As my flight got closer and my leap to NY ever nearer, it was time for the concluding performance of West Side Story. During this final show my cast mates used situations in which their backs were to the audience, to made faces at me, and made sure I wouldn’t stop thinking about how this is my last show. During intermission I got the honor of enjoying a traditional farewell toast behind the stage. The toast was a great opportunity to share thoughts and give blessings to my fellow cast members, who have had such a tremendous impact on my life.
I was debating whether I should celebrate my leave with a special night out with the cast. On the one hand – I didn’t want all the attention, and I don’t really like going out to bars. On the other hand – I was the center of attention anyway, and this was the best way to get everyone together, and spend time saying thanks and goodbye to them. Finally, my friend Raviv urged me to invite everyone, saying how I wouldn’t regret closing my West Side Story experience with a purposeful get-together.
And so after the show we went out to have a drink, the entire cast of West Side story. As people ate and drank, I moved from one cast member to the other and got the opportunity to part from them personally. It felt wonderful; something between a funeral and a Bar-Mitzvah. I got to hear wonderful things said about me without passing away, and also got to give out blessings and say good-bye to each and every cast member. After sharing over two hundred shows together, there were so many sweet memories to bring up and cherish.
My sister, GD bless her, who came to see that last show, and got to be at the traditional toasts during intermission, joined us at the bar. She spontaneously gave a speech and told the company about the experience of watching the show change my life, from the angle of our family. Aside from speaking wisely and movingly, she awed the house with her own charisma and stage presence.
After the evening was over, I walked home, gliding on a cloud. My brain was redolent with love-induced-dopamine, and I was happy to have taken my friend’s advice to have made a deal out of saying goodbye. This feeling of closure has made my experience in the show come to a very happy end, and has officially marked it as a meaningful landmark in my career and life.