Best Friend’s Wedding

When I was growing up, I always liked it when my mom’s friend, Merlin, came to visit. Though that wasn’t really her name, Merlin was (and still is) always fun and mom seemed more fun and exciting when Merlin was around. To this day, I still enjoy listening to their stories of when they were younger and all the trouble they used to get into. They were roommates in college and my whole life, I hoped that I would find a life-long friend just like mom had found Merlin. 

Though I have more in common with Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids than I do Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding, the title of this corner is exactly where I’m heading today.  My best friend Jamie is getting married to her wonderful fiancé, Joe.  I met Jamie my freshman year in college and we really didn’t hit it off until the next year when I had moved back to campus early and she was the only one around when I had a craving for Pizza Hut.  That trip to Pizza Hut must have been fate because it seems like we were inseparable for the next three years.  We saw each other through everything: heartbreaks, exciting news, frustrating finals, apartment moves, new jobs, and late nights at the local donut shop.  Jamie and I experienced some of the most exciting, scary, challenging, and difficult parts of life together and the past seven years I have lived in Florida seem to blend together and diminish whenever I’m with her.  They say it’s a good sign of friendship when you are able to pick right back up from where you left off after being apart for a long time.  That is definitely true with Jamie.  Jamie has never come to Walt Disney World and my trips back to Bloomington, IN are getting fewer and fewer every year.  However, I still consider her one of my best friends and she’s still the first person I want to talk to when I have exciting news. 

Our friendship truly blossomed my senior year of college when she worked with me on the production of One Night at Louie’s at the University.  In one semester, I had written and directed the comedy that ended up changing my life.  As my Assistant Director, Jamie was there through the whole process as our relationship grew from a simple friendship to a theatrical relationship.  Any actor or techie will agree that the friends you make in theatre are a little different than any regular friends.  There is a whole subculture amongst us theatre folks that includes a special language and a different set of social norms.  So it was no surprise to me when I got a call from Jamie a few weeks ago asking me to “run sound” for her ceremony.  (Naturally I said yes) Only another theatre friend like Jamie would have their wedding “blocked” and would invite you to the “tech rehearsal” to run the sound queues that she has highlighted in the “script.”  I will be studying it on the plane. I sure hope I’m “off-book” by the time I get to St. Louis.

Though Jamie has never seen a STAGE production, she has heard me talk about every project and sometimes I find it incredibly bizarre that one of the most important people in my life has never seen my journey from a conference room at Downtown Disney to the Ballroom of the Americas.  However, no matter wherever I am or whatever I’m doing, I know that whenever anything important happens, I’m still going to want to pick up the phone to tell Jamie. 

Here at STAGE, we have the amazing opportunity every day to connect with others that share a passion in theatre and because of that we create special friendships that you can’t find just anywhere.  Only our theatre friends understand when we tell them that we have to strike the party from last night or that they need to move down, stage right so that we can get by or that we can’t make it the Glee viewing party this week because we’ve got rehearsal.  (Shh… don’t tell me anything, I haven’t watched it yet).  Sometimes when I’m exhausted from a long day at work immediately followed by an equally tiring rehearsal, I’ll hear my phone vibrate, see Jamie’s face on the screen, and suddenly I’m chipper and peppy again.  When I’m with my best friend, I become fun and exciting again.  I guess I found my Merlin. 

So as I head back up North for my best friends’ wedding, I look back on our friendship and I thank God for blessing me with such a unique and special person in my life.  This week we’ll celebrate her and Joe’s new life with friends and family and I know that we’ll add this to the list of life events that we’ve shared over the years. 

Congratulations Jamie.  Break a leg.