This weekend I opened and closed my first NYC show!:) I was accepted into a theatre company about a month ago and they cast me in 2 one act plays for their Evening of One Acts. I finally got to put a “New York Theatre” section on my resume! I just gained so much credibility. Well, a little, anyway. Just by having “NY Theatre” on my resume. Score!
Five members of the original cast of Billy Elliot The Musical left the show on Sunday: 3 ensemble members (2 kids, 1 adult) and 2 principle roles (2 kids). Anyway, one boy who plays Billy’s friend Michael was one of the five cast members leaving. Everyone working front of house that day was watching the big numbers to see everyone perform one last time. Now, I wouldn’t say I was friends with the people leaving but I had talked to several of them many times and of the kids who were leaving probably had the most interaction with David (Michael). He is crazy talented and humble…..a pretty great package for a 14 year old on Broadway.
At the end of the show Billy says “See ya, Michael,” and Michael responds, “See ya, Billy.” Well, at this performance I noticed that Trent (he was playing Billy) seemed more emotional than typical which I figured was attributed to the fact that David (Michael) was leaving along with everyone else. As he walked away from Michael at the end of the show he said through an emotion cracked voice “See ya, David.” David responded, “See ya, Trent.” All of us who were standing in the back watching gasped and whether you knew these kids or not it was an absolutely honest, emotional, moment of theatre and life. Everyone was pretty much immediately tearing up and our collective gasp from the back of the theatre was audible.
After the show there was a party at a restaurant that was ironically right next door to the venue my show was performing in. My show was actually closing that night. When I finished I went next door. I love Billy Elliot parties. The food, drinks, and mingling are great. But mainly it inspires and motivates me. I love the family that is created in theatre among cast and crew. It’s so special because it’s so fleeting, I think but still so necessary and lovely. I feel like a have a small connection to this family because I have been fortunate enough to meet and get to know many people who work on this show. I realize I don’t share a bond that many of them do as I sell t-shirts in the lobby and they have been together everyday for over a year now. But I don’t mind. I still feel something and it reminds me of one of the reasons that I love theatre (and acting in general, I suppose) so much….this window into their world. I love the fleeting family and experiences. I suppose the word fleeting makes it seem tragic but it really just makes it more valuable, more important, and easier to savour. I love it.