Of Donuts & Talent Crushes

This city is full of all my talent crushes and I’m getting worse at not gushing at them. What? You’ve never heard that phrase?

A talent crush is when I don’t want to mush my mouth on yours I just want to sit at your feet, become your best friend and ask you how you do what you do and probably eat donuts together.

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Por ejemplo:

-Any improv musical director. Is there a Hogwarts for MDs? Because you are all wizards, I am convinced, and no one can tell me otherwise. From the first Musical Armando I saw in October 2015, I was (and still am) for sure that Dave Asher is a wizard. I spend more time at shows watching him than the show, waiting to see if 1) he has a secret wand in the piano or 2) when that inspiration strikes to begin music, if so, what kind of music, HOW THE HELL does he both lead AND follow AT THE SAME TIME. I’ve worked with Jeff Bouthiette and thought THE SAME THING while I was actually singing in his class watching him watch me and literally seen Aaron Graham write gorgeous melody to lyrics I wrote. IT. IS. WIZARDRY. I’m finally in a class Dave Asher is teaching and after 2 weeks I’m no closer to discovering the secret to any MD’s power.

-People who do convincing accents on stage and keep them THE WHOLE SCENE. I’m looking at you, John Sabine. I have seen The Late 90s at least 10 times and every.single.time that weird pseudo-Belgian accent causes me to lose my mind and your cast mates to break. Being in Susan Messing’s class was a constant side ache of laughter, but seeing her do a Franco-Russian accent in a “The Boys” show for 5 scenes as people kept tapping out her partner was so, so satisfying as she kept it consistent.

-People so good at object work that I’m convinced I can see the thing they’re doing, like some kind of stage synesthesia. I saw Micah Philbrook in a show 6 months before I ever had him as a teacher and it was a completely silent scene with another person and they were both butlers and I can still, to this day, describe it in detail to you, over 18 months later. I saw Scott Moorehead in Second City’s ETC show “A Red Line Runs Through It” and I have tried so many times in my house to convincingly lean like I’m on the train slowing down and I’m so jealous. TEACH ME, SENSEI. TJ & Dave made me believe they were at an actual bar during their show; I didn’t realize it until I was describing the COLOR OF A FAKE BAR to a classmate and then said, out loud, “OH MY GOD THERE WAS NO BAR THERE.” Just a blank stage and these people build a world.

-Any people who sing and improv AT THE SAME TIME. Every time I’ve seen Stacey Smith in a musical improv show, my jaw drops a little. Not only is she 1) improvising a scene, she’s also 2) making her partner look good, 3) writing beautiful, emotional poetry, 4) musically making gorgeous sounds and 5) MAKING IT LOOK EASY, all on the fly. It’s batshit. Sometimes she does it with puppets and I die, every time. From the laughter AND from the sheer skill.

If anyone has tips on approaching these people and stealing their life force/befriending them in a normal, human way, I AM OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS.

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