By Benny Aguayo, Marketing Associate
My world is filled with love. As I sit here typing these words, I find my memories returning to my sixth grade classroom, and Mrs. Doby is asking us to write a paper on the one thing we love the most.
I never thought I would find myself 17 years later, writing the exact same sentiments on the exact same love affair. My relationship with the dramatic arts is absolutely the longest relationship that I have had (aside from my loving family).
So often, my friends have asked, "Benny, why do you love what you do?" The plain and simple answer: I love what I do because my job consists of giving other hopeless romantics in the world the reasons and the tools to fall in love, just as I have.
I find absolute beauty in the idea of 2700 strangers coming together to experience a united, emotional journey, sharing with one another their own stories. While patrons sit in their seats, with 10 minutes till the curtain rises, I find myself walking up and down the aisles of the Pantages Theatre imagining the individual stories unfold amid our beautiful maroon seats.
If you look to your left, you will see the couple who has been married for over 50 years, still madly in love, who have brought the magic of the theatre into their marriage. Look to your right, and you will see the young father and mother sitting with their three young children, each of them as yet unaware of the gift they’re about to receive. Strain your neck just a little, and you will see the group of aspiring actors and actresses coming down to get a closer look at our stage, chatting up their knowledge about those who have succeeded in achieved the ever-coveted Equity Contract. And see all the way in the back, there’s the single mother of two, who because of our special discount offer for this show, was able to afford tickets, a luxury she manages once every few years.
The Pantages Theatre is filled with a million stories nightly, not just the one on the stage.
In an age where mobile communication, texting, social networking sites and e-mail have begun replacing actual human contact and interaction, what can compare to the thrill of sharing an emotion with a community of friendly strangers. The world of the theater lover is the world of open arms, open ears, and open eyes. All ideas and all stories are meant to be shared, and we congregate in unspoken agreement to celebrate our similarities and our differences.
As I look at all the smiling faces on our patrons, and at all our hard-working staff members, I find great satisfaction in knowing that this art form of ours will survive. There is so much love within the theatrical community, and every performance is a gift to all involved.