Okay... well most of us know the joke.
"How do you get to Carnegie Hall?"
The answer is not the corner of 57th Street. It's
"Practice, Practice, Practice."
There really aren't words to describe the feeling of stepping out onto the stage at Carnegie Hall for the first time.
But, perhaps oddly, one of the words that crossed my mind as I stepped out on to the boards was "YES..."
Yes-- I thought, I am humbled, I am honored, but I... "practiced."
Let's do this.
I am ready.
It was a privilege of extraordinary proportion to make this debut alongside not only members of the Broadway community I admire so profoundly (Judy Kaye--who has always been a trail-blazing role model, not to mention the golden-throated, utterly dashing Jason Danieley, the legendary Anita Gillette, and Jim flippin' Dale).
But of special import was the joy of playing opposite one of my very oldest and most loyal pals Santino Fontana (who, the morning of the show was nominated for his first Tony award--wow). Santino and I met at summer camp in 1999--two teenagers, one anothers' first scene partners. We reunited at the NFAA A.R.T.S competition the next year. I even soooooort ooooof followed him to college (in the days when I went to the University of Minnesota... for 8 weeks... --some of you don't know that story, but believe me I was there, before 2001 "happened...").
All of which is to say: we have been there for the highest highs and the lowest of lows
(and there sure have been both...)
Santino might not always wanna snuggle about it exactly, but he is the loyalest pal on earth.
Not to mention a talent beyond belief.
We used to chat online during his matinée of Billy Elliot and my evening performance of Carousel and dream big dreams... that made the entire experience extra special...
Work hard, readers.
Work harder than you think is necessary.
Find a goal and move toward it with "courage and integrity" (as you know I love to say).
Don't be negative.
Don't be a jerk.
Believe in dreams.
...and, of course, practice.
Believe me-- it is worth it.