by Robyn Hurder
September 29th has been one of my favorite days of the year for a long time now. In 2004, I had just been cut from a Singin’ in the Rain call for some regional theatre and I was feeling like poo about it. I head to Reproductions with my dear friend Graham to order my (new) headshots.
After we were done, we were about to cross 6th Avenue at 40th Street and I saw a 212 number on my flip phone. I figured it was Reproductions calling to say something was wrong with my order.
It was Carnahan Casting letting me know I was getting an offer for the Broadway production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
My knees gave out and I collapsed in the middle of 40th and 6th. My sweet Graham pulled me up, dragged me over to street lamp poll and propped me up. I wasn’t breathing, I wasn’t hearing… I just said “thank you.” And then I cried. And cried, and cried, and cried. We bought a disposable camera and had a photo shoot in front of what was then the Ford Theatre on 42nd Street, the theatre Chitty was going into. We ate thai food....and I kept saying “I’m going to be on Broadway.” Still in disbelief.
That evening a few dear friends joined me at Arriba Arriba, one of the only restaurants I knew at the time. I drank four blue curaçao mamas. Four. I bought shots for the entire staff before we left. While exiting, I kicked a trash bag across the street, stopped a taxi by doing a cartwheel in front of it... I don’t take things for granted, ever. Especially that very specific feeling of getting the call that you’re about to be on Broadway for the first time.
Today, I just want to send all the love, wishes, and good energy to anyone who is heading out for auditions tomorrow, or the next day... for the next year. Anyone who has a dream, a goal, a fantasy about being on the “big stage;” I get it. I was there. I’m still there. I don’t take Broadway lightly. It’s a gift and I’m reminded of it every night when I see grown adult faces look like children again because they are so happy they were just shot in the face with confetti and had their escape to our delicious underworld for two hours and 40 minutes. I don’t mean to sound so sappy and cheesy, I’m just being very honest.