It happened Saturday, October 2, 2010
Now, this story really begins much earlier. In fact, it is sort of full circle, or nearly full circle.
My history and story with musicals; in this case, RENT (the musical), and the cast of the original Broadway musical.
Years ago, when RENT was a workshop and there was a casting call . . . in the late 80s. I recall reading and/or hearing about the audition here in New York.
At that time, I was a skinny (anorexic thin, actually), aspiring stage star. I graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Regularly performing as ‘Frank N. Furter’ with my Rocky Horror Picture Show shadowcast in Brooklyn; attending auditions I would find in the Backstage newspaper.
I’m sure I blew off the auditions for RENT. Only thing I remember from the time(s) was thinking, “A musical about paying rent? Clever!” And having read the breakdown, perhaps, at that time, I would’ve only fit the role of Maureen. I know, in those days, even though I was in my early to mid 20s, I was still being cast as 16 to 19-year-olds [I looked really young]. It made me a good age for ‘Mimi’ . . . certainly I was skinny enough, but, I am as white as the driven snow. The only thing about me that is even remotely hispanic would be brown eyes!
God knows, as a teen and into my early 20s, I dreamt of wearing “Max Factor’s TV #4” make-up to help me be a candidate to play ‘Maria’ in WEST SIDE STORY!
Strangely, I remember someone, who was a lot like the real-life version of ‘Angel’, a good friend–at the time.
He/She called himself ‘Miss Andrew’ . . . was one of my best friends . . . in my shadowcast [as ‘Columbia’]. I remember, early in our friendship, Miss Andrew said to me, “You’d be great as Mimi in that new musical, RENT.”
Miss Andrew knows his stuff, as far as theatre goes … thus, it must’ve been very early on in the developing of RENT: Andrew wouldn’t expect red-headed/white me to play a hispanic girl, even then, when I was skinny enough to play a drug addict with AIDS.
To complete the circle . . . to this day: I swear that Jonathan Larson, previous to writing RENT, must’ve been hanging out with all of us at “8th Street Playhouse’ and ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW in the 80s. It would be years and years before I actually saw RENT; still, I feel like I knew every character in one way or another. They were me and my buddies at RHPS, etc. We lost many, early on, to AIDS, too; others still living today with it on inhibitors, etc., etc.
I dated quite a few guys who were either, filmmakers ala’ ‘Mark’ and many musicians, ‘Roger’. And like ‘Maureen’, I experimented a bit. Not quite to the point the character did — as I never had a full-fledged affair with a woman. A couple of make-out sessions above the waist was as far as my lesbian experiences went, in my early 20s.
Otherwise, to this day, I generally date 1) gay men, 2) commitment-phobic men or 3) possessive men. If I date at all. It’s been awhile! Another story for another time!
I digress … In 1993-1997, years later, I was highly involved with Manhattan’s 13th Street Repertory Theatre. During a production of Tobin James Mueller’s musical, Frankenspell, I dated a bit. One guy, whom I had one date with only, was Simcha Borenstein. It was just dinner, thus, really, not a date — it was either his birthday or mine; we were friends and not too interested in each other romantically. Anyway, I think it was his birthday and I didn’t want him to celebrate alone … he was sort of shy, or seemingly so. Thus, we had dinner.
At that time, we talked a lot about theatre, etc. and have kept in touch, a bit, since that time (facebook). Simcha is married now and like me, still does theatre. Anyway, about four years ago (2006 or thereabouts), had dinner with him and his wife. Simcha is close friends with Anthony Rapp!!! They went to school together!
In 2007, I finally saw RENT on Broadway and fell in love, becoming a big Renthead. I also saw WICKED. Although, I had fallen in love with the Original Broadway recording of WICKED and had a mad lust/love and respect for Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth. In fact, I still do!!! I’d go gay for Idina Menzel [really, it’s a joke! Maybe . . .].
Time passes again, I hear Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal [I’d do anything for him!] are coming back to Broadway in the show. On their last Broadway performance, a few days before, desperate to see them perform, I go to Craigslist and find one ticket for sale — face value!!! The girl cannot go due to a job conflict.
In the meantime, this is 2008 . . . my roommate tells me that she is friends with Adam Pascal. They worked on a film together called GOYBAND. More small world coincidence. At the Broadway Flea Market earlier that year — I met Anthony and we spoke about Simcha, out mutual friend.
So, I go to the show, and despite crowds in the 1000s (it seemed), I get near enough to Adam to yell out, “Georgie [sic: my roommate from GOYBAND] says ‘hey’, Adam!”
Adam looks up, all sweet and wonderful, and says to me.
“Oh, send her my love and a big kiss!”
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to him, close enough to get that kiss for her!
Then, later in 2008, I move to Hollywood, California for eight months, right? I join a meet-up group. The organizer of our “law of attraction” Beverly Hills, CA meet-up group, Marc, I learn…plays tennis regularly with . . . TAYE DIGGS!!! Idina Menzel’s husband!!! Unfortunately, Marc never introduced me to Taye and Idina. Still, closer than ever.
And then, just this last October . . . back in New York since November 2008: I go to the Broadway Flea Market and win free tickets to an Off Broadway play called TALES FROM THE TUNNEL. I meet the director at the flea market.On October 2nd, 2010, my good friend Jordan Auslander, another friend, Joseph and I go to see this play. I am in awe, happy and thrilled to see “Wilson Jermaine Heredia” as one of the ensemble cast!!! Wow! Full circle!And earlier that day, I was jamming to my iPod and listening to ‘I’ll Cover You’ from the film, RENT!After the show, a few of us were hanging around [bathroom etc.] inside the theatre. I went over to greet the actors and hoping to say hey to Wilson. And out he comes from backstage!”Wilson, I was listening to you today! Small world!”
Wilson smiles, “Thank you!” as he gives me the tightest, best hug ever!!!
It caught me a little off-guard, in a great way, as I didn’t expect him to be so down-to-earth and friendly! He held really tight and wow — he has a great body [Wilson obviously works out]! Also, we must remember, I have a thing for hispanic men. So, I was in heaven!!
As we came out of the hug, he started to introduce himself and went to shake my hand.
“Thank you for coming, I’m Wilson Jermaine . . . “
I had to cut him off, “I know who you are! Remember, I was listening to you today?” As I introduced myself, “Hello, I’m Angela Theresa Collins. I won tickets at the Broadway Flea Market.”
Then, of course, he was off . . .
I was sort of overly excited and forgot to ask for a photograph together. At least, a cell phone shot. Still, I had a great experience!
Hmmm, I wonder if Wilson dates older women? Wilson, how about it?! I’d be a cougar for him, most definitely.