I bought some potato salad, macaroni salad and soda and headed down to the Orlando Reperatory Theater in Lock Haven Park for the toast to former Orlando Theater critic Elizabeth Maupin. When I pulled into the parking lot, Elizabeth was just getting out of her car so for once my timing was perfect. When I got inside I was directed as to where I should place my food items. I wandered the room wondering where I should situate myself for a sketch. I spoke for a while with actor, Alan Gallant, who had played Orson Wells in "War of the Worlds." I learned a bit about what it is like to try and make a living in this town as an actor. I then spoke with Zac Alfson who was just back from NYC where he attended a marketing workshop. A woman stood on the small makeshift stage and shouted "Start eating!" I admired her directness and kind of wish politicians could be that straight forward and to the point.
When I saw where Elizabeth was going to sit, I decided to go up to the second floor balcony so I could get a good overhead view of the whole scene. The railing was too high for me to see over with simply my stool. So I pulled up a chair then put my stool on top of it. This high precarious perch gave me an overall view of the proceedings. She can be seen in the lower right hand corner of my sketch with her husband and three other men. As everyone was eating, I finished up the initial line work. Brian Feldman walked in with his marquee sign. He saw me up on the balcony with hand signs, he asked me where to place it. When he found the right spot, I gave him a thumbs up. He went to the men's room and while he was gone, someone took it upon themselves to rotate the sign towards the front door. When he came back in, he looked up at me with a "what the f...) expression. I gave a hand rotation signal and he rotated the sign back so I could see. Zac came upstairs to see how my sketch was going. He asked if he was in it, and I hadn't sketched him. I told him if he socialized in the center section of the room, I would put him in the sketch. So he is in the sketch, twice actually, once standing and also seated.
When performers took to the stage I was adding washes. One song in particular was really heart warming, I wrote down the only note for the night, "Where's the challenge if you never try?" Another song spoke about how we meet certain people in our life who help us grow. My mind wandered and I reflected on the good friends I have met since I have started sketching theater productions. I felt a warm connection to this theater community. Or, as Margaret Nolan said in a Facebook status update, "The evening had a great energy and was full of heart and soul. Just what the world needs!"