Michael understood my need to push this through and was quick to instruct me not to write Shanley until we spoke with Martin Landau and Mark Rydell. I agreed… for the time being. I thanked Michael and hung up. Since it was past midnight, I knew it was too late to ring Landau or Rydell, so I opted to call The Actors Studio and leave a detailed voice message including Shanley’s email address in case they checked it in the morning. I couldn’t wait… I could feel my dream coming true as I stared at Shanley’s email address on my notepad. I paced the room contemplating, imagining, dreaming.
I have in my hands Shanley’s email address and it’s now 4 am. I wonder, “Is this even a working email, would Shanley get it, or would an assistant get it? ” Doubt filled my thoughts. And I kept hearing Michael instructing me to WAIT until we receive a formal letter from Landau and Rydell.
Wired, I lied down on my bed. I looked over at my laptop, already open to my Gmail account. I swear I heard my computer say, “WRITE HIM, TELL HIM HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT HIS PLAY AND HOW IT RUNS THROUGH THE BLOOD IN YOUR VEINS AND THAT YOU WERE BORN TO PLAY DANNY.”
I thought to myself, Shanley is likely in New York, it’s three hours ahead, so it’s 8 am and he might be awake. I get out of bed and go to the computer. I write from my heart. I am reminded how the character “Danny” has given me the courage to speak from my heart, my truth. I think to myself, Shanley will hear my cry, he will hear my soul.
I PRESS SEND…
I doze off exhausted from the excitement, but also from the past week’s 5 performances. The play was a gauntlet filled with visceral emotion. After every performance it would take me hours to fall asleep, only to be met with getting back on this horse five nights a week. I never felt more alive in my life. Deborah, Michael, and our production team were all elated with what we had accomplished in three short weeks. We had only one more week left before we closed the show.
I wake up three hours later, still in my clothes. I get out of bed and go over to my laptop… And there it is in my inbox, a reply email from Shanley.
I think to myself, “Am I dreaming?” I rub my eyes and look again. The email is still in my inbox. My heart beats fast. I open the email…
It reads: “Thank you for your lovely note, I am on the fence. Let me talk to my agent at CAA.
Best regards, Shanley”
I think to myself, “Oh my god… there’s a chance. But how would this work out? We only have one week left to perform, there’s no time. And what if Shanley is merely being kind and I get stonewalled by CAA (Creative Artist Agency)?”
It’s now 9 am Monday, and I immediately call Martin Landau only to get his voice mail. I leave a detailed message including Shanley’s email address in the hopes that he’ll write on our behalf to support the cause. I then call The Actors Studio and speak with Helen Sanders, our beloved administrator, and explain that Shanley responded to my email. But before I could finish, Helen interrupted me to say that she got my message and had already shared with Landau and Rydell, further explaining that they wrote a letter together affirming my request for the professional rights and emailed it to Shanley just minutes before I called her.
I was on fire with excitement. I thanked Helen profusely for her help. Just then, my phone beeped with an incoming call from Landau. I clicked over. He assured me that he believed Shanley would grant our production the professional rights. I thanked him with all my heart for his unwavering support and love.
Now we wait for Shanley to reply.