The Kindness of Strangers

I’ve been so regularly surrounded by familiar faces in my life, that I haven’t often needed to rely on the kindness of strangers.  I say that as if it’s a good thing, which I do believe it is.  There is, however, something surprisingly wonderful about encountering helpful strangers.  Perhaps it’s simply because it’s just that, a surprise.

I spent the past couple of days in Rochester, NY rehearsing and performing for the Kurt Weill Foundation’s annual Lotte Lenya Competition.  It was a solo voyage to an unfamiliar city for an audition I was (and am) deeply invested in.  I was anxious.

In the middle of navigating the city and my nerves, I met a handful of people–men and women of all ages–who paused for a moment to reach out to me.  They gave me mini tours of the town, taught me new dance moves, chatted with me over a drink, took me to lunch, and even cheered me from the audience on the big day.

Combine my Kind Strangers with singing in Eastman’s regal Kilbourn Hall, and I think this past weekend might have changed my opinion of audition trips.  In fact, I might actually start looking forward to them…

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