Here’s a story.
Earlier this year, I planned on going to Europe, you know to visit the usual tourist-y place. I was about to apply for a Europe visa, buy tickets, plan my itinerary, and all that jazz. But then everything changed when I listened to Welcome to the Rock. I am not sure if I was just exhausted, but I found myself crying at the end of the song. The first three drum beats immediately caught my attention, and it did not let me go until the song was over. So I listened to 38 Planes, and I again, I was tearing up. The songs were doing something to me but I do not know why. And right there, sitting on my bed, at 2:30 in the morning, I decided to change my summer plans. I decided to go to New York instead. Forget Paris, London, and Italy, I was going to New York and I am going to watch Come From Away.
And there I was, sitting at the 5th row in the mezzanine. It was the perfect view. Not too close, not too far. Just perfect. The lights began to dim, everyone was settling down, and I heard it – the first three drum beats that made me want to watch this show. I cried during the entire opening number. It sounds wild, but I really did. I really wanted to watch the show and I was there. I was there at the moment and it was the best moment in the world. After the opening number, I wanted to give them a standing ovation but I was too stunned so I remained in my seat. I should have done it. I should have openly gave my appreciation right there. But it’s fine, someone did stand and clapped for a couple of seconds. And to that man, I salute you.
I laughed, I wept, and I fell in love in a span of 100 hours. I have never felt more alive than I did in that theatre. I will never forget this experience. Turning my plans upside down truly was worth it.
I just want to say that i really love Come From Away and the family that comes along with it. I do not have a 9/11 story because I was just 4 when the tragedy occurred. I love how CFA manages to tell the story of the tragedy but it doesn’t neglect the positive things that came along with it. It also showed how tragedy brings out the best in people. I love this show. I love this story.
And here’s the cherry on top!
The CFA stage door was the best stage door experience ever. Here’s the thing about stage doors: Either you’ll love it or you’ll hate it. And news flash: I loved it so much. The people/fans were the best people you will ever meet. They carry the kindness and generosity that the show teaches us.
Meeting the cast truly made this the best stage door experience that no other show will top it. I met 10/11 of the cast and they are the best, sweetest, kindest people you will ever meet. They will at you straight in the eye, converse with you, and hug you! (I hugged Jenn Colella and I am pretty sure that I was clinging on to her and I am so sorry. I just wanted to hug her and I really did not want to let go).
This show owns my heart. To Sankoff + Hein, I love you. Thank you for bringing this show to life. Thank you for everything. To Chris Ashley, thank you for your brilliant direction. This show changed my life.
Now, here’s another story.
I am going back to NYC on September because I am studying film there. At first, I was hesitant to go because it is a foreign country and the idea of living and studying in a foreign country is terrifying. I am from Asia, English is not my first language, so it really is scary. But after watching CFA, I thought, maaaaaaan, I really need to go back to the city. I need to watch CFA at least 5 times. And that is it, suddenly, all the hindrances in my mind went away just because of my love for this show. Suddenly I am alive and I can do anything. I am going to film school, I am going back to NYC, and I am going back to Schoenfeld Theatre.
Somewhere in the middle of New York city, I found my heart but left a part of me behind. Thank you.
P.S: If I had the means to donate to Broadway Cares and go backstage, I will definitely do it. But I am just a student so backstage will have to wait. I hope someday I will see where the magic happens.