Last weekend I had a rare and unique opportunity to see a dream of mine come true. Growing up most kids watched cartoons, popular TV shows, normal things. Not Jess and I. We grew up on old movie musicals. When most kids my age were crushing on JTT and Devon Sawa, I had photos of Gene Kelly and Danny Kaye on my wall. My sister and I watched the VHS tape of “Calamity Jane,” staring Doris Day, so many times we actually wore the tape out.
My love for musical theatre was the logical next step in my evolution of entertainment. When most of my high school friends were getting in line to see David Matthews Band my theater friends and I spent the night outside the La Jolla Playhouse for front row seats to see RENT.
My sister and I started performing in junior high. I danced mostly and we both got involved in musical theatre. Then in college I moved behind the scenes to try my hand at stage managing, a trade I soon fell in love with and never left.
Let’s fast forward a bit, or this will turn into an unsolicited autobiography. I graduated and worked. A lot. And then I moved to New York 2 years ago for my husband to go to grad school at Columbia, and I prayed, and I worked some more.
And then as fate, and God, would have it, I was asked to be a part of a Broadway show. Not just any Broadway show. The Deaf West revival of SPRING AWAKENING. A show directed by a beautiful human and friend, Michael Arden. A show where half the cast was deaf and I got to learn sign language. A show that was nominated for 3 tony awards.
Watching the Tonys every year has always been a favorite tradition. Something far away in a distant land of musical theatre lore. I remember loving the fact that the more I worked the more friends I had on the Tonys, or even nominated. Being one degree away was as close as I thought I’d get, living in San Diego and having no idea life would drop on the East Coast.
I could not be more grateful. More humbled. That I got to do it all with this one show. And I’m forever grateful that this group of people I grew to know as family, were the ones I was with. The ones I was supporting, cheering on, taking selfies with on the Tonys stage because none of us could believe we were there.
It was a night of pure joy. Pure love. Surreal in every way. And if that was the only time I get to be at the Tonys, as apposed to watching them from my couch, it will have been enough. I can’t imagine a show or group of people I’d be more proud to share the stage with.