This weekend I got to check something huge off my bucket list – attending the Tony Award’s Dress Rehearsal and Gala. As a fan of musical theater, I was thrilled to watch the performances live at Radio City Music Hall. And as a theater artist myself, I was intrigued to watch the behind the scenes workings of a Broadway dress rehearsal.
Watching the rehearsal was magical. I cried the moment I walked into the theater and sat down in my seat. And then I cried at least 5 times after that. Seeing talented artists that I’ve admired for years (Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, Darren Criss, Ben Platt, Aaron Tveit, Anthony Ramos, to name a few) was a dream come true.
Working at the gala was wonderfully overwhelming. I worked as a photographer at one of the beautiful flower walls taking photos of guests. So many of the people I spoke with were as excited to be there as I was and were so appreciative and gracious of me and my co-photographer Meredith. I even had a chance to speak with Bob Mackie, winner of Best Costume Design of a Musical for The Cher Show. In the whirlwind of people, I didn’t even notice at first that he was holding a Tony Award but once it registered to me what he was holding I said Congratulations. He was beaming. He said thank you and then introduced me to his team of designers. They went on their way and I was yet again reminded why I love theater – these artists are as kind as they are talented.
I was incredibly struck by Judith Light’s acceptance speech for the Isabelle Stevenson Award. In her speech she quoted George Bernard Shaw:
“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.”
It is a privilege to do the work that I do. To design and create for the performing arts, for non-profit organizations, and for my fellow entrepreneurs. I remind myself every day that I am lucky to do what I do and that by building my own business, I might inspire other women to follow their dreams and do the same.