Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

10 August 2011

Thanksgiving in August: Danny & Ashley

I met Ashley in 2001 in college. She was bright and bubbly then, and she has the same good-hearted, kind energy now. We were both in a production of Tartuffe in college, and the next year we were in Othello. Ashley played Desdemona and – actually I don't know if I've ever told her this – I played Roderigo (who was in love with her character) and because I died early in act five, I was dragged offstage by a couple of actors and I used to sit in the wings and watch her death scene every night. Ashley was lovely in the show, and I would sit on stage right crying as Othello murdered her.

Ashley also introduced me to the Harry Potter books. She was convincing everyone to read them back then, and she got me hooked. I remember during Othello the whole cast went to a midnight screening of Chamber of Secrets after performing the show that night. I fell asleep. I've actually gone to several midnight showings of the Harry Potter movies with Ashley since then. I remember seeing the fourth one (I think) at Universal City at, like 12.45a one year. And most recently, I went with her and Danny and Justin and Elizabeth to the series' final installment in Westwood CA.

I met Danny when he and Ashley started dating, and I immediately loved him. Ashley was performing in a production of Taming of the Shrew I was directing in 2004 (turns out, Bianca can be really funny). I remember buying Danny a drink when he turned twenty-one: he drank Cape Cods back then. The following summer, I convinced Danny to act in a production of The Two Gentleman of Verona I was doing for the Southern California Shakespeare Festival. By then we were hanging out all the time.

D&A were both in the production of Boys' Life I did. Nowadays, they run the theatre where we staged that show. They are both wonderful performers and very funny comedians. As a group they are so funny that when they got married last year, Ashley had to put a moratorium on doing bits for twenty-four hours until the wedding was over. Speaking of marriages, I was privileged to be asked to perform Danny & Ashley's wedding on May 31st, 2010. It's a day I will never forget. It was a gorgeous ceremony, and I was so honored and proud to be able to play such a big part in such an amazing day. The feeling of standing between two of my dearest friends while they pledged their lives to each other was like nothing else in this world.

I am so eternally grateful to know and love these two people and to be such a large part of their lives. I can't imagine my world without them. Generous, funny, kind, warm, caring, and nurturing. These are two of my favorite people in the world, and I almost can't remember a time before the time that we were great friends. It feels like forever. I love you guys.