Since far too often we only publicly say nice things about people when they are dead I’ve decided to randomly pick a Facebook friend every day and say something nice about them.
July 10, 2019
Today’s person: Colman Domingo!
The last time I saw Colmen he gave me a big hug, which I was actually okay with.
One of the things that is common in theatre is to hug people. A lot. People you barely know, just met, only worked with once. People whose names you can’t ever remember. I think it’s less about affection and more about a recognition of having shared the harrowing, exhilarating, and sometimes traumatic experience of production and public performance. Sometimes the lobby on opening night is like a convention of earthquake survivors - everyone so glad to see each person who got through it.
So I was seeing Colman’s brilliant show “Dot” in NY. I’d messaged that was in town, was surprised that he responded, and he’d gotten me a comp. What I didn’t know was it was a gala night, and that he would be there.
When I saw him towering over people in the lobby after the show first I thought I’d go up to him and say hi, but then I thought wait a minute - he’s kinda a big deal nowadays - movies, tv, Broadway - whereas I’m me from San Francisco. I didn’t even work with him in his time with the Mime Troupe Youth Theatre. I wasn’t sure if I should try to pierce the hedge of influential well-wishers that surrounded him. So I just stood on the fringe, trying to decide if I should just leave.
Colman took time on the night of his gala, with theatre and press nabobs orbiting him like information satellites, to have a nice backhome conversation with me.
And I think - aside from the acting, writing, directing, and snappy fashion choices - Colman’s greatest talent may be his astounding success at remaining a person. A nice person. A huggable person. He knows he’s extremely talented, and that he is living an extraordinary life, but in the eye of the hurricane of amazing he is still a nice, thoughtful, sensitive, curious man whose inner child seems thrilled at the adventure he’s living.
I’m sure it must be tiring being a superhero sometimes. Perhaps he needed the hug, too.
And if he needs another one I’d be there for him.