November 23, 2003|Backstage at the Auraria Campus of the University of Colorado's newly refurbished King Center is a network of hallways and dressing rooms that remind a little of that part in This is Spinal Tap where the boys get lost on their way to the stage. William H. Macy, taller than I expected and with a force of personality at odds with his milquetoast screen persona, makes a comment about this in a dead-on Nigel Tufnel ("We've got armadillos in our trousers") as we usher the actor to a clips show and awards ceremony at the 26th Denver International Film Festival, which is honouring him with the event's John Cassavetes Award for contributions to independent cinema. Gracious, humble, genuinely gratified by the tribute, Macy, in a light mood, tells a story about an actor friend who got lost in the tunnels backstage en route to his entrance in a play, erupting triumphantly at last stage left, but alas in the wrong production. "But how was the performance?" I asked. "Compromised," Macy deadpanned.