Before my blog, before I graduated from college, before I decided to travel...I went to New York City to perform in Carnegie Hall. It was my very first time visiting The Big Apple. Nonetheless, my first time performing at such a prestigious concert venue. With my chosen major, I was not able to study abroad during college. However, I was so grateful for the opportunity this trip gave me. It was this trip that sparked my desire to one day travel the world. Luckily, I was glad that one of my best friends in college came along with me to experience the city together. One of the most memorable moments of this trip was watching my first Broadway production in NYC. I just wasn't expecting the man who sat next to me to be really cute.
My best friend, *Melody, and I planned on watching "Violet" the Musical because we both knew the reviews were great. It was our first night in NYC, and I was eager to take in everything New York had to offer. My friend and I decided to explore outside our hotel and take photos around the city. Unfortunately, we ended up rushing to the theater half an hour before the Broadway production started. That meant running 10 blocks "Usain Bolt" style.
I thought, "This is confusing...why are all the streets named after a number!?" as I was running. I was quickly passing through 44th Street and 43rd to reach 42nd Street. However, the theater was held at the opposite side of the street, specifically, the west side. Despite running around frantically around the city, we eventually reached the theater a few minutes before the show started. I was panting and praying that our tickets at will call weren't given away last minute. To our luck, we were able to retrieve our tickets from the box office and enter inside.
I didn't notice anybody as I quickly sat down. I was just taking a bunch of selfies with Melody and sneakily capturing photos of the stage. Then, an elderly lady tapped the shoulder of a man who was sitting in the row in front of me. She boldly asked, "Hey, do you mind if we switch seats? I want to sit with her," indicating that the other lady sitting by him was her best friend. I gazed over at them and immediately locked eyes with the guy. In that instant, I stared a second too long at him. His eyes they told me that he was kind, down to earth, single, and a bit interested in me. I felt myself blush when the elderly lady sitting next to me said, "I'm sure you won't mind sitting next to some pretty ladies, right?" as she was shouldering both me and my friend at him. The guy just chuckled a bit with the response, "Sure."
As they switched seats, I was casually acting indifferent about the whole seating arrangement. "I definitely should not care if he sits next to me, right?," I thought, "Or does this possibly mean it was fate that we met here on my first night?" The day prior to my flight, my roommate joked with me asking if I would end up falling in love on this trip, and it was all too strange that I ended up meeting a potential guy who seemed to fit that circumstance in less than 24 hours. As he was sitting down, his elbow bumped into mine. I ended up facing him again. This time, we both smiled at each other. "First time watching?" he asked. I nodded saying, "Yeah."
Just when we broke the ice in our conversation, the lights started to dim down in the theater. The audience quieted down as the show was about to start. Although I wanted to know more about him, I just faced forward with nothing else to say. He followed suit.
As the curtain call began, I was listening to Melody gush about her newborn crush on one of the Broadway actors. Yet in the back of my mind, I was stuck in my whole situation with the no-name cute guy who was still sitting next to me. "I guess we're both interested in someone tonight," I joked to myself. By the end of the curtain call, the whole audience stood up in ovation. It wasn't long before everyone started to exit the theater. Melody and I waited a bit for the crowd to die down. No-name guy did the same. It was a painful three minutes of silence sitting back in my seat as I kept wondering if he wanted to say something to me. Then, Melody started to stand up and exit the row. I followed right behind her lead. "Can't wait to take photos with Sutton Foster!" I told Melody loudly, hoping the guy would take a hint in meeting me there afterwards.
I was waiting near the front of the line with a group of friends talking about the show. The line of people waiting for autographs and pictures was huge, and I was scoping out the crowd. I didn't see him...yet. For some strange reason, I was hopeful he might appear.
When Melody met the Broadway actor she was crushing on, she immediately handed me the camera to take a photo of them together. Melody faced him and confessed, " Your voice ignited a flame inside my soul." It was a cute moment, and I smiled while taking photos of them. Melody's the type of person who would boldly say something without hesitation.
After I finished taking photos, I realized no-name guy did not appear to the autograph signing at all. However, it was the memorable comment my friend made with the actor that struck a chord in me throughout the trip. "What ignites a flame in my soul?" I thought. I immediately realized it was New York City. The one place that served me boundless opportunity, endless possibilities, and surprising encounters. - Ressa
*name change due to privacy.