I’m writing them for two reasons: to help put my experiences in perspective and to purge myself of any residual compost.
Since it is good therapy, you are invited to join me, post your link in comments and I’ll be sure to drop by.
Let it begin:
I’m looking back at an episode of extremes. I love live theater and have for years. So when Wicked, came to Vancouver my sister and I decided to go. While there my behavior did a quick flip—excited by the performance became too shy to approach the cast. I don’t expect to ever have a crowd of fans flocking around me, but if I ever do I hope I remember this moment.
My love of musical theater began long before I lived in Vancouver. I had seen The King and I on television several times throughout my life and never expected to see a live performance. But Yul Brynner came to the Queen Elizabeth Theater months before he died of cancer. The only sign of illness was his heaving chest after a lengthy song and dance. I still regret not trying to get his autograph.
No surprise then, when the musical, Wicked, came to Vancouver Queen Elizabeth Theater; my sister and I jumped at the chance to go. I decided before we took our seats that I was going to get autographs. So during intermission, I asked about what I needed to do. Full of bravado, I would have gone up on the stage and, chased the cast to the dressing rooms if that was what it took. As soon as the curtain calls were done, I did as I was told and rushed outside to the stage door pen and program in hand.
The first face I recognized I rushed toward; she smiled, signed and thanked me for coming. The next person that came out I’m not so sure of, my bravado slipping, and I asked them if they were in the performance, feeling quite rude. How could I not recognized them, but they were dancers that were in full flying monkey make-up and gladly signed. Another pair of women came out, looking very much like the two stars (but maybe not), and they asked us how we liked the performance because they were new to the troop. I still got their autographs, but was slowly losing my confidence which made no sense.
Days later and I’m haunted with the fact I was overwhelmed. I have always believed that anyone putting themselves out there deserves acknowledgment and we should never be afraid to share something positive with them. How would it have looked for them to come up to me asking me if I was waiting for an autograph—egomaniac on a stick—that’s how. I’m so glad I’ve had this moment of enlightenment; and I’ve promised myself if I ever go back to the theater to get autographs, I’ll be sure to ask everyone. Fan, headliner, supporting cast member and backstage grunt—I’m asking them all.