It’s taken me a while to write this, I admit. And now that it’s all said and done, now that we have grieved as a group, now that we have laid a dear friend to rest, maybe now I can sort out my thoughts.
Me and Evan were never close friends. I knew him poorly, something that I regret now more than ever. I mainly worked backstage during our productions, keeping things running along so that the actors could work their magic. And God, with Evan around, it was magic. Out of all the shows I have worked, do you know which one is my favorite? “Peter Pan,” with Evan as Hook. I was a pirate, and words cannot describe how marvelous it was to be one of his crew. Pure joy every time we were onstage. And nobody else could have inspired us like that.
I like remembering the little things most of all. The Christopher Walken t-shirt. The fucking ping-pong ball joke. The devilish grin he displayed in paintball (one of the few things we did together).
And the smallest thing most of all - noticing you. Leander theatre was very hierarchical when I was there, hopefully it isn’t now but I don’t know. There was a clear line in the sand between the “in” crowd and the rest of us. But Evan didn’t seem to mind. He never looked through you, as many others would. He would never look down on you, as was the social norm.
Somebody posted this picture earlier, and I can’t stop looking at it.
This is from “Armitage,” and I think from when they found out the show had advanced to the top level: the all-state competition here in Austin. I’m in the middle (in the dumb hat), on his right. Do you know who I was? Nobody. Literally nobody. I was a third-string techie, the only third-string techie. But that didn’t matter to Evan. He didn’t care if I was in the photo, after he had led the actors to greater heights that they thought possible. It didn’t even bother him.