Flashback to 2003 when I had the chance to see Hugh Jackman‘s performance as Peter Allen in The Boy from OZ. Hugh is one of my favorite actors and seeing him live on stage was brilliant.
Looking back on that trip and that period of my life it all seems pretty surreal. I was a struggling artist trying to finish my last couple of quarters of art school. To say I was a struggling artist during that period of my life is an understatement. I remember sitting in front of my laptop debating whether or not to buy a ticket for the Broadway show as my funds where so limited, it was a choice between going to NY to see Hugh on stage or buying groceries for the month. Luckily I trusted my gut and chose the trip over the other.
A few days before leaving for NY I decided to do a drawing of Hugh inspired by his performance in the musical. I remember thinking how amazing it would be if I could somehow meet him in person and share my artwork with him. With intention to get my art to Hugh I decided to print a copy of my drawing and framed it. Keep in mind, this was before social media, smart phones and the advances in technology. The odds of running into Hugh Jackman in NY, which I was not very familiar with, were as good as winning the lottery.
Once in New York, my friend/travel companion Becky and I decided to head over to the Imperial Theater where the show was playing- just to check it out. We already had tickets for that evening’s performance, but a little voice in my head said to walk over to the the ticket office to see if they had any tickets for the following day. Becky was a few feet away admiring posters of Hugh that were on display outside the theater. I walked up to the box office agent and inquired about the tickets. She said the show was completely sold out, which I figured it would be. I politely thanked her and as I was about to walk away she said to me “Hold on”. I walked back to the window and as she looked at the computer screen and said “I have two front row tickets left for tomorrow’s matinee…do you want them?”.
I motioned to Becky with my hand and explained about the front row tickets. Becky’s jaw dropped. Was this really happening? Front row to see Hugh Jackman on stage! Both Becky and I had barely had enough money with us on hand for the remainder of the trip to cover meals and transportation. Once again, I trusted my gut over logic and we bought the tickets.
As we walked away from the ticket office, still in shock and disbelief, we made our way around the backside of the building heading back to our hotel. As we walked down an alley we noticed a large crowd of people, mostly women, standing in front of the back entrance what turned out to be the Imperial Theater. We asked one of the women what was going on and she explained that Hugh Jackman was going to arrive at any minute for rehearsal.
To make a long story short, my dream did come true on that trip. I not only got to meet Hugh Jackman (twice) and was able to give him a copy of my art, but also met a lovely group of Jackman fans who ended up becoming my first art clients. Several of these kind women purchased copies of my H Jackman drawings and through their generosity I was able to pay for all my expenses for that trip and helped me out with expenses for the last couple of months of art school.
Talk about trusting your instincts and the power of belief! Lesson learned… Dreams do come true kids! 🙂