Last night was nothing short of a triumph. Everyone involved- from the dancers, to the many choreographers, to the lighting director who learned the cues moments before the show- exhibited an incredible amount of professionalism, and for that we should all be very proud.
After the performance, a few friends and I headed over to our favorite bar, Ivy Tavern, for some well-deserved wine and dinner. We toasted to our success, laughed about our mistakes, and ate and drank until we were properly satisfied. Upon realizing it was past 11, we signaled our waiter-friend for the check and bantered a bit about who had cash, how to split the bill and the rainy walk home that awaited us. It was then that something truly amazing happened. When our waiter returned, his hands were empty but his words were not. “Hey guys”, he started in, looking a bit confused, “so the man at the bar just paid for your entire meal.”* Now, having noticed a mysterious-looking mustached man and his sidekick with a gaze that lasted just a bit too long on my way to the bathroom earlier that night, my first reaction was to start considering how to walk home without being followed by the very generous, albeit slightly creepy, ‘man at the bar’. But when I turned and saw an older man and his wife raising their glasses towards us, I realized what had really happened. This couple had just seen our show.
We thanked and thanked and thanked them again, utterly blown away by such a kind gesture. In an effort to show our gratitude for their munificence, we offered to buy their next round, but in reply, the woman simply shook her head, held up her FBP playbill, and said, “The real gift was given earlier tonight.”
Sometimes humanity surprises you. Sometimes-when you least expect it- someone is watching, connecting, and graciously receiving what you’ve worked so hard to offer. It is moments like these that remind me why all the sweat, tears, and sore muscles are worth it: Because there is no sweeter gift than appreciation.
*For the record, we are pretty sure our waiter thinks we are famous now. We don’t mind it.