Going into our last weekend of performing Big Voice in New York, we were curious to see if anyone would notice. What would our ticket sales look like? Would people come out just to see us and say goodbye?We got the early word that, yes, tickets were going fast. I was getting inundated with emails from people who had been holding off on seeing the show, wondering if they could get in.
The Saturday shows were very full, indeed. We needn't have worried. Carl and Dale both came to the early show to watch the blocking and make notes.
On Sunday, we got to the theater and it was a near sell-out. Not only was the orchestra seating filled, but there were people in the balcony. The buzz in the room was amazing. People came from all over. One woman and her husband flew in from Texas just to see us. "We didn't want to miss this!" she said excitedly to me after the show.
CJ, a longtime from of mine, drove up from Washington DC with his new boyfriend.
The reaction to the show was explosive from the very first word. In fact, all three shows over the weekend were like this. But, probably because it was such a special occasion, Sunday's audience was over the top. Most in the audience were seeing the show for the first time. Many had come based upon word of mouth from friends. But there were also a lot of people who were seeing the show for the second, third, fourth and fifth times.
For us, it was pure fun.
We felt like rock stars.
It felt like the show went by in seconds.
Jimmy totally cracked me up during one of the scenes. I barely managed to hold it together.
This is the kind of performance/audience exchange that rarely comes along. You never want it to end.
I felt so free!
The emotional scenes got to me, especially. I was feeling much more than just what was happening with the scene. The entirety of the whole night, the four months in New York, the amazing critical response, the way friends came over and over, the singers wanting to sing my songs. It was all getting to me.
And it was fun.
For many actors and performers and writers, moments like this are rare. Whether they happen in your back yard or at a community function or a small theater or at, like us, in a beautiful off-Broadway space, you live for these kinds of shows, these kinds of audiences.
As ready as I am to be home, sleeping for the next week, I also didn't want to leave. I wanted to just stay and play. It will happen. We really do feel New York is just as much our home as Hollywood. Who knows? Maybe we become bi-coastal. Maybe we'll move here, lock, stock and barrel.
But one thing I can guarantee for sure: We will be back. Thank you, New Yorkers. Thank you for embracing us, loving us, cheering us on and accepting us into your world, making us feel like we truly belong.
This has been the experience of a lifetime.
(And the best part is that this is the only the beginning...)