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.

5 comments:

Elaine said...

it's weird where these people pop up. my siblings and i saw tom green in the out-of-the-way city of halifax, nova scotia, when people still knew who tom green was.

funny thing about anthony rapp: his brother went to the same high school as me and was the same year as my brother. i would often listen to the brother's radio show b/c it came on before my brother's. one time anthony came to our school to talk to the music classes (if i recall correctly) about performance. not that i knew either him or his brother, but i just thought it was funny that you mentioned him.

oh, and unlike you, the meyer clan chose to confront tom green to get an autograph. i'm sure your appraoch is more appreciated.

Julie said...

Way to be chill, Steph! Did he look as ghastly thin in real life as in the movie? I'm a total Rent-head and probably would not have been so cool in that situation. Of course, of all the Rent cast, I'm hoping to someday have a real life encounter with Taye Diggs :)

Steph said...

thanks elaine and julie for your comments! that's so random that his brother went to New Trier! i read on the internet that he's originally from Joliet.

and yeah he was totally skinny...it kinda makes him look like a teenager instead of like 35. if it were taye diggs, i dont think i would have even been able to play all night b/c i'd be stuck staring at him dreamily!

Elaine said...

the roommates had dazed & confused on tonight, and rapp looks a bit healthier there...

Arnold said...

This is pretty funny...I must admit that I've seen Rent 8 times on stage, I thought the movie was horrible. I know that whole damn soundtrack by heart and even saw Neil Patrick Harris (NPH!) play Mark in L.A.

We did see Anthony Rapp play Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors when it came through SF a couple years ago.