My wife, Thomasin, and I have enjoyed celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this weekend. We didn't plan on it being a weekend celebration, but life sometimes intervenes and well, we just partied with the flow. We spent the evening of our anniversary watching our wedding, reception, and honeymoon videos. We laughed a lot and cringed a lot as we would notice folks and realized that this couple and that couple weren't together anymore, how much so and so had changed, and there was the occasional, who the hell is that.
We also got very emotional when we realized that tagged onto the end of our honeymoon video that there were two clips of Thomasin showing our wedding photos to her two grandmothers, both of whom have since passed a way. Rare and wonderful memories that we'd forgotten we had.
Then yesterday was one of those confluences of our wacky lives that seem to happen quite frequently in our life at Wayside Theatre. We had two performances of Striking 12 ready to go, and folks from several different walks of our lives just sort of miraculously decided to attend one or the other. Former colleagues and former friends all headed to Middletown to check out the show, and to spend some time together. The most far flung journey goes to Scott Sandoe, a choreographer, and now writer who has been living in LA since before we moved to Virginia.
Scooter knew and worked with Thomasin before I knew her. Scooter was a part of a team that I worked with more times than I can count in Chicago, mostly at New Tuners Theatre. Scooter was the choreographer, Judy Myers was the musical director, and I was the director as we tackled new musicals in workshop form mostly, and occasionally in full productions. Scooter could always make anyone laugh and he was as creative with choreography and comedy as anyone I've ever worked with. Still is I imagine. He and I had some crazy insane experiences together both in work and in life. (Ask him about the time I helped him get home after a bout of bar hopping and we went to his old apartment by mistake.)
We kept peripherally in touch over the years (Facebook helped that when it came along) and I've tried to hire Scooter to come and work here several times to no avail. He's had an incredible journey through life, battling (and for the moment) beating cancer, and battling the system as he's been making his way through the jungles of Hollywood. He's one of those people that you just want to be with, and he proved that again yesterday, as well as proving that this world is really a small one, even though he seems to know everyone in it, well enough to make it a very large circus tent.
While here, Scooter's unbridled response to Striking 12 gave everyone associated with the show a big boost of energy. The stories he unashamedly told us all, some about our past, some about his life, were an entertainment that we could have sold tickets to. (Damn, wish I'd thought of that sooner.) He connected me up with a friend of his who is a playwright I was vaguely aware of. He and another of our friends who showed up yesterday, Jim Fleming, seem to have become good new friends, as Scooter invited himself to a new play reading Jim was on his way to in Washington. Scooter just kind of invites you into his life that way, and it's your loss if you don't accept the invitation or go along for the ride.
Thomasin and I haven't laughed so much in a long time. The hugs and kisses as the night came to an end were bittersweet and contained a few tears. But like I said, life is messy sometimes. But as Scooter proved yesterday, all that mess gives you a lot to laugh about, if you're able to open your eyes and heart to the human comedy of it all, and take a moment or two to remind yourself of the laughs and fun you've had along the way.
And then there's the stories about the dwarves...