Friday, July 13, 2007

Yes, I do indeed love theatre people. They ARE spectacular.

I always have. I think it all started on that very rainy day when I cut class (third grade) to go uptown (we lived on Fulton Street) to see the Wednesday matinee of Peter Pan with my dad. It was my first Broadway show, and I will never forget how I felt when Peter Pan (played by Cathy Rigby, of course) flew right over my head. When I saw Mary Poppins last year, and Mary and her umbrella floated over the audience, all I could think was, "Somewhere in this audience is a little girl who will love theatre for the rest of her life because of this moment..."

Over the years, I have had enough internships and jobs "in the industry" to get used to things, and know how you are supposed to act and not act. I mean, last year, I served coleslaw at a party to some very big names in the theatre community and I did so without letting out a single squeal. (Actually, I didn't really SERVE them was more along the lines of me walking around with a big tray of coleslaw, and the performers looking at me and crinkling their noses and saying, "Coleslaw? Why are you serving COLESLAW?" (A recap of another tale that illustrates my pure admiration of theatre people...

Yes, I do indeed love theatre people. They ARE spectacular.

Just four years ago, watching Bernadette Peters eat a bagel from across the room was the most thrilling site I could imagine. Today, I would give her a casual glance, think to myself, "WOW, how does she get those curls so perfect?" and go on my way...but I am still in awe of her, as she is Bernadette Peters, one of the most beautiful and talented ladies in the WORLD.

I can't sing...I can't dance...I will never be up there...making my admiration for these people all the more strong.

Yes, I do indeed love theatre people. They ARE spectacular.

On Tuesday night, I was invited to my very first Broadway show opening night party. The show...Xanadu (a show I want to see every night of my life...what a wonderful time!) I have a friend in the cast, and I know he included me because he thought it would make my week. (It did!)

However, I was extremely disappointed that they all didn't read the reviews out loud and get all nervous and cheer for the good stuff.

(I guess they only do that at opening night parties in the movies.)

Yes, I do indeed love theatre people. They ARE spectacular.

A couple of weeks ago, I sat onstage for Xanadu (they have onstage seating! You get to sit onstage and everybody's rolling skating around you! It is quite possibly the most wonderous thing in the world). As the houselights went down, my friend ran onto the stage and grabbed my ear as he did so. I got oddly starstruck over this person I have known for several years, thinking to myself, "You just grabbed my ear and seconds later, you are performing on a Broadway stage!"

And, sadly, that happy feeling was followed by a sad feeling...because I will never be able to make a friend's day by grabbing their ear as I rush off onto a Broadway stage! (That is perhaps the oddest thing I have ever said in my entire life...and that is saying quite a bit!)

The New York City theatre community is a very special one, and while I will never be a direct part of it...for now, I am quite proud just to spend money I really don't have in order to watch them make the world a better place by singing and dancing on those stages.

Diana Rissetto
It's really weird how certain songs automatically provoke certain memories.

I absolutely adore Carly Simon, but don't listen to her CDs as much as I used to, because her songs remind me of the year my dad died. (I went through a complete Carly Simon period in high school...belting out "Jesse" and "You're So Vain" when I was along in my room...daydreaming of becoming best friends with Carly's daughter, and then eventually Carly would use her pull at Simon and Schuster to get me published...ah, yes...") She and my dad were also both battling cancer at the same time...I think that also made me feel a kinship towards her. Towards the end of my dad's life, he was in a great deal of pain, and would scream sometimes. I'd hide in my room, playing Carly Simon's albums, and wishing I could just transport myself into another life and make everything just go away. Carly would eventually release an album called "The Bedroom Tapes", all songs she wrote while she was recovering from cancer. Maybe I should revisit that album soon...

There's also that song, "Ooh, Child" (is that the name of it? Does that song even HAVE a name?) Sometimes I don't really realize how much of an impact my dad's death has had on my life or how hard it was to go through until I really think about it. I remember a day a few months after he passed away...I was very drained, and sad, and came home and stretched out on my bed and started to cry. The radio was on, and started to play that song. "Ooh, child...things are gonna get easier...ooh, child...things'll get brighter..." Years later, when I was going through my nightmare jobhunt (which I might have previously mentioned once or twice) a friend from the bookstore told me a story to cheer me he worked at WaaWaa (are there too many a's in that?) for years, and became extremely frustrated, and as he drove home, "Ooh Child" came on the radio...

My mom bought me a Des'ree album, and told me to listen to "You Gotta Be" over and over. (Crazy enough, this was also around the time of my dad's death.) When I lost my job in March, and drove home from my train station hysterical crying, I turned on the radio and heard "Listen as your day unfolds...challenge what the future holds..." It's almost as though 106.7 KNEW.

Just tonight, I put on the radio (I had the AM station on from this morning, when I was listening to "Sinatra at Six") and that "Hey Sylvia...yes do you call your lover boy...come here, lover boy"...came on, and I remembered my senior year of high school, and how Dirty Dancing was on television about three or four times a DAY. I especially remember baking muffins on a snowday and watching the movie in my mom's kitchen. WHY was I baking muffins? I apparently went through a muffin period that year. My good friend gave me a muffin cookbook for Christmas, and I found great joy in watching those things rise. My friend and I started planning how we would sing that little song Baby's sister sings in the movie for our school's luau that year. As I said before, I have never claimed to have been a cool child.

Diana Rissetto