Sunday, September 24, 2006

Okay, let me start by saying, I believe in ghosts. I also believe that ghosts hang around old buildings. The Helen Hayes Theatre is ninety-seven years old; it has been host to all sorts of artists and dramas both on and off the stage. So, it would stand to reason the Hayes might have a few spectors in residence.

Several times while we were in rehearsals I thought I saw the flash of someone’s eyeglasses reflecting the stage lights in the balcony. When the house lights went on there was never anyone there. I was never sure, but it seemed to me that someone was watching from the balcony. I finally mentioned it to someone. David Gotwald the sound designer said he watched the show in the balcony several times during rehearsals to check the sound. He wears glasses. I guess I was just looking for the paranormal.

However, now that we have done a full week of shows at the theatre, there is another phenomenon that seems to have no explanation. I have a name plate that was originally on the door of my dressing room at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada, 23 years ago. It has hung on every door of every dressing room I have ever occupied. This includes every production of “The Two and Only”. I could not wait to put it up on my dressing room door at the Helen Hayes.

I noticed the nameplate had fallen on the floor by the next day. I put it back up but it would always be on the floor the next day. I tried different types of tape, different attachments, but the result was the same. Over night the nameplate would fall on the floor. Although we were rehearsing for 10 out of 12 hours several days in a row, it would never fall, until we left the theater. Over night it would fall. There was nothing that would keep the nameplate on the door over night.

I finally took it off the door thinking that a cleaning crew might be knocking if off accidentally, and I attached it to the wall in my locked dressing room. No matter what wall I put it on or what method I used to stick it to the wall it was always on the floor the next day.

Here is what I think. I have no idea how many people have occupied this dressing room before me, but I am just a visitor no matter how long I stay. So, I will no longer try to attach my nameplate to this room. I finally get it. This is not my room, this room belongs to the theater and the theater is trying to remind me of my place. I want to be a good guest. Thanks for letting me pass through.
As you were,
Jay

2 comments:

LaDean said...

Jay--this is a voice from your Richardson High School past. I read, with great interest, the article in the Sunday, Sept. 17 New York Times, and want to wish you congratulations and best wishes! I am very proud of you, but not at all surprised that you are where you are in your profession. I don't know if you will read this, but if you do, give a holler to an old friend. Love you much,
LaDean(Haines)Sapp
joedean1@cox.net

Garland said...

Nail that name plate to the door Jay and let the ghost know you are staying a while :)

Oh..and you might enjoy http://GhostHours.com