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Everybody Knows Your Name, Day 79

May 12, 2010

In a way, I feel as if the New York mentality has followed me here to Tri-Cities, Washington, although I doubt many could imagine the sentiment behind that statement on a first guess.  Oh, I did miss my Tuesdays in NYC tonight, it’s true.  I still have not seen LOST, I felt the absence of my Professor Thom’s outings or Tuesdays@9 at Naked Angels, and I even missed having the weekly difficult choice between the two great communities.  Thankfully, tonight, I had the grand opportunity to experience yet another on the other side of the country.

It began at noon when I attended a local rotary meeting as the guest of my friend Justin, who introduced me to a part of his Cheers-like life where seemingly everybody really does know his name.  Throughout the day, I met some fantastic and surprisingly open-minded people in this rather conservative pocket of Washington state, and I enjoyed a promising first rehearsal of the Verdi Requiem with the fun and talented conductor Nicholas Wallin and the extremely impressive auditioned volunteer chorus that comprises the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers.  After my part of the rehearsal, I drove a bit through the rain and even saw a giant rainbow over the valley while waiting for the group to join together again at the local Bonefish Grill.

Of course I regret not staying back at the condo to watch LOST!  With only two more episodes before the series finale, we Losties are desperate for some serious quality time with one of the best shows ever made.  Still, I made the right decision to spend some quality time meeting and getting to know some great people in a place I previously never really knew existed.  Here, several couples I’ve talked to have no television and one person I met today is on a complete hiatus from Facebook; yet, none of them seemed unplugged or disconnected from the community in any way.

On the contrary, the average person in the Tri-Cities region seems to encounter the same kind of magic we as performers experience by networking together in such a small subset of the culture.  In New York City, I can run into people I’ve met from all over the world in Lincoln Center or on the A train or at a recital.  If I haven’t met a singer yet, I probably eventually will in one way or another.  Here, the entire culture seems to have that connectedness, just by nature of having a similarly small subset of people living in this enchantingly forgotten part of the state.  Everyone seems to have some form of kinship, and nobody I’ve met acts unreachable or unapproachable, from the waiters to the wine makers.

An evening with these lovely people in such a beautiful and surprising environment makes up for the significant delay in watching LOST and my subsequent radio silence so I don’t see any spoilers.  Even now as I go to sleep, I know finally watching LOST will dominate any plans I have first thing tomorrow morning.  On the other hand, I also anticipate another special day culminating in a recital I truly look forward to delivering for a community that has already embraced me so fully.  Never have I so quickly felt so welcome, and I can’t think of anything better for my career than to have an audience for whom I want to sing.

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