When I first found out about Held Momentarily, I flipped.
While browsing the show's website, I recognized a handful of the actors from my high school. There they were, starring in a show! Only a few years ago, we attended LaGuardia together, and now they were a part of the 2014 Fringe Festival! So I made a point of coming to opening night to support my former schoolmates because we LaGuardia alumni have got to stick together.
Outside the theatre, I spotted many family and friends of the cast who could barely contain their pride, and we made some pleasant small talk as we anxiously awaited entry. But it was stepping into the fairly spacious venue that really made it all sink in: I was going to see people I knew from my awkward teenager days (shudder) performing again, only this time it wouldn't be on one of LaGuardia's stages, but in the largest multi-arts festival in North America!
Every New Yorker and their mother has experienced the frustrating, and at times unbelievably stressful phenomenon of being "held momentarily" by the train's dispatcher. This inconvenient delay (as we all know) can run anywhere from two minutes to two hours, but regardless of how long we are trapped underground, it successfully throws our entire commute out of whack. Add to that scenario a train car full of people who'd rather be anywhere else, including one very pregnant woman, and you've got Held Momentarily. Oh yeah, and it's a musical!
Held Momentarily made me re-examine all of my train journeys and realize just how unaware of my surroundings I tend to be. And it wasn't always that way. I held out as long as I could before finally getting a smart phone, but now that I have one, it's amazing how many of my morning commutes that in that past were spent reading are now consumed by playing 2048 (I'm working on 8192!). We live our lives very selfishly, and we so easily tune out everybody around us, waving them off as nothing but extraneous people. But if we took the time to ask the people on our morning train what was going on in their lives, we'd pass out from their answers! Because what we fail to acknowledge is that to these people, we are just as irrelevant to their lives as they are to ours, and if I learned anything from Held Momentarily, it's to be more present all-around. Also, to not sweat the small stuff.
In your life, you'll meet very talented people that'll make you say to yourself, "They're going to be famous one day!", but a part of you never really believes it. Sure, they've got that special "something", but what are the odds? And then suddenly you start hearing buzz about a person you remember best for always "forgetting" his History homework at home making some waves doing community theatre. You don't think much of it at first, until that same person is now on Jimmy Kimmel discussing his first big movie role! I don't think I'll ever quite adjust to Ansel Elgort appearing on billboards, but I do know this: Nothing makes me happier than seeing hardworking people from my high school tearing up the New York City theatre scene, and I look forward to what the future has in store for them.
VENUE #13: Sheen Center - THE LORETTO
SAT 8/9 @ 6:30 THU 8/14 @ 2 SAT 8/16 @ 7:15 WED 8/20 @ 7 SAT 8/23 @ 3