Gryffindor Is Real

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI find myself living in a different world lately—one not so different from the one in my imagination. At moments, I am physically present in places that remind me of my dreams—meaning sleeping dreams—and also the dreams that are my aspirations in life.

My husband and I visited Universal Studios recently and were completely captivated by the world of Harry Potter. I am a huge Harry Potter geek. I have all of the books, movies and even the audio books. I am officially sorted into “Gryffindor” on, and delightfully enough, my husband is officially a member of “Slytherin” house.

When we entered Diagon Alley at the theme park, I became quite emotional because I felt like I had come home. I was physically entering a place I had only dreamed could become a part of my real life. As I left the park that day, after drinking Butterbeer, eating in the Leaky Cauldron and literally taking in the scenery, I realized that this imaginary land is no less real than the street I live on. There is community, good food, excitement, hope, thrill and whimsy. I feel alive in it. I come alive in it.

Growing up in the theatre, I often fantasized about plays and musical I would one day perform. But I also lived in this dream world where I worked alongside those performers who were my idols. In that dream world, I stayed content, knowing that in reality, I would always somehow keep those superstars of the stage far enough away from me to feel separate—to keep them exotic and me plain.

YetOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA recently, one of my all-time favorite Broadway stars, called me on the phone and asked me to direct a musical with him. I remember feeling like I was in Harry Potter land all over again. I was sitting on my back porch in the mountains watching my hound dogs play in the yard. I saw I had received a voicemail. Neutrally, I check the message. When I heard his voice and his request for me to call him, I was in shock. All of sudden, I could taste Butterbeer in my mouth. I could see the vaulted ceiling of The Leaky Cauldron. I was the star of the Quidditch team.

The dreams of my imagination and the dreams of my career were merging and all of it was real and happening. I am still deciphering this swirling of atmosphere that I continue to dance in. What I do know is that there is a real Hogwarts out there, and I am flourishing in and out of its doors, dancing with the exotic and the plain, and living in a dream that is more real than anything I have ever been able to create in my sleep. I like being awake these days.

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