29 May 2006
for the Rent-heads out there...
Last night, I played Texas Holdem at the same table as Anthony Rapp - best known for his role as Mark Cohen in the original Broadway cast of Rent and last year reprising the role for Chris Columbus' movie version of the musical. No, I didn't say anything in the 2-3 hours we played together (he came while I was playing then I had to leave). I figured a real New Yorker wouldn't even bat an eye, much less make some guy potentially feel awkward when he's just trying to be a normal person playing poker (especially at a 2-4 table). For whose benefit is it anyway to make such a scene??? Anyway, me not being a total Rent-head, I spent the entire time trying to figure out if it was really him, stealing glances and loudly telling my neighbor that I live in New York and seeing if he had a reaction. When his friend (possibly another actor I couldn't put my finger on) joined the table, Anthony became very animated in a way that only a musical theater actor would be (a funny gesticulation here and there and some singing/mumbling...very hard to describe, it's not as weird as I am making it sound). I made some small poker-chit chat w/ him, like commenting on his good fortune that night (his first hand was a straight-flush wheel! A-2-3-4-5 followed by some other good hands and some aggressive plays that led him to a large pile of chips in front of him). At the end of the night, I was debating whether to ask what I had rehearsed in my head all night, "Please excuse me for being rude, but did you play Mark in Rent?" but as I left to get up from the table and said "good night" to the table, he looked at me and said "Have a good night" to me in such a way it was like he was subtly telling me, "Thanks for a normal game of poker." He was so earnest and friendly that I couldn't bear to embarass myself....so I left and instead retreated into pathetic civilian mode, giddily telling Jon and Justin about it and to look at him as we passed by on the way out.
at 12:28 PM