Okay, so I didn’t really meet Sir Ian, it was more “standing near him and internally screaming and sobbing”.
Back in February I went to see the play Waiting for Godot, starring Ian McKellen, Patrick Steward, Billy Crudup, and Shuler Hensley. I won’t lie, the main reason I went to see this show was for Ian. 😉
Anyway, when I got to my seat I was fully prepared to burst into tears when he got on stage, like I did when I saw Orlando Bloom in Romeo and Juliet, but surprisingly I didn’t. Instead I felt breathless, I mean I WAS SEEING IAN IN REAL LIFE. Only about 6 rows away from GANDALF. I may or may not have zoned out multiple times during the play because I kept staring at Ian in disbelief, I probably should have paid more attention to the story, oops. It was a really good play though! Different from the types of shows I usually see, so it was nice to do something different. Also seeing Sir Patrick was pretty damn amazing too. And seeing Ian and Patrick together on stage was GREAT because their friendship brings me so much joy.
While I was watching the show I also kept thinking about how I would make my way outside as fast as possible so I could get Ian’s autograph. It was a good thing that I was near an aisle because as soon as the cast took their final bow I was OUT. Because it was so cold outside and because I was so pumped and nervous to see Ian up close my knees wouldn’t stop shaking. My knees have never shook that much before in my life.
After what seemed like forever, the cast finally started to come out and sign Playbills and take photos. Then Ian came out and my mind went blank. I was fighting back tears and smiling from ear to ear. Ian McKellen stood so close to me, SO CLOSE. It’s a miracle I was able to take photos because it was like I suddenly forgot how to operate a phone. When he came over to where I was all I could do was smile up at him and give him my Playbills to sign.
Sadly Patrick Stewart didn’t come out, he was the only cast member that didn’t sign my Playbill. But seeing him perform live is good enough for me! Hopefully he comes back to Broadway so I get another chance to get his autograph.
A woman next to me kindly offered to take a photo of Ian and I and oh my god I can’t believe I was in a photo with Ian McKellen.
As soon as I got Ian’s autograph I texted my friend Rachel because I got an extra Playbill for her. She called me soon after and we were freaking out together over the phone while I was trying not to make a total fool of myself on a sidewalk in Manhatten.
After the actors signed everyone’s programs and took photos with fans, the crowd thinned out and I finally started to make my way over to the subway to go home. It was hard to keep a straight face because I couldn’t stop smiling and tearing up and who did I see walking down the same sidewalk as me? IAN. He looked like he quickly got a cup of tea or coffee and he was making his way back to the theatre. I’m just there, walking and screaming in my head “OH MY GODDDDDDDD, HE’S WALKING TOWARDS ME. HOW IS NO ONE ELSE FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW, DON’T THEY KNOW WHO THEY’RE WALKING NEAR?” As soon we were about to pass each other I said “HI IAN” (it may have been a yell, I don’t know it happened so fast) and he very politely said “hello” back and that is the story of how I died.
If I wasn’t crying before I was sure as hell crying after that. It was a very quick interaction, one he wouldn’t remember but I will never forget the time Ian McKellen said hello to me.