I SAW HEDWIG AGAIN AND I MET LENA HALL! Welcome to the second blog post in less than seven days where something has been crossed off my bucket list.
This was my first time going to the stage door for anything ever. Standing on the concrete behind the Pantages on election night, when Hollywood was pretty deserted and smelling like weed and the United States was on edge, there were fireworks going off in my heart because I was living out my dream at the stage door. (I understand that this probably sounds like a terrible thing to say now, but as the biggest theater geek ever, my phone was turned off like a good theater patron so I had no idea what was happening with the results until I was in the Uber back to campus.)
The Pantages had this deal where if you took your voter ballot stub or I Voted sticker, you could get a ticket for $29 so my roommate and I jumped on it, Ubered to Hollywood, saw Hedwig, and then waited at the stage door! We actually didn’t know that Darren Criss wasn’t going to be at the stage door until we were already back at our dorm, but it was so freaking amazing meeting Lena Hall… who won a TONY for her portrayal of Yitzhak… and I know I blubbered so much about studying Hedwig in school and how Hedwig was my first Broadway show, but she was so nice and talked to everyone at the stage door.
I’m still in awe that I got to meet her. I have so much respect and love for her! Her voice is so badass and beautiful and she is so sweet. Just like Hedwig will always be special to me for being my first Broadway show, Lena Hall will always be special to me because she was my first stage door meet and greet. I can’t wait to go to more shows and more stage doors!
When I saw that the Pantages had their special going on, I really had to think about what I was going to give up this week to go see this show again, on a TUESDAY NIGHT (election night RIP) but you know what? It was definitely worth it. This is why I wanted to come to LA. This is me crossing off something from my bucket list. I will always have some type of homework to do, and I will always have class in the morning, but will I ever see Darren Criss and Lena Hall in Hedwig and the Angry Inch ever again in my life? Technically, yes, if I go see the show again, but taking into perspective what the next weeks of the quarter consist of, probably not.
So I lived it up! After my friend and I met Lena, we took tons of pictures outside the theater because all of the cool Hedwig posters were up. I especially love how the above photo turned out. It really sums up my current obsession with Hedwig and knowing that I took control of my life and went to see my first Broadway show. I even took a better picture with one of the posters! My real glasses are a tribute to the iconic makeup.
Please put this photo and my photo with Lena on every birthday cake ever. I think I will have this photo printed on a blanket. Or a sweatshirt, like that one photo of Niall Horan with a fan who is wearing a sweater printed with a photo of them the last time they met. Goals.
It was truly amazing, and I owe the success of my fall quarter to my belief that what I love will get me through tough times. I know I write this all the time, but I really do not think that I would have been able to adjust to college life if I did not have my support network of musicals (and my musical theater friends!). All of my midterms this year have been B+ and above, which is actually a huge step forward from my first ever fall quarter midterms, where I failed most of them because I was so stressed out about my first year of college in general. It really does get better. It has taken me more than a year to not panic at the sight of an email from a professor or TA.
I am also always looking for more musical suggestions! I just listened to all of Be More Chill because of that heart-wrenching song “Michael in the Bathroom,” and last week I listened to Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella because I started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and I needed more Santino Fontana in my life.
My next theater plans besides Hooligan’s production of Pippin are Amélie, The King and I, and Thrones the Musical! But I am planning on seeing them once finals are over. Weeks 7 and on are usually filled with dread for finals, but since I got to see Hedwig twice in one week, I think I can handle the rest of the quarter. Especially with my memorabilia and original Broadway cast recording on repeat.
I don’t know where in music theater I belong, exactly, but I also do not mind that. One day I would like to write my own musical and one day I would like to be in a musical. (A la Lin-Manuel Miranda? That is the dream TBH.) And like everyone else in LA, I am working on those screenplays and scripts.
Now I am off to see a special early screening of Moana! Another thing crossed off my bucket list: DISNEY SENT ME AN EMAIL.
Don’t give up on your dreams! I’m not. Hold on to what you love the most. Fight for what you love. Like Hedwig sings: