You are my home.
I’m no performer; I can’t act, I don’t dance, and chances are I will never be on stage – these things are a given. But this isn’t to say that I don’t love you as much as the next person. On January 27-29th, I attended the second annual BroadwayCon at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC, and let me tell you, it was the best weekend I ever could have asked for.
It was a celebratory three days filled with love, laughter and happiness. It’s rare that any of us get to talk about you in general, but it was a whole convention of like-minded fans ranting and raving about what shows changed their lives and how. It was 72 hours of singalongs and games, previews and performances, meet & greets and kindness.
As far as that kindness goes, I have seriously never been in a place filled with so much positive energy at once. Each individual genuinely wanted to spread love. Almost everyone I came across complimented my Hedwig jacket, and in turn I complimented their Cabaret bag or their American Psycho cosplay. We all had the same goal: to talk about you, Broadway.
One of my best friends, Jessica, was my BroadwayCon “partner-in-crime.” I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d have wanted to spend the weekend with, either; our love for Hedwig shined brighter than the brightest star (see what I did there?), and we really got to show that, which hardly ever happens! I mean, I always show my love for Hedwig, but people rarely care as much as BroadwayCon-goers did. I’d never felt so accepted and safe, because I knew I wouldn’t be judged by any of the people we were surrounded by. It was so inclusive and not one person was rude – to be honest, that’s a rarity in this world nowadays!
There were so many events and panels happening that you’d never get to see anywhere else. For instance, we saw the entire cast and crew (along with some of my favorite songwriters ever, Pasek & Paul) of Dear Evan Hansen, the new cast of Hamilton, the cast and crew of The Great Comet (with [Alan Cumming voice] JOSH GROBAN?!), and the current cast of Kinky Boots (this was one of my favorite panels, because Todrick Hall is such an angel). We went to three singalongs, and at one point there was an entire room of dedicated fans singing the act I finale of Hamilton (“Non-Stop”) at the top of our lungs, so that was one of those incredible moments. Not to mention, we saw the original costume from the off-Broadway production of Hedwig, as well as a handwritten note from Stephen Trask himself (where did he come from?!). Also, when we wore our Hedwig and Tommy Gnosis outfits on Saturday, the choreographer of Hedwig (Paul McGill) had a conversation with us, and also wanted a photo! He was one of the kindest dudes I’ve ever met, hugs and all. I couldn’t believe it.
Of course, these were only a few highlights. I could name tons more (hugging Jeremy Jordan, video-chatting with Kristin Chenoweth, hearing Lena Hall belt out the “Origin of Love,” watching the magic of Corey Cott & Laura Osnes singing together, meeting the iconic fan cosplaying as a Something Rotten! omelette, attempting to pin the ponytail on Alexander Hamilton…) but I’ll sum it all up by saying that I’m still and forever will be on cloud nine from all of this. Whenever I think about how we’ll be able to do it all over again next year, I get a little overexcited – can you blame me? It’s one of those things where I can hardly believe that it happened, and I’ve got to pinch myself to make sure I didn’t dream it all up.
I guess what I’m trying to say is… thank you. Thank you for always being there for me when I need you. Thank you for making me feel included and accepted. Thank you for understanding my feelings. Thank you for making me smile on every dark day. Thank you for empowering me to make a difference in the world. Thank you for making me believe in hope for a better tomorrow. I can honestly say I don’t know who I’d be if you weren’t in my life, and I don’t want to know. I’m trying my best, but there are really no words that can describe how you’ve impacted me. BroadwayCon left my heart feeling so full, and for that I am forever grateful.
Thank you, Broadway.
❝ If we sing, I know we’ll be just fine. ❞ –BroadwayCon closing number