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My Brelby Moment: Alex Tuchi

It’s that time of year again!! That time when we give the blog over to our immensely talented artists and let them share their thoughts about art, life and more. The November Blogathon has become a Brelby tradition here at the Brelby Buzz, and this year we’re wrapping up Season Nine with our favorite Brelby Moments. For the next 30 days, our artists will discuss their favorite Brelby Moments from Season Nine and how that has impacted them and the way they approach their art.

Alex Tuchi, no stranger to the Brelby stage, is today’s guest blogger.

My Brelby Moment

Alex Tuchi

I never cry in the theatre. On some rare occasions, I would find myself misting up as an audience member, but wouldn’t dream of being moved to tears; I never even came close as an actor. But now I suppose it’s long past due that I amend that statement: I never used to cry in the theatre, but that was before I found Brelby.

I remember my first rehearsal at Brelby specifically because I was the only one there in the beginning. The only one besides Brian, of course, who I am still convinced never sleeps. I walked in, hiding under the massive deerstalker cap that rarely left my head at that time. I’d just come off of another run of Peter and the Starcatcher, and was honestly having second thoughts about taking on round two at Brelby. In fact, I was doubting whether or not I should continue with theatre at all; I’ve been acting as long as I can remember, begging to get on stage at any opportunity I had. But I never really felt home anywhere. However, Peter was always a special case: I’d been looking for an opportunity to be a part of the show in any way shape or form since I’d first seen it four years prior. It had the incredible power to renew my hope in art and humanity whenever I read it, so I was always willing to give the show a shot.

Then, little by little, the cast and crew trickled in. People were cordial and mingled near the entrance, smiling and laughing together. I picked out a few that I recognized: the director I secretly idolized, the kind face of the man who ran Write Club, the girl who fell off of the chair during callbacks (sorry Steph!). And then Shelby walked in.

I’d met her before, and we’d been Facebook friends for a few months, but the first time we’d had an actual conversation was at callbacks for the show. I sat in the third row of the theatre, a little further away than a majority of the other auditioners, as I usually do (just to focus). Then, they handed out sides, and, as luck would have it, Shelby and I were paired. We walked outside. We exchanged pleasantries. She complimented my Flaming Lips shirt. Then, we read. It was everything I’d hoped it would be.

She noticed me almost immediately as she entered, and made the point to come over and say hello. We talked for a bit, exchanged the usual turns of phrase one uses when greeting one’s castmate. “I’m really excited to be working with you!” I said. She just looked at me for a moment. Then, a smile crept up, eventually enveloping her whole face. “Yeah,” she said. “Me too.” 

And in that moment, something clicked. Something about the way I looked at the show, and myself, had shifted. One day at a time, the cast and crew stopped being their job descriptions and started becoming my friends. My confidants, my support system. They became another family. I discovered how to navigate Amber’s dry humor, and watched Cliff burn enough calories for ten people each night while waiting for his scene backstage. I shared in Connor’s affinity for Death Grips (killer band; check them out if you haven’t already), and eventually learned that Shelby had a hat like mine. And before I knew it, we were opening. I’d managed, with great difficulty, to fend off tears during tech and rehearsals, but knew before I even went onstage that tonight would be different. Because this meant the beginning of the end. And I wasn’t the least bit ready.

That was the first time I’d cried on the Brelby stage, but it wouldn’t be the last. I did with The Pledge, and multiple times during the run of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I continued to build my family, and learned so much about the world and myself; when I left for Boston this past September, I cried for Brelby. I cried because it hurt; I felt like I was really losing my home. I cried, but I don’t regret any of it, not a single second, because I knew it was supposed to hurt.

That’s how you know it meant something.

You’ll always have a home here, Alex. Another entry from another fabulous guest blogger tomorrow. See you then!

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