POST: FringeNYC's 'Divine/Intervention' - a prisoner of thought
On way to see the show, I was nervous, sad and excited. The day of the show was my little cousins 2nd birthday party. I felt bad leaving but then again I was excited because I was going to see a new play. The train commute was easy but I was frustrated. I was aware that the NYC Fringe Festival does not allow latecomers. I got off the train at 2:55 and had less than 10 minutes to get there. I was unaware of the area and I had to keep asking people where Vandam Street was (the play was in the SoHo Playhouse Venue) - I felt like I looked like a tourist.
Once I finally found the street, it was already 3:09 and the street looked closed! In my head, I kept telling myself, "Seriously? Why does everything bad have to happen to me when I have something important to do?" Turns out the street was not closed, they where just fixing it - so once I found the street I ran. The ticket guy said, "you made it just on time, we were waiting for you." I ran up the stairs and found any seat because the play was going to start soon.
When all my anxiety went away, I started to feel awkward because this was the first time ever that I went to see a live performance by myself and I hate talking to strangers. But I was forced to because I didn't have a playbill, so I turned to my left and I asked this couple where can I get one. The lady was kind enough to give me hers.
I was looking at the audience, there were African Americans, young and old white couples - I thought to myself, what must they think about seeing a young Hispanic female at a play. That even made me more nervous. But I realize that the whole point of the TDF program is to encourage teens to be more involved in seeing plays.
The show opened up with headlines about the character Divine and her death. At first, I was confused because I didn't have time to read about the play, all I knew was that it was about a drag queen named Divine.
Throughout the whole play, I found myself laughing. At one point Divine asked the audience how NYC was doing because she was reminiscing about the time she performed there. I felt connected because the theater was so small and personal. Once Divine said that, everyone including myself was screaming and clapping.
Divine was this crazy, outspoken alter ego created by Glenn Milstead - while Glenn was this man who wanted to be taken as a serious actor. Glenn wanted to be free from being a "prisoner in a sequined tube dress." When he said that, I found myself relating. Even though I don't have this crazy outrageous alter ego, I'm still a "prisoner" of my own silly thoughts. Sometimes they don't get to me and sometimes they do, and when they do I just want to hide in a little corner and cry, so I knew how Glenn was feeling.
People like myself and Glenn create a stuck up, mean, "bitchy" persona, so no one can get to know what is actually happening inside. But Glenn was tired of Divine and wanted to be taken seriously - he led his own alter ego to his death in his hotel room.
When the scene ended, there were interviews about how and why Glenn created this character, Divine. That was the only roles he could get and he wanted to be noticed but at the end she was just made up. I found myself sitting on the end of my seat my head and eyes never off the stage because I was so intrigued as to who the real Glenn Milstead was.
Once the play finished, I stepped outside the theater and one of the crew people asked me how the play was. She said she was happy I was able to come and join them. She didn't even know me and I felt so welcomed. On the train ride back home, I was smiling.