It was the fifth and final night of A Year of Giving at the 2012 Fringe Festival. We sold out the day before and had several people trying to get tickets at the door – unfortunately they were turned away.
The performance went very well. I was really happy to that my friend Anthony from Day 67 was in the audience! That being said, the evening was a bit sad in that the show was coming to an end. A lot of hard work, time, energy and heart went into bringing this production to the stage and I am very thankful for all of those who were a part of that.
On this final evening, I gave my $10 to a woman seated near the back of the audience. I picked her because she kept looking straight ahead when I went into the audience…you know the type that is saying, “Please don’t pick me.” I actually like to choose them! Well, instead of me telling you how it happened, I am going to let Dale S. Brown, my $10 recipient that evening, tell you through her words that she so kindly sent to me via email. Here you go.
Last Saturday, I became a part of Reed Sandridge’s circle of giving. It happened at a showing of “A Year of Giving” at the Capitol Fringe Festival, which allows me to see plays that might not be produced elsewhere. They give me a glimpse into other people’s worlds. Many of these plays need the opportunity offered by the festival to be shown.
Right before the play, I lined up to get tickets for me and Lenny Goldberg, a close friend of mine. I noticed a woman arguing with the staff member. She left. Then I heard a loud crash. She had thrown a rock at the door, shattering the glass. A collective gasp came from those of us in the lobby.The lady at the desk called the police. “She kept on talking about being raped. She said she had a ticket, but I checked the list and she wasn’t on it. I told her to leave and she threw a rock at the door,” she explained.
The incident agitated me, but the play absorbed my attention. I would say more, but if you haven’t seen the play yet, I don’t want to spoil it for you. At the play, Reed stood up and said he was giving $10.00 to someone in the audience.
“Oh, no, “I thought. “I hope it isn’t me.” I was one in from the aisle and thought he would pick someone in the aisle. I carefully looked straight ahead and did not smile or make eye contact.
“The lady one in from the aisle, you!” he said.
“Me!” I said shocked. He offered me the ten dollars.
“Couldn’t he give it to someone else?” I thought. Although I was embarrassed and tempted to ask him to choose someone else, I wanted to support him in his efforts. So I accepted the bill.
“What will you do with it?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied and began to think aloud. “I think I’ll give it to the Fringe, the people who produce these plays,” I said. “I’m sure they need the money.
After the show, I found a staff person and explained what happened.
“You’re the recipient!” she said, looking at me as if I had won an award.
“Yes,” I smiled. “I’d like to give it to the Fringe Festival. Please talk to the lady who worked at the booth and made the police report about the lady who threw the rock at the door. Let her know that I saw the incident and thought she did a good job in a difficult situation. And I’m sure the Fringe can use the money. It’s an amazing program.”
The lady looked happy – and that made me feel happy.
I found Lenny and we walked to the subway. A man approached me with two fare cards.
“Please take them,” he said.
“Thank you,” I said. He rushed off before he even heard me say “Thank you.” I wondered why he gave them to me.
“Dale, it worked,” said Lenny. “Just like he said in the play.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well you were generous and you gave your ten dollars to the Fringe Festival. Now someone came out of the blue and was generous to you.”
Lenny and I held our hands a little tighter – and we went home. And I found myself feeling a part of a circle of giving – or really a network of circles of giving. I give a lot too. Here is one of my blog posts on giving your things away to charities that can use them .
I daydreamed about the woman who threw the rock. If she had been raped, did anyone help her after? I imagined someone giving time, attention, and caring, allowing her to regain her feminine power and beauty. If that had happened would she now be angry enough to throw a rock? What other difficulties had she faced?
You never know the results of your gifts, whether they are material gifts such as fare cards or $10.00 – or gifts of time or willingness to listen. You just never know.
Thanks for the nice note Dale! I couldn’t have told the story better myself.
So people were literally breaking down the door to get into the show. Ok, maybe not exactly, but still it added a dose of drama to the evening. I never saw the lady that Dale talks about – but hope that she got some help.
People have been asking if we will take the play “on the road.” I don’t know about that but there just might be some additional performances in the future so stay tuned.
By the way….here are some interesting Fringe Festival stats…
294 volunteers doing 891 shifts
130 productions doing 753 performances
377 Performances sold at 50%
80 Sold out performances
29,000 total tickets sold
1,751 multi-passes issued
15,228 Single Tickets
2,068 Proseccos Poured
7,625 Beers Poured
$209,616 Artist Payout