Monday, April 5, 2010

Why Facebook Is Awesome

Back in the mid-90's, your Uncle P found himself in a playing Mushnik (for the 2nd time) in a production of Little Shop of Horrors for Princeton University's "Princeton Summer Theatre," a program which allowed students the opportunity to run a repertory-style theatre company for a summer. They were desperate; I had done it before; I was cast with what was barely an audition.

It was during this production that I met a young man playing the voice of Audrey II, who would go on to cast me in the role which would eventually inspire the name of this blog. This tall, gangly, funny and talented fellow had an unusual vision for The Tempest. He set it in an abandoned subway, transforming the shipwreck to a train wreck and turning Ariel into the spirit of a Broadway hoofer and Caliban into an NYC homeless person. It was the first of many guest performances I have been privileged to have on many NJ college and university campuses, and one of my favorite roles of all time. The PST Board then asked me to direct the following summer, which led to my first time directing Shakespeare. My consequent production of A Midsummer Night's Dream not only proved to me that I actually could direct, but went on to break PST Box Office records, resulting in SRO sales and a long list of hopeful standbys. It also made me the first (and as far as I know, the only) person outside the campus community to direct a production at Princeton, a distinction I will always hold near and dear to my heart. It also allowed me, the following year, to direct the aforementioned production of Much Ado About Nothing, during which Q and Dale fell in love.

Over the years, I lost touch with that young man, though I thought of him (and several other young folks from that era) often. When I first created my Facebook account, I searched for many of those talented folks, to no avail. They had scattered to the winds (as college graduates are wont to do).

A few days ago, through a random connection I had just made with one of my favorite Midsummer cast members (Yes, Suzanne, I'm talking about you), the young man in question (now married with child) made a "Friend" request. You can't imagine how happy it made me to reconnect with someone who not only "gets" me, but for whom I have always had a genuine affection. Dallas from Fort Worth is the original "Dear D" (no offense to the Dear D we all know and love, who will always and forever be that to me) and you have no idea how happy I am to reconnect with him.

People may bitch and whine about Facebook and it's ever-changing policies and layout, but I will always be happy that it's there to help me reconnect with people I have known and loved over the years. And Dallas, if you are reading this, thanks for finding me. I'm so glad you did. Dead Rats, forever! (And yes, that's a private joke.)

More, anon.

1 comment:

Jono said...

Not the only, Brian! I've done three there. But, it's still an honor. PST were the best four summers of my life; the third summer, when we sold out 38 performances in a row, goes down as the moment when I thought "...yeah, I need to do this the rest of my life."