Wednesday, October 22, 2008

three cheers for paying it forward!

     Sometimes you meet a person who helps restore your hope for humanity. 

     Like Laureen, for instance.

     But let me back up a bit.  After the show tonight there was a swanky party in the President's Club (though I saw no presidents there. And I looked, too) at the theater.  The highest theater donors were invited--as well as the cast.  It was nice. Drinks, desserts, people.  Actually, I was at the bar with my friend, Jay, and overheard somebody say, "Wow. They look much better on stage..."

    Well, I turned around and politely said, Excuse me? And the lady repeated herself, making me realize that I had misheard her the first time, saying, I only commented on the fact that you guys look better off stage.  

   Huh.  Either way, not the best compliment in the world.  Either we look not great on stage or not great in person...But that wasn't the part that redeemed humanity for me (no, duh).

    I got to talking to a certain lady, Laureen. Very sweet, very interested in theater, loved the show, has a granddaughter who dances and all that.  She asked me what the buzz was on Broadway...I told her people are anticipating Shrek the Musical, that there is also a revival of Guys and Dolls in the works, but that some shows are getting pulled before they could even start--like the revival of Fosse's Dancing--because of this economy.  

   Things are probably going to get worse before they get better, unfortunately, she said.  I know, since I am in the mortgage business.   

   This sparked even more questions on my end; we talked about the bailout, the faulty loans that banks gave out, the fear that they are now in because of those.  She mentioned that there is just nobody smart enough in congress to really solve this problem, the bailout was the best they could come up with and it really wasn't good enough. 

   Well, shoot.  We need a change folks, but that is another post.

   So anyway, long story short, I mentioned how Drew and I currently have a mortgage and are looking to refinance and blah blah blah.  She told me that she not only is a mortgage broker, but also hold a masters in financial planning (this is when I almost started to worship her. almost.  I didn't, though, because that would be way wrong).  I explained that Drew and I are two artists and don't always know exactly what to do with our money; she told me that she knows exactly what I mean and would love to help us (then I started falling a little in love). But our house is in DE and you are in Cleveland...I said.  Doesn't matter, she assured me, I work nationally. She asked me how high our interest rate is and upon finding out, told me that she is pretty sure she can get me a lower one.  We exchanged information. We hugged.  We will be in touch, she said.  

   What a kind, helpful, smart woman.   Before I left I told her, Betcha didn't know you were going to help Kristine Urich with her mortgage when you were watching her on stage tonight!

   Anyway, I am a big fan of Laureen.  Not sure what will come of it, exactly, but just the fact that she is so willing to help and to share her expertise shows what a generous spirit she has. 

   Way to pay it forward, Laureen!

   You know who didn't pay it forward, not one bit, not at all?  

   The guy who held up three of my friends in the cast at gun point tonight while they walked home from the theater.  He stole one of their phones, too.  How terrible...

    Cleveland is dangerous.  I saw a drug deal the other day. Crazy.  We make sure to walk in groups--and try, when we can, to have a man in the group...   

   But back to the positive, right?  I, along with Ian and Colin who are also in the cast, taught a master class at the Imagine Center in conjunction with Broadway Across America.  There were probably about 40 high school and college students, and it was a pleasure to work with them.

   What wasn't such a pleasure, however, was the amount of times I had to demonstrate that opening jazz combination from the show.  

   IT. IS. HARD.

   It really is.  I was glad to get to the theater tonight and realize that I only had to do it twice more once the show actually started.  I actually took comfort in that. All those lunges and jumps and squats are no joke--not to mention when they are at warp speed and you are wearing heels. 

    But it was fun to share such a historic, iconic piece of choreography with dance hopefuls.  

    So in a way, both me and Laureen paid it forward today.  


jason said...

Cool! Obviously, check her out before you really give her any information / money / trust, because sometimes people are sneaky. That's really sad about the holdup, that's crazy. Doesn't seem like Cleveland is making the same sparkling impression other towns did.

jessica said...

Yes, I totally will check her out-but she really seemed for real. And yeah, there are so many abandoned buildings here and just lack of people-its depressing, I guess. Though, I haven't had a bad time, necessarily, you just have to be careful here.

beingawesome said...

YIKES.. seriously gun point?? wow.. i mean further east of town i can see but in that area of downtown???

Well i guess that people are getting more and more desperate these days.

Very happy to see that all are safe though.

Only a couple more days til Toronto though :)

kathiek said...

I assume your friends are all okay? You be careful out there, Jess. I think it is cool that you get to teach, even while on tour, I know you like to do that!