Saturday, January 31, 2009

Living for Friends

Normally when a new show starts the rehearsal process, there is always a period where you don't really know anyone and so everyone is forming first impressions, putting their best foot forward, and trying to find out who will be their new besty, their showmance, their fierce hookup, WHATEVER. When I first joined the BIZ I would always feel totally frantic the first few days of rehearsal because I was desperate to make everyone like me. I would make my way through the cast winning people over one by one. A few people in my first casts noticed this and once they got to know me better, they would sort of call me on it. I remember one guy I became good friends with at Gateway playhouse said to me-- "WOW you had an inside joke with literally everyone in the cast within 3 days. That's kind of too much." It might seem all fine and good at first glance, the only problem is that I was giving everyone besty energy at the same time. Sometimes gay boys mistook my overzealous-friendliness for romantic preference. I had a particularly awkward moment with this guy in my 42nd Street Moscow cast. He literally came in to kiss me this one night after we watched some funny videos and went through our russian flashcards. I was like WTF is happening right now!!? I was totally cornered so I just leaned away and pretended I was reaching for my plastic cup full of diet coke. I actually think I said, "ummm I need to get my diet coke" as I ducked his surprising advances. Talk about tots awks. He then complained to everyone in the cast that I had led him on. Good times. The other huge problem with giving unilateral besty energy is that people expect you (appropriately) to sustain it! And trust me, you can't sustain it with everyone. So you just end up becoming a huge flake.

I changed my ways after a couple of years. I learned to hold myself back: to remember that I didn't have to win everyone's approval to be a valid human being, and instead just be kind and warm to people. I learned to wait until natural connections formed with people, and then I was able to sustain the different levels of intimacy I earned with different people.

This time, I am going into the show with some VERY dear friends, so I have been able to bypass all that "I don't know anyone yet" stuff. My dear friends Tia (who I have known since 1998 and who I just worked with last year in HSM) and Eddy/Troy (who I worked with in 1999 at Tuacahn) are both in the cast. There are also several other people I have worked with in the past as well. It just makes such a difference to have people in the room that you love and know and who are tried and true friends. Tia and I were L-I-V-I-N-G all day today at our rehearsal. It was literally like YA days. We were just laughing our heads off and paying just enough attention to not get in trouble. We are both signing in everyday with YQ (yes queen) instead of our initials. I doubt anyone will notice but everyday when I see all those YQs in a line I can't help but smile. We are just so happy and having so much fun. We even had a lunch date at a Thai place just below our rehearsal space. We laughed our heads off the whole time. We had Thai iced coffee. We were hyper the rest of the day and had even more fun.

Is there anything better than fun friends?


Ophidimancer said...

What Thai place was it, out of curiosity? I'm always on the lookout for a good Thai place.

Chicago is a surprisingly good ethnic food town, for being in the Midwest.

I recommend Sushi Para for really decent all you can eat sushi.


It is called Tiparos. Its in the Germania Place complex at Clark and W North Avenue. Thanks for the recommendation! Ill check out Sushi Para.

erin wilson said...

sooooooooooooo fun!