Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A Chance Encounter At Rambert

At the interval of the show I had read about the struggle Rambert are having in raising funds for student bursaries. I can relate - it is so very hard to raise funds for the arts, my theatre group too are struggling to raise the urgently needed funds for our forthcoming production of An Inspector Calls. The show tonight had only cost me £6 entry, which by any standards is a bargain. Yet seeing all the hard work that had gone into making it happen, I felt almost guilty that I had paid so little to see such divine art. I have to be honest I am very morally bound as a person, and whilst at times it might not seem that way, I know from experience that if I feel bad about something, I need to address that issue immediately otherwise it gets at me for a long time after that.

It was this which spurred me into turning around and heading back into the building. I'd grasped £30 from my wallet. Bar a few coppers it was pretty much all I had. I looked around for a donations box... there wasn't one. I couldn't just walk away, I had to find some way of getting the cash to the school. After all I wanted to give a little something back having had such an amazing evening.

I pondered over my options for a moment, when I saw someone who was clearly affiliated with the school who I assumed was one of the teachers. I approached him cautiously (as anyone will tell you, in certain circumstances I am very nervous and find it hard to talk to people) and asked whether there was such a box. He said there wasn't, which at least meant I wasn't being blind when I couldn't see one minutes earlier. I explained my predicament, at which he offered to ensure the money got to the right place. I was very trusting in handing the notes over... after all this could be anyone, I didn't know him... yet I trusted him.

Sometimes you get a gut feeling which just makes you trust someone, and that feeling was right as it transpired that I was talking to the principal of Rambert. We had a nice little chat, though I must confess I was still very nervous. Ross McKim isn't what you would envision the principal of a high profile dance school to be like, or at least he didn't seem that way to me. He was very down to earth, laid back and seemed to enjoy a fantastic rapport with his students. What a lovely guy he was.

As I left the building for the second time that evening, I felt somewhat lifted. I knew I had done my bit and looking back, the evening was amazing. I was still in awe at the immense ability I had witnessed throughout. Furthermore I had seen my biggest inspiration, Liam Mower perform. Could the night get any better? I mean c'mon I was already on a natural high from everything that had happened thus far... I already felt things were perfect.

I slowly pondered towards the huge gates at the entrance of the school, no doubt muttering a song or a tune... like I am prone to doing. As I looked up, among a few of what I assume are his friends was Liam. What to do? Nerves once again set in. This was becoming a familiar feeling. However at that split second I remembered back to the last time I had spoke to him. He was lovely. Then another split second later it did cross my mind whether in different circumstances things would be the same. I was genuinely scared of making conversation at this point, as I slowly strolled in his general direction.

"Hey Liam, great show" I uttered.... or something to that effect anyhow. The next couple of seconds seemed like an eternity as he gave me a look which said "I know you from somewhere but I can't remember where". I reminded him of our last chat and he seemed pleasantly surprised to see me, maybe he didn't think I would keep to my word of showing up, or maybe he was just pleased to have had support at the show. I really don't know. We proceeded to chat for a minute or so, mostly about the evening. He genuinely seemed interested in what I had to say, which was so nice. It was a lovely chat!

What happened next is so typical of me in normal circumstances... problem is these were far from normal circumstances!!! Whenever I leave a friend I always hug them. It is just so "Gareth like" to do that. Just ask any of my drama buddies! Yet when I am around people who have inspired me I normally remain very much composed. But out of the blue I turned to Liam and gave him a hug goodbye. This was such a spontaneous moment, but it was fantastic as Liam hugged back. I have to say on record he is a fantastic hugger... but for me it was something special to share a moment like that. A hug with any of my friends is a really great moment, but a hug with Liam is on a whole new level.

As I walked home I couldn't help but wish the next 40 odd hours away, as yet gain I would be at a Rambert performance, only this time at Saddlers Wells. More about that next time!

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