So, I was just sitting at an elegant table while enjoying our opening night party (and all the free food that entails) here in Atlanta when this guy comes up to me and whispers into my ear,
I would have hired you...
I know, sounds creepy, right? Which was my initial reaction, too--until I looked up and realized it was my good friend, Zaller, surprising me by coming to the show tonight.
There was a time when we saw each other every day; we climbed a lot of stairs together--me climbing more stairs than he, since he was a principal and I was merely in the ensemble--he and I, along, with my sweet friend Betsy were known as the 'X's' and had a secret hand signal which we used to pass along the pertinent information that, tonight, it was definitely going to be a West Wing Night.
The three of us even have these awesome matching bracelets, thanks to Bets and her talented, artisan dad.
The first day we met him he was walking through the cast, trying to get to wherever it was he needed to go, I guess and said, Ah, principal coming through, guys...
Well, we didn't know him so well then, certainly not well enough to know if he was joking or not, which led us to two conclusions:
- He is a jerk
- He makes jokes that aren't funny
Turns out the first conclusion was absolutely not true while the latter conclusion was only true sometimes.
However, most of the time he does make funny jokes.
Anyway, in the ten months I did the Will Rogers Follies (which is basically entirely performed on stairs, thus the earlier stairs reference) I got to know him; and while navigating through late night talks about who we think God is, our families, this crazy business, as well as falling in love with CJ, Toby, Charlie, President Bartlett, Sam, Donna, and Leo from the West Wing, we landed in something that I am happy to call friendship.
Gosh it's been...I don't even know how long, maybe two years or so since last we saw each other. But one thing that I love about this business is you end up with friends just about everywhere--and most of the time you aren't even aware it is happening until you are crying and hugging and saying crazy things like you never would have been able to do all those kicks or sing the same stupid lyric day in and day out without so-and-so doing the very same thing right next to you.
Or at least, you are fairly sure that it would not have been so startlingly fun.