountains of Michigan and every corner of Utah into his wonderful world.

His passing will hurt forever. He leaves behind a gaping hole—a David-shaped one that cannot be filled with any other shape—and a creative force that is irreplaceable. He leaves heaps of unfinished pages in the volumes of his life that we were lucky enough to read, and in the many more that existed as of yet only in his prolific mind. His is a light that will never go out.

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Posted // January 15,2013 at 21:27

Sincere condolences to David's family and friends for this great and tragic loss.


Posted // December 22,2012 at 12:39

Thank you Cara. David, we'll miss you forever.



Posted // December 22,2012 at 12:10

Thanks for that, Cara.



Posted // December 22,2012 at 10:26

Well said Cara.  I don't think I've ever read something so true and endearing. My heart hurts for everyone that knew him, especially his family and his close circle of friends. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you!