Life is wonderful because it never stops surprising you. It takes you onto unexpected paths, where you meet someone who can change you within a few minutes.
You are about to see a show you have already seen, you’ve also watched the movie. You know exactly how it will end, nevertheless you find yourself being moved, once again, like the first time.
But what really makes the experience y unforgettable is what happens after the show: you are given the unique opportunity to meet the protagonist. You didn’t expect it, you start preparing the show brochure, in case you will ask for an autograph, you keep the mobile ready, you are definitely going to take a picture with him.
He eventually arrives, and everything changes. You realize that you are not facing a star to capture, to touch for a second as if he was a rare type of artist and then go home. The man standing in front of you is a normal person, with an intense glance penetrating the soul in front of him. Capable of embracing it into his own. We introduce ourselves, he smiles and puts himself immediately in a “listening mode”: he’s not interested in self celebrations, he looks flattered when I compliment him, as if these praises were undeserved, unexpected. He then starts looking for a deeper contact, a spiritual one, he tries to reach it physically too, holding my hands, closing his eyes. He’s not in a hurry, despite the fans waiting outside the theatre, despite the time, way after midnight. He’s concentrating on here and now.
He tells me how the movie and the Israel setting changed his life, giving him endless success, and a wife, when he speaks about her his eyes shine; I happen to mention that I wrote a book set in Israel: he suddenly stops, wants to know more, he would like to read it, I am sorry, I answer, it hasn’t been translated yet, it’s okay, he replies, I will have it translated for me. He asks me what the title is, “The great circle” is my answer. At this stage he looks almost moved, he squeezes my hands and says: “This is exactly what I believe in!” and he explains that the reason why this musical still attracts so many people is the mutual exchange of passion, emotions, spirituality, during the show, among actors and audience; “It’s like a circle” he concludes smiling.
Minutes go by, people are waiting, he doesn’t seem to care, he knows he will give the same attention to them shortly. He closes his eyes, asks me to hug me, he thanks me…we seem to transmit a physical message to each other.
Life is wonderful because it surprises you every day, like the one when Ted Neeley was told to substitute the protagonist in the musical in which he was one of the chorus singers: this was the start of infinite standing ovations which would have followed in the future, and the achievement of the main role in the 1973 cult movie, besides decades of encore performances.
Today he’s a 73 year old gentleman, who acts every night as if it was his first time, every night he really dies on the cross, every time he manages to move me as he did the first time I saw him and listened to his voice.
Life is wonderful because it never stops presenting you gifts: you went out tonight, and you were convinced you were only going to see a show: you came home regenerated by a meeting with a very special man, not a star, not a VIP, “He’s just a man” who strongly believes in what he does, and never spares himself , neither on stage nor off stage.