Let me first say THANK YOU, Chuck Sambuchino for holding the blog contest for tickets to see SEMINAR on Broadway. Thank you, especially because I won. And thanks to Ian Weiss who took care of all the ticket arrangements.
I went to New York this week with my dear friend Cindy to enjoy the fruits of my victory. What a fabulous trip. We knew it'd be magical right from the start, when Bill Murray (yes, Caddyshack, Groundhog's Day, Stripes, Ghost Busters Bill Murray) sat in the seat behind me on the flight from Charleston to LaGuardia. Then it just kept getting better!
For anyone who has never been, is intimidated by, or doesn't know they even want to go to NYC, let me tell you--GO! New York City has the reputation as the city that never sleeps for a reason and it isn't insomnia. I gave it my best shot to not sleep. There's too much to see and do, too much energy to stop, too much life. Sleep can wait. And for anyone holding the grave misconception that New Yorkers are rude and nasty, I can tell you, I've rarely found nicer people anywhere in the world, or in the US. (No, I haven't traveled everywhere, yet, but I've done my fair share.)
The highlight of the week was, of course, seeing Alan Rickman (AND GETTING HIS AUTOGRAPH AND STANDING 2' AWAY FROM HIM, AND HAVING HIM SMILE AT ME or at least sort of in my direction).
SEMINAR is a hilarious play on one level, but for writers, the deeper levels are...deep. Lots of very pointed attacks on writers and the publishing industry: you need to know someone to get it; if you can't stand criticism in a small, isolated group of your peers, get out now because once it's in the world, everyone will be criticizing it; if you don't share it, you aren't really a writer; sometimes, you need a good, mean slap in the face so you can let go of that "masterpiece" you've been writing and rewriting for 6 years and move on to write something new--and better. But, overall, a tone of awe and admiration for those who do forge ahead, in whatever capacity they can, because, as all writers know, we don't do it because we can. We do it because we have to.
It really was brilliant. Clearly Theresa Rebeck has spent some time in the publishing world! And it starred Alan Rickman - they could have given him a cereal box to read and he'd be amazing.
The rest of the trip was fabulous, too--the Empire State Building at night, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the NY Public Library. Spectacular. The 9-11 Memorial: gut-wrenching, heart-breakingly moving. Everyone should go.
And then our two days were at an end and we raced back to Charleston, where my head remained in an NY cloud, clearly rejecting the reality around me to revel in the city for the rest of the week. I couldn't stop singing "New York, New York." Probably because for the first time in my life, I really get it. The allure and appeal certainly drew in my vagabond shoes, and the vibrant city beat mixed with warm, friendly people did melt away my little town blues for those 2 days. I (heart) NY!.