Tonight, I ushered Leap of Faith on Broadway. It’s one of the side jobs I have to make a couple of bucks– I usher at all the Broadway houses owned by Jujamcyn. I haven’t done it in a while, because of busyness, and some pretty rough experiences in November (let me just say that On a Clear Day you don’t WANT to See Forever).
The music was written by the father of one of my best friends from high school, who I still feel so strongly connected to. I love her SO much, and did in high school too, obviously. I knew he’d be around, as the show is still in previews, but couldn’t spot him pre-show. However, as I stood in my silly red scarf and blacks on the side, seating people in orchestra right, I saw himand his wife rush down from the mezz. I looked purposefully at them, but they seemed in a hurry. Finally, I bucked up and was like, this is my moment. “Hey!” I said with a grin, “It’s B, from high school!”
He broke into a wide smile and pulled me in for a huge hug. “Oh my god! Becca! How are you!” We chatted for a moment, catching up briefly, and then I had to actually do my job and so did he. I ran to seat some folks, and when I returned to my post, he and his wife were gone. But I was grinning. I was remembered. I was special. My dear friend had mentioned to her father that I’d be ushering this week (I’d texted her about it). I could feel that he felt the same way my parents do to my dearest high school friends– since I went to boarding school and the relationships we developed were familial, they’re almost surrogate parents. Proud parents.
After the first twenty or so minutes, I stepped out to get my next assignment (as I’m a sub usher, I’m almost always on the late shift). I told them that I wanted to watch the whole show (I always prefer that to sitting awkwardly outside the house… waiting). They allowed me to move to house left, where there’s a staircase to sit on. I planted low on the stairs, the entire production team stacked above me and against the back wall of the house.
The show was… fine. But during intermission, I spotted a familiar face– an actor I’ve known since I was a child in Idaho who is now a friend in NYC (I was in love with him, and his Romeo, his Proteus, his Hal, etc from the moment I saw him at age 8 to the moment I was first onstage with him at age 18). He’s seen a couple of my shows, one when I was a sophomore, and Friends Don’t Let Friends in December, to which he brought his wonderful girlfriend. At the show tonight, as he and his girlfriend were heading to the bathroom, they stopped to chat. After the show, after they left the theatre, as I was standing at the house left door, he and his girlfriend popped back in to invite me to grab a drink next door. My instinct is always “no,” because I don’t like it when my plans go awry… but I said yes.
I met up with them at Smith’s after I’d changed into my jeans and taken off my scarf. He pulled me up a chair, and I met their two friends from her work. We spent about an hour and I drank the cheapest Tanqueray and Tonic of my life ($5, seriously?!). He mentioned he was disappointed that he hadn’t introduced me to his agent, who was in the house. “I think they’re still not taking white girls, but.” We laughed. “I’m freelancing with a new commercial agency, though, so once I’m in there, I’ll do my best to get you in the door.”
We all parted ways after a super chill one drink evening. Just perfection, and I’m still showered and posting this by 12:30am. Not too bad.
It’s the people you don’t expect who have the ability to show up and change your day and paste a goofy grin on your face.
“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.”
― Joan Didion