So what does this have to do with The Bitchy Waiter? I'll tell you. When I did my first community theater production, I knew I had found what I wanted to do with my life. I saw people like Lee and Cynthia and Mike and Mr. Trowbridge and realized, "Hey, they're grown ups and they get to play? This is cool, I wanna do this when I grow up." I continued doing community theater and when I graduated high school I went to college to get a degree in theater. Yes, it is possible to have a degree and wait tables. When it came time to move to New York City, I needed a job that would pay me good money in a short amount of time and give me the flexibility to audition and do shows and pursue my real dream. Waiting tables is a means to an end. I have heard this a lot in my life:
The reason I don't get another job is because this is what I do. I wait tables and when I get a show, I go do it. If I was a teacher, I can't imagine the school district being cool with me saying, "So hey, I got this show and I'm going to Maryland for six weeks. I'll see you then. The students will be fine." And I write about it because I like writing and if my words can make people laugh or smile or think, then maybe I am making a difference in someone's day in some small way.
When I heard that Lee died, I thought back to the summer of 1980 and how much all those adults in Fiddler inspired me. I watched Lee sing every night. Cynthia was so funny as Yente and when that girl who played Chava cried as her father walked away disowning her for marrying outside their faith, I was so blown away by the fact that she could cry real tears. That production shaped my whole life and Lee was a huge part of it. I can't imagine that any of them ever think of that 12 year old boy who didn't have any lines in that play they did thirty years ago, but little do they know, I think of them. They made me want to be an actor.
And that is why I don't get another job. I already have one. I am an actor. And a writer. Thank you Lee and I hope wherever you are, you are singing;
Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles-
God took the tailor by the hand
Turned him around and- miracle of miracles-
Led him to the promised land.
Follow your dreams, people. Even if it means you have to wait tables to do it.
(By the way, the lady who told me to get another job is named Kate and she is actually very sweet. Just sayin'.)
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