How did I get here; at this daunting and honored position of Officiant? Well, I’ve played a nurse, a nun, a Mob wife, the Mother of the Bride, a maid, a neighbor, and a Madame to name a few roles. And I have never been to a wedding where I didn’t cry. Living as a single, unpartnered woman, weddings bring up many mixed emotions in me. Yet, I am always refreshed and my soul regenerated when I witness the union of two loving people as they embark on their new lives together. It gives me example and hope for my life and, frankly, for the human race. In fact, I love a good wedding–I performed in a pretend one for many years as Tina’s mother in Tony n Tina’s Wedding. For research, we collected countless true wedding stories–and I got to play act in countless situations, watched so many funny, shocking, sad/silly, ridiculous, poignant interactions with an audience that often it was hard to not taken it personally and feel everything was real. I was frequently exhilarated and moved by the sheer power of participating in one of life’s rituals–A WEDDING–even as a theatre piece. So, I have more than an average healthy respect and affection for what goes into the making of a celebration of two people. In fact, I feel pretty protective of it.
So it was with shock, honor and more than slight horror that I sat there as Tom and Brian broached the idea of Officiating when the miraculous and always working James Jackson Jr. was not going to be able to make it. It wasn’t easy to take in at first. It isn’t anything I would jump at to do. And they asked me on Rosh Hashonnah, the start of the Jewish New Year. (pretty tricky….) To my chagrin I wondered, is there a better way to celebrate the New Year? I think not– and really, I would be a fool to let my fear or crying, being emotional or just messing up stop me from the opportunity to express my love to them both.
So now, I have to find a way to be myself, (the controlled, professional unflappable part of me) and honor this amazing, long awaited day without crumbling and collapsing in happy tears and sobs,–so momentous is this occasion, so beloved are Tom and Brian. My first Gay Wedding ceremony! (And I have many gay friends) It means so much to witness and gather with all who love them.
The facts: I met Tom first. Brian through Tom. I feel like Tom and Brian and I have known each other a long, long time, though that isn’t true. Our histories together may be brief but this friendship feels like family: comfortable, accepting, familar, profound. I look forward to their wonderful future as the amazng couple that they are. Being with Tom and Brian together or apart, always has an air of celebration about it; quiet, loud, planned, spontaneous—it doesn’t matter.
The facts: I adore them both, their humor, generosity, their sense of family, their differences yet how they compliment each other, tolerate each other–I love the parts and I love the sum.