Monday, September 19, 2005

Backstage Pass

Friday and Saturday marked the annual fundraiser for the AIDS hospice where I volunteer. This year I was asked to be on the steering committee (which I know now means the "worker" committee given that there are numerous committees but the folks who get the flowers and champagne on the big night in front of the audience are the ones with the deep pockets, not the worker bees). I loved it and wouldn't want to have traded places with any of the folks who gave $250 to the cause in order to sit in the audience. I'll gladly give them the money, it's just the fun was behind the curtain!

When you anchored on stage left and right by two pros, you don't really have to sweat the small stuff. We were. I was smart enough to enlist two veterans and then stuffed the rest of the stage crew list with friends who can lift, tote, clear, and do whatever else they're told.

We had a small snafu during the performance, proving once again that "every change changes everything" -- a set change slowed the performers who slowed the crew in clearing but didn't slow the pianist who actually sped up the next song cue and one of our guys was caught onstage, while the singing started and he dropped a chair . . . yes, during the song.

I cringed. But after that there wasn't much else to do. The show did go on. No one seemed too miffed and in all, it was a great night.

I walked away with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for friends who would donate more than 15 hours of a precious weekend and get nothing more than lukewarm leftovers, cheap champagne, and a big thank you. But these are the caliber of folks I surround myself with. Lawyers, teachers, artists, soon-to-be doctors, chaplains -- all who recognize the precious commodity that is time and give it willingly when the cause is right.

So another year of fundraising has a great start -- the best ever in fact -- and a refuge from the storm that is AIDS has enough to keep it in operation a bit longer. While I pray for the day when it's not needed, I'm glad to be a part of it now.


Baby said...

Actually, I found the chair dropping to be humorous myself. It reminds us that this is live theatre and not some pre-taped sit-com with a laugh track. And really of all that could go wrong, what's a dropped chair?

For me, I had a wonderful time. Though I will continue to wonder what kissing you would have been like, I did enjoy kissing Roger! And how often can you kiss a georgeous man and go home and tell your husband all about it?

But far more important than our enjoyment, it was a successful evening and I can't wait to pitch in with Omega House again. Thanks for opening this door to me.

Finding the Happy said...

And now you know why I grieved my absence this year. This volunteer effort, which has grown beyond our wildest expectations, maintains the essence of the founding of Bering Omega...that people with an empassioned heart can combine their various talents to bring comfort and dignity to those in need. Welcome to the show!