Hey Kids, Get a comfy chair, this will be a long post.
At last here is my account of my New York City trip on June 15th, and what a day it was! I arrived at the Greyhound station that Saturday morning at 7:00 to catch the 8:00 a.m. bus. Having settled in the waiting area with 20 minutes to spare, I ran out to my car in the lot to get something when I noticed a meter man checking cars for tickets. Turns out the station had installed a singular ticket machine there (not immediately obvious) which only allowed parking 30 minutes at a time. Long story short, I wasn’t ticketed, but had to quickly park my car a block away in a parking ramp and rush back to catch the bus with only about 5 minutes to spare! You can’t imagine my adrenaline – Gotta get to NY! Well, 3 1/4 hours and 300 miles later, I was there.
I love being in the city; there is nothing like NYC to take one out of themselves, and I really needed to reconnect with the real world after two weeks of mourning my Mom. (Slowly getting better, btw) Got in town with enough time to visit old friends on the West side, get some good city pictures, and them off to Symphony Space to see Vincent. After collecting my ticket (it had sold out) I went around to the side of the theater where the entrance to the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater is. (Nice to know that Mr. Nimoy will have his name permanently in lights on Broadway!) A man waiting there asked me with a crisp British accent if I was there to see Vincent. I said yes. We got into a friendly conversation about Trek, Dr. Who, fandom, and Nimoy. His name was Edwin and we were excited to be first and second in line… or so we thought. After @ ten minutes a theater employee came out and told us we were at the wrong door! Edwin figured we’d be shuffled to the end of a long line, but fortunately we had only moved from 1st and 2nd to 10th and 11th, just behind some of Edwin’s friends. When we were finally admitted, we all went straight for the front row, which was literally within spitting distance of the performers. (Seriously, there is only one foot of space between the your feet and the stage!) I sat with a very kind lady named Deana who had seen the show years ago with Mr. Nimoy starring. (Lucky!)
The play, of course was just amazing, leaving me exhilarated and emotionally exhausted, but now the moment was coming that we all were waiting for: Question and Answers! The night before, I had carefully printed out posts from this blog in hopes of giving them to Mr. Nimoy later (This, this, this, this,this and this) and I had a question I wanted to ask about the connection between creativity and sanity. (I just had to be called on! I was in the front row for heaven’s sake!) So we’re all on pins and needles awaiting the moment when he’d walk on. First we were introduced to Laura Kaminsky, artistic director of Symphony Space, Vincent director Paul Stein, and the delightful (and most handsome) actor Jean-Michel Richaud, who had played Theo. Then came Mr. Nimoy; a figure in black and gray, smiling broadly, with hair shaggier than it had ever been in the 1970’s, and the applause erupted two-fold. My heart fluttered a little; damned if I wasn’t 16 again!
The four talked for a bit about the production, and I snapped away when I could, keeping my camera on the discreet (quiet) setting and no flash so as not to blind them up there. I even took a little video, where Nimoy talks about the original and new productions, and if Vincent’s death was abetted by teenage bullies:
I cannot tell you what a delight it was to be sitting only a couple feet away from the stage, and joy in hearing Mr. Nimoy and the crew discuss this production. One moment I didn’t get a picture of, but will never forget was when someone asked if Nimoy would write yet another play, possibly about another artist, to which he said “One’s enough!” On cue, director, Paul Stein chimed in with “Gauguin!” which sent the four into gales of laughter!
Of course, all this time I was hoping I’d be called on, but I suspect that Ms. Kaminsky might have noticed that the backside of the paperwork I held had photos of Mr. Spock on it, and steered clear of this Trekkie. 🙁 Truth be told, all the questions asked were very well informed and high-brow, no doubt the questions preferred in this setting. (But I wasn’t going to mention Trek at all!) Anyway, when she asked for the final question, she pointed right at the lady to my right in a red jacket who casually said “Leonard, it’s Bobbie! Richard says ‘Hi’ ” and “Can I get a hug?” (continued after gallery)
(for one more picture scroll down)
And then it was over. Nimoy quickly exited off stage left, and I figured my chance to meet him was passed. I thanked Deana for her wonderful company, but regrettably didn’t get her e-mail, (couldn’t find her on FB either). Then I noticed that Mr. Richaud was greeting people on stage and since I was hoping to meet him too, I went right up and had a lovely chat with him, and got his autograph on one of the “letters” that he threw into the air during the production. I mentioned the play’s healing effect on me, and he gave me condolences on my Mother’s passing. A fine person and actor. 🙂 And since I figured I wouldn’t be seeing Mr. Nimoy, I asked him if he could possibly give the paperwork I had to Mr. Nimoy at that night’s performance. He said he would, although I suspect the papers probably got lost in the shuffle. 🙁
However, as I headed out of the theater, a band of fans were waiting outside the stage door in hopes of seeing Mr. Nimoy. I figured I better hang around too, but after 10 minutes I said “He’s not gonna show up is he?” And another fan said “Yes he will, he’s right there.” And she pointed to the cafe window behind me and I could see him in the cafe with several people… soon they all had their pictures taken with him, the lady in the red jacket too!* As they disembarked I ran out to the front of the theater in hopes of saying ‘Hi’ to him, and by gosh, I got my wish (albeit brief) — Now,
What I wish I said to Mr. Nimoy:
“Hello Mr. Nimoy! I loved the show! I’ve always wanted to see Vincent, and it really moved me. It was so beautiful and heartfelt! Jean-Michel was perfect! My name is Therese Bohn, and I wanted to ask you a question, but there wasn’t time. But you’ve been a wonderful inspiration in my life in relation to my own creativity and photography. I’m also so happy to see you today because the last time I saw you, it was 36 years ago, but I forgot my camera, so may I please finally get my picture with you? (I’d like to think he’d say here “Of course!”) Also, I write a silly little blog about Star Trek which features Spock prominently, and I printed a few posts here for you to enjoy. Thanks so much, and Happy Father’s Day! (Insert hug here).
What I actually said to Mr. Nimoy:
To which he replied:
“Well, you better hurry up because I gotta catch my cab!”
And as someone in the crowd attempted to take our picture with my camera, Nimoy kept saying “Hurry up, hurry up!”
And the result was this picture (which I cropped because another fan jumped in on his left):
Not quite the dream meeting I’d been banking on, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. Still very thankful for the chance get that picture and it did nicely bookend my last brush with him. Part of me wishes I acted on my initial impulse to go into the café 20 minutes earlier and introduce myself there, but the good little Catholic girl in me said “You don’t interrupt strangers while they’re eating/socializing.” In the end I just hope he didn’t find me another annoying fan girl! The guy I had been in line with at the beginning of the show, Edwin, did get Nimoy’s autograph on the book he brought with him, and Nimoy, ever gracious even in his hurry, gave us all the Vulcan Salute and a smile as he entered his cab. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of that, but I’ll never forget it, bless him.
As I walked, er floated, down the next 10 city blocks, it was the happiest I felt in two weeks, and uncharacteristically, I texted @ ten family and friends with the simple message: Guess who just got her picture taken with LEONARD NIMOY?!
My husband texted back a message that just cracked me up, he wrote:
Leonard Neemoy, Leonard Neemoy! Yes, Fangirl 🙂 He was referencing this old Freakazoid Cartoon which he often quotes whenever I say I’m writing post here! 😛
If I ever have the good fortune to meet Mr. Nimoy again, I promise him I’ll keep it as civil and calm as possible! For now, I’m so glad I had this day, and that I could share it with you!
Later, Kids, Therese 🙂
*The Lady in the Red Jacket, is now my friend Bobbie, who was friends with Leonard in 5 years before his passing <3.