10 of my favorite interactions with New Yorkers during my one month stay

9 Mar

Here are some of the most memorable interactions I had with New Yorkers during my one month stay in New York; I went there to produce and promote “Punk Grandpa” at FRIGID New York!

1. So, I had just checked in to my air b and b and was headed towards Times Square and Drama Bookshop to pass out my “Punk Grandpa” postcards, while dressed up like a fairy and these two things happened:

a) A man was gardening a small plot by the sidewalk and said to me, “You know that phone booth over there used to look like a fairy, it looked real, like it was alive, DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? But someone took the wings off, so I have been thinking about putting them back on.”

b) Then, as I was leaving the Drama Bookshop, a guy was coming out of a beauty shop and enthusiastically asked me,
“Are you a real fairy?”
“YES.”
“Can I get my picture taken with you?”
and so we went into the beauty shop and got our picture taken together and struck several silly poses with a friend of his and they told me they would come to see the show.

I felt like I was home.

2. Another day when I was out busking/passing out my “Punk Grandpa” postcards while dressed up like a fairy:

A lady on a corner in the East Village said to me, “I’m meeting a friend and I was feeling sad today and I saw you across the street and I thought, ‘Maybe I should stand by her.’ and then you came across the street.”

3. “Have fun in Candyland or wherever you’re going,” an employee at an organic food store said to me, in my fairy garb.

4. A guy came up to me on the street in the East Village and asked, “What do you DO?” I told him, “I’m a playwright and I’m doing this show….” and gave him a postcard – he said, “I have an eye for good artists, I’m going to check you out!”

5. An elderly man came up to me on the street and said, “You gave me a “Punk Grandpa” postcard (a couple days ago!), what is it about?” I told him and he started telling me about his grandpa – and how he got kicked out of SEVEN schools – and the authorities wanted to medicate him, but his grandma wouldn’t let him and he’d hang onto his grandpa’s leg.

6. A barista at The Bean told me, “I like how you match.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say that to me before! He was not being sarcastic or making fun of me, I know what that’s like~

7. One night after one of our “Punk Grandpa” shows, I met a friend of my cousin/stage manager/dramaturg/production manager, and she told me that I am going to write a musical, win a Drama Desk Award and that I will have a play on Broadway – might not have a long run, but it’ll be there and that I’ll win a Tony. I don’t recall anyone in my life ever saying even one of these things to me before, let alone all of them!

8. One day while busking in Brooklyn, I found a Superhero Supply store – with a cape tester (you pick a cape, stand on a platform and a fan goes on above you and I think, a light, too) and I also sat under a “mind reader” – it was an old-fashioned hair dryer and a voice came on that was supposed to be what I was thinking and said something like, “If I protect the city, who will protect me?” There was also anti-gravity solution, gumption and glitter vision!

An employee there said that I’m her soul sister and she asked me to be friends on Facebook and we are now and she said she would come to see “Punk Grandpa!” And, she showed me a “portal”/window where you can see the creative writing classes in the back!

9. One day, after finding out that a number of locations listed on my flyering route did not exist any more, having other places that were closed and having still other locations tell me that they don’t accept postcards anymore, I opened the door of a certain theatre and just feel an immediate feeling of magic. Their logo had a ladder to the stars on it (while in New York, I saw a sign that said, “When in doubt, take the stairs,” but I thought it said, “When in doubt, take the stars.”) I met an employee there who after about two sentences (something like, “I’m doing this play called “Punk Grandpa;” it’s about being different…”) asked me, “Do you have a script?”
“Yes.”
“Do you have it on you?”
I didn’t, but we agreed I would e-mail it to him.
Then, he said, “How did you find us? Have you been here before? Let me show you the space,” and introduced me to the artistic director and another employee. I handed the director a “Punk Grandpa” postcard and he said, “Oh yeah, I read about this!” I couldn’t believe he had heard about it! The employee also said they have grants to put on readings of plays – it was magical! Then, they invited me to their MainStage productions coming up, allowed me to leave some of my postcards and I e-mailed them the “Punk Grandpa” script.

10. My air b & b host came to see “Punk Grandpa” and he told me since he’s Asian, it means a lot to him that an Asian girl played me in the FRIGID New York production, with all the b.s. with the Oscars, etc. – and that the implication is that someone of color is not good enough to play the lead – and that a big deal wasn’t made out of it – it was seamless.

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