I'm absolutely bleary-eyed and groggified today due to a very bizarre and wonderfully exciting night watching Rent being filmed on the WB lot. They're at the end of their shoot, which was mainly done in San Francisco, and they're here to do some exteriors on the backlot. Last night's work was on the title song, which included burning of eviction notices and a huge crowd singing and attacking Benny's car.
Walking on the set, marked 11th Street and Avenue B, was like walking into an older version of myself, still very worn and comfortable. It was the East Village, Jonathan's East Village, with every detail sans the stench. This massive manifestation of one young man's dreams was almost overwhelming. It's not just his anymore: these hopes have expanded to larger and larger circles, now holding an entire production company in its sway.
It was easy to slip back in to this world I have known so well. The ache is gone, too, the ache of that lost and broken Broadway dream, and a heavy heart that had to flee New York to escape its gravity. I see now that it was never lost. I just outgrew it, transformed it into something that was mine. I had to send it away to bring it back again.
I don't know why I always expect people to forget who I am, even if I've travelled the globe and through the deepest woods with them. Al Larson was his same open and affable self, greeting us with open arms and a spirit absolutely in a state of bliss by this completion of his son's work. I saw people I travelled with to the Milan opening of Rent, and felt the same sense of family that I'd begun to think I had just imagined. I was really happy to meet up again with Stephen Chbosky, who is the co-screenwriter, and who was just as thrilled as we were to watch his ideas manifest in front of him. He is a lovely, lovely person and apparently a night shared in a death cab was not enough to scare him off, so yay.
And I'm telling you, my friends, from the feeling on set and the brief shots we saw (we had the best seats in the house, right behind the monitors), I think this movie is going to be great. I kept hearing cast and crew talking to each other about how happy and fulfilled and blessed they felt to be working on this production. I know that is rare. I took pictures but I'm not sure what all I'd be able to share with you. I'll work on that.
The strangest part about last night was that we met someone who was more famous by far than the actors, the director, or anyone or anything on the set combined, and it was that person's presence that gave the evening its distinctly surreal tinge. I don't care about celebrity, but sometimes when you end up in a room with someone, you just have to wonder, "what the hell in my life brought me into the same space as this person?" And then you cackle maniacally, because life is random and wicked.
When we were leaving, Al asked if we would be returning tonight. I didn't think so at first, but even though I got no sleep, I think now...hell, yeah.
Nice blog. I, too, have a blog; a very progressive one. http://educationalvignette.blogspot.com/ howie | Homepage | 06.03.05 - 3:09 pm | #
Um , I hate when you read something wonderful your friend has written, and see that there is a what you think will be an insightful comment posted, only to find that someone like Howie has plastered an invasive link to his very own "progressive" blog. I've got your progress right here, Howie.
So, who was the famous person? Name drop, do it! tifanie | 06.03.05 - 11:59 pm | #
"I had to send it away to bring it back again." Beautiful, Adriana, as you continue to come into your own. I trust your words, so I am delighted to know that this production just may pull it off, while keeping Jonathan's dream intact, as best as film can, as it juts up against something that was born and intended for the stage. Perhaps this will be a special surprise for us from Jonathan, as something that we think must remain on the stage will succeed as a projected set of immortal images. It certainly changes the ontology of Rent, and that idea is very exciting to me. This could be, for the non-theater going youth that have not been touched by Rent, a new rite of passage for them, and a rebirth for the musical itself. Keep us posted. Shawn Jackson | 06.04.05 - 6:16 pm | #