My official birthday was Friday, Saturday was my party, and then it continued into Sunday at my day job’s holiday party (which technically wasn’t for my birthday, but I pretended it was :)) All of these celebrations were absolutely wonderful, but nothing can top the best unexpected present I recieved the Wednesday prior. That’s when the real celebration began.
It started with seeing Follies on Broadway. Once upon a time, I did that show in community theatre when I was in high school and played Young Sally. I have been in love with it ever since. The story, the score, it’s all brilliant and heart breaking, yet life affirming at the same time. It’s one of my life goals to play adult Sally (gimme 30 years. I’ll be there). The production was stunning and left my friend and I needing to sing our hearts out. So off we go to my favorite show tune piano bar.
I wasn’t planning on staying late, but that place always sucks me in. Next thing I know, it’s almost 2am and I’m about to finish up my drink, sing one last tune, and head out….then in walks Alan Cumming and Darren Criss. Both wearing adorable hipster glasses and striped shirts. Yes. The Scottish Elf himself and the adorably talented Blaine from Glee. They’re friends. There’s no way I was leaving. In fact, we may have closed down the bar. And the other bar we went to afterwards.
We sang our faces off together. Alan Cumming sang “Suddenly Seymour” directly to me while I sang the Audrey part right back to him. At one point, my friend leaned over and said “Alan Cumming really loves you!” I KNOW!!! Through the rest of the night, I kept connecting with both of them. They even sang a couple solos/duets themselves. There were maybe 15 people in the bar altogether at this point, so basically we had our own very private concert (not to mention the second bar we went to where Alan sang Adele's "Someone Like You" and Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful". Not even kidding). The thing I loved the most was that they were there for the same reason I was: they loved to sing show tunes. That’s it. They were out on the town doing something they loved. You could see it on their faces just how happy they were to be there and be goofy and nerdy and just have a good time.
Afterwards, I went up to them individually. I did not want to bother them while they were enjoying their evening, but I had to at least say hello. I went up to Darren first and said how lovely it was singing with him and congratulated him on How to Succeed. He couldn’t have been sweeter. He complimented me on my singing, saying how good I was and how he was afraid to sing as to not mess me up. Apparently he comes to this bar a lot on a different night of the week and told me to stop by. Next time I see that he’s in NY, I might just have to take him up on that!
Alan was very much the same. He complimented me as well, was very sweet and kind, and even introduced himself to me. So yeah, I’m on a first name basis with Alan Cumming. NBD. :)!!!
It all just left me thinking. At first I was very confused. I made the decision this year to stop doing musical theatre. It’s something I love, but it’s not something I truly want to pursue as a full-time career. What I really want more than anything is to work in television. I LOVE television. It’s my favorite medium of all. But here I was, first watching an incredibly gorgeous Sondheim show, wanting desperately to be up there on that stage, then being complimented on my singing by Broadway actors, one of whom even won the TONY! Did I make the wrong choice? But then finally it hit me. And I could not believe how stupid I was not to realize this. Yes, one of them is a TONY award winner, yes one of them is (was) starring in a Broadway show, but what are they doing right now? THE GOOD WIFE and GLEE. What are those things? TELEVISION SHOWS. Just because I’m not pursuing musical theatre right this very second does not mean I never will. I don’t have to choose one over the other, I can have them both. Just not right this very second. This year my goal is to book a role on a TV show and that’s OK. I still have a place where I can go and belt my heart out if I need to. And maybe one day I’ll be that actress that walks into that bar and everyone wants to talk to because Oh My God It’s Rebecca Kopec she’s so awesome and famous and wow she can sing and man she’s so super nice and sweet too! And I’ll bring along my two friends, Alan and Darren.
Best. Birthday Present. Ever.