I wish I could talk to myself from a year ago and tell him what beautiful things lie in store.
I wish he could’ve known that the days spent walking around campus listening to Sunday in the Park with George were more meaningful than his heart could ever know. That crying at night with his beautiful roommate while watching the show was not just a product of the worst heartbreak yet (and more did come later).
He knew, walking around campus, that things were changing. He experienced his first true heartbreak and felt disconnected from the world he so desperately wanted to be a part of. He was deeply entrenched in sorrow and barely kept afloat.
I wish I could tell him that a year from now he would see Sunday in the Park with George at New York City Center. I wish he knew that he was going to meet Bernadette Peters, and have an opportunity to thank her for the work she does. He would just about die if he knew that she would eventually call him “darling,” while he shook hands with Tommy Tune. I wish he knew that he would run into Hunter Bell at two shows in the span of a week. I wish he knew that he would be at the first preview of Tick, Tick… BOOM! at Theatre Row, where he would be in the same tiny theater as Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Joe Iconis, Nick Blaemire, and so many more creative geniuses. He wouldn’t believe he’s going to meet Jim Walton and original cast members of Merrily We Roll Along at the screening of Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, where he would sit four rows away from Stephen Sondheim giving a Q&A.
In my darkest hours, these two composers have lifted my soul to higher ground. Stephen Sondheim and Jonathan Larson have shaped the very core of my artistic goals. I wish I knew then what I’m doing now. Keep moving forward. Keep breathing. Remember these moments of pure joy. Embrace this community. Give in to love. Finish the hat. See the pretty countryside.
I am unfinished. And that’s going to work just fine.
(This message is brought to you by the contact high I received from breathing the same air as Bernadette Peters and Tommy Tune.)