The night was practically enchanted. Traffic was light, I managed to find free parking two blocks away from the theater, and it was a crisp and clear evening.  I reached the Wiltern where droves of people were pouring in, and even a greater number were still in their cars trying to get into the Wiltern’s parking lot. I thought to myself “Guys there’s free parking right on Serrano!”

  I walked up to the usher and he took my ticket…
“Why are you by yourself?” He asked.  I’m use to this from the “Y chromosome”.  Some do not understand that being a woman and being independent can go together. 🙂

“Why not?”

He didn’t quite have anything to say in response. So he tore my ticket and tried to flirt with me instead.  “A woman like you shouldn’t be by herself.”
“Just because I’m by myself doesn’t mean I’m by myself, darlin’.”

I smirked at him and cruised inside…
At the bar, where they “card” before you even reach it (there’s an usher behind a stand), the usher asks…

“Will you be drinking alcohol.”

He laughs and stamps my hand, and I go up to the bar to have my first of two Glenlivets on the rocks.  “MISS MICHELLE” I’m sure you’re one of the few who can appreciate my drink of choice. 🙂

I get my drink and settle into my ORIGINAL seat after some banter with more ushers, who have quite a sense of humor. You’re probably asking “Original seat?” Just you wait, you’ll see.

The opening act, John Bowman, comes on.  He’s funny, he’s bawdy…I love him.  What I DON’T love is my view. 🙂  I’m appreciative of the ticket but boy oh boy am I in the nosebleed section.  Not quite the balcony, but from my view I could tell ya’ if dear Johnny had dandruff or not.

Anyway, intermission comes, I get my second drink from a bartender who looked as if I rather be on a surfboard than tending the bar.  I tip him $2, and realized I’ve reached my budget for the evening.  The Glenlivets are $8 each, but BELIEVE me they’re worth it.  And also I wanted to be able to “operate heavy machinery” when I left the Wiltern.

I settle back into my seat and take my Kleenex out for the inevitable nosebleed :).  I look down below at the front row, and say to myself “I wish I was down there.”

Quicker than Bruce Willis could say “Blueberry Pie” in “Pulp Fiction”, an usher appears to the left of me.

“Hey, you were pretty cool earlier, would you like to sit in the front row?”


“Follow me.”

So he leads me through the crowd of people returning to their seats and the crowd still at the bar.  Suddenly we’re down in the front row, I see industry I recognize, and a gent with a video camera (surely something for “Comedy Central”), and he seats me in Row 3 Seat EEE.

I thank him PROFUSELY and say “Lewis is my old teacher.”

“Oh are you coming to the party later?”

“No.  Besides he wouldn’t remember me.”

“So you’re coming to the party later?”

I look at him a bit confused, “Uh, no.”

He moves closer and whispers, “I don’t think you understand what I’m saying.  You’re COMING to the party later.”

I smile getting his full meaning and say, “Oh, okay.”

I sit down, and he disappears, the lights lower.

A dull roar begins and the crowd starts to chant,

“Lew!  Lew!  Lew!  Lew!”

Over and over I hear Lew’s name and I’m instantly taken back to before my self-imposed hiatus, when I would be backstage preparing for a show.  That adrenaline before a performance is like nothing else. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  it’s better than any high, any f**k, anything.  When you’re in the zone performing, you’re connected to God.  I sound dramatic to some, but I only speak the truth.

Finally the man himself appears, and he give us the ride of our lives.  It was an INCREDIBLE show, he has to come out twice the applause was so fierce.  The lights raise and I don’t find my guardian angel of an usher.

That’s okay.  Getting backstage doesn’t matter. I got to see Lew in the third row and I got it just by being me.

…Or maybe it was the luck of Lew.


By: Dawn Shannon

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