(Artist's rendition of author)
I still remember the first night I went to Late Night at the Plaza. It was the end of August, 2014 and my girlfriend Allison told me I had to come to this show just a couple blocks away from my house. It didn't start until midnight (which in itself had me skeptical) but her friend's son was playing in the band, so apparently it was actually a thing. Before I went out to meet Allison for drinks, I spent almost a half an hour scouring the internet looking for any information about whatever I had gotten myself into and was SHOCKED there was nothing. I mean, I'm a communications student. The idea that something wouldn't have even a Facebook event did not compute. We showed up slightly intoxicated to a minimal crowd, not realizing that this in fact would be an event that would dictate a lot of the next year and a half of my life. Long story short, I have been working with Late Night at The Plaza ever since. But I'm not here to talk about what I do, I'm here to talk about why I do it. Not only have I witnessed some of the most bizarre things ever, (Kyle taped to a wall with ducktape, random strangers coming together and trying to catch doughnuts on strings in their mouths and Logan sitting on a VERY questionable ladder behind a huge cardboard castle just to name a few) but I have met some of the most passionate and talented individuals in my entire life. Logan, an individual who can somehow make everyone jump out of their seats because of a rap about cauliflower, or who is so versitile I'm not going to lie, I thought he was two different people for the first couple weeks I worked with them (in my defense, Logan looks very different when he doesn't have his hair messed up and his glasses on). Karlee, who somehow accomplishes more in a week then I do in an entire month, a woman who deserves the respect of all of her peers because of how hard she works. Karlee is the biggest dreamer I've ever met, and I couldn't attempt to count how many times I have told her she couldn't do something and she has proven me wrong. Kyle has literally brought me to tears with some of his monologues, his wit is so sharp and he can carry on a conversation with anyone and commands a stage with such authority I am literally in awe every time I see him.
But this is just the beginning. Jill runs around during every show taking hundreds of pictures and editing them for our social media. Mike kills the sports segment every-single-show. Chris and Elisa make MAGIC with their computer animations and are two of the kindest people I have ever encountered. Norbert and Jasper have two of the most eclectic personalities I have ever encountered. Katie always seems to find ways to help every show, and half of the shit that needs to get done wouldn't even happen if we didn't have Lourdes. Tobias is our knight in shining armour (mine specifically), as he made everyone's lives so much easier when he took over running the bar. Honestly Tobias, THANK YOU. Theo and Kaylene (my heterosexual life partner) have the front door down on lock, greeting people with the biggest, truest smiles possible. We have countless writers that meet every week to help out with every show, we have Dasha planning a huge fundraiser (at a serious venue may I add) AND making us laugh with her stand up comedy. I literally could go on and on at what a talented team we have (but it's 1 AM and I have an 8AM class in the morning).
Maybe it's time to get to the point Brittney. Yes Brittney, that point of yours. Some people say we do this for nothing. I disagree. I do this for something, I do this because I believe this is going to become big. I believe we have something special, something that dreams are made of and I will fight to make this big.
My dream is to wake up every morning and walk to an office with reclaimed brick walls covered in past show posters. To walk in and see all of these people that have spent years working so hard to build their dreams drinking coffee and laughing as they run through the segments for upcoming shows. I want to be able to walk into a little office kitchen stocked with local goods and a see-through fridge stocked with beers because if I want a beer at noon I'm going to have a damn beer at noon. And do you know who I want to answer to at the end of the day? My peers. Not my boss. My peers. That is why I do what I do every week. Am I in skits every week? No. Do you see me at writers rooms? No. Do all of our volunteers even know who the hell I am? Definitely not.
Every one of us is an unsung hero right now, but without even one person we would not be where we are today. As someone who has been here long enough to know how it USED to be, let me tell you we are getting somewhere. I only continue to fight because some of you (literally) make me, and it doesn't matter how angry I get, or how bad of a week I've had, or how stressed I am because of mounting homework and NO money there is a point at every show where everything seems worth it. Some of you keep me focused on that dream, so let me thank you all and hopefully it will help you focus on what your dreams are.
Let's just do this.