13 March, 2023

I wanna talk about this hug with Samantha...


I want to talk about this hug with Samantha Masssell...

Playing Tzeitel in the 2015-16 production of Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway was one of the best and hardest 16 months of my life. While the public part of me soared in such a gorgeous production and beloved role on stage, off stage I was battling with truly debilitating severe ulcerative colitis daily.

I have a lot of people to thank for keeping me afloat and alive— my “Helens,” (the beloved wig room and creators of "the Cutest Pregnant Woman on Broadway!") my Hub Adam Kantor, The “Pineapples,” (a handful of the 30-somethings who were beyond there for me), but the majority of the agony happened in the dressing room I shared with Samantha—our beloved Dressing Room 51.

I am so unspeakably grateful that those health struggles are behind me now… it’s been quite the road to recovery.
But what forever remains is the memories of an incredible 26-year-old young woman who—with no training, and who never signed up to share space with a very sick person—bore witness to it ALL.
And even when I was very hard to love and be with, Sam stuck by me. We cried. We laughed (man how we laughed). We “kept it at a 10.” She listened. She saw. All of it.
Sam and I don’t have sisters in real life.
But the further away that experience gets, the more remarkable that incredibly young and remarkable Samantha seems to me, and the more truly sisterly her devotion.
In the business of show, there are a lot of glittering highs. A lot of unspeakable lows. But what remains at the end of the day is the friendships—more like family than could ever possibly be articulated.
So. Hug your friends. Tell them what they mean. We have such precious, fleeting, fragile days here on earth.

That’s it.
I just wanted to tell you all.
I love you, Doo Doo. X
📸: James T Murray (thank you SO much)


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  2. Thanks a lot for tell us the Story.

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