WELCOME TO NEW YORK CITY– in my biased opinion, the greatest city in the world! I grew up a fan of theater, so moving close to Broadway has truly been one of my favorite parts of living in the city. I’ve been lucky enough to see over a dozen Broadway shows at discounted prices during my first year of living here, thanks mainly to our Student Development and Activities area here at TC. If you are also a fan of theater, I personally recommend rushing for tickets (usually $30-$40 the day of) and entering daily lotteries. One of my favorite websites that lists these options can be found here!

TC also provided me with a personal connection that got me to this year’s Tony Awards held at Radio City Music Hall. If you haven’t heard of it, think of the Oscars for Broadway. No, sadly, I was not Josh Groban’s date; I was merely a seat filler.

Seat filling? What? Back in the day, producers of various awards shows became concerned that the venue would look as if there were available seats when celebrities went on stage to perform or announce. To avoid this look on camera, they started hiring volunteers to play an adult version of musical chairs in black tie attire during each segment of the show to assure no seat looked empty.

…and that’s exactly what I did to live my dream and see the Tony Awards for free! I managed to become a volunteer (after submitting a resume, headshot, and conducting an interview), and play musical chairs within the first five rows of the orchestra for the entirety of the evening. Living in NYC provided me with this amazing opportunity! Highlights included Anna Kendrick mouthing that she liked my dress and me realizing that I was quite literally a foot taller than Danny DeVito.

If interested, I’ve also listed the scoop (in my amateur opinion), of celebrity gossip of the evening:

Anna Kendrick: She is the nicest person and it seems apparent that Ben Platt is really her friend! The two played in Pitch Perfect together and she was out of her seat when Dear Evan Hansen swiped nine Tony awards including Best Musical.

Danny DeVito: Danny DeVito gave a commentary that you would only expect from Danny DeVito, in that deep, smoky voice characteristic of only Danny.

Sally Fields: Is absolutely lovely, and even thanked me for sitting in her seat!

John Lithgow: Has a very boisterous laugh.

John Legend: Is even more attractive in person and is enamored by his wife, Chrissy Teigen.

Josh Groban: Goofy, endearing, and I want to be his best friend. I also met him at an event at the Barnes and Noble on the Upper East Side and can confirm that he is authentic and lovely.

All I can say is, what a night! Attending the Tonys is just one of the many one-of-a-kind opportunities I’ve had while living here and attending TC; there’s no telling what exciting things you may experience in NYC!

P.S. If you are an Arts Administration student and love what you are hearing, make sure to try to get your internship with one of the Tonys affiliate organizations. And if you end up a seat filler yourself? My biggest pieces of advice are to carry breath mints and hydrate all day before the show.

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