Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cookie Elf

My last gig helping the American Blues Theater had been as a greeter at an event held at the Bridgeview Bank, a locale used in the shooting of the movie "Public Enemies," about John Dillinger. So it's only fitting that my next volunteer gig for this group would be at the Biograph Theater, where Dillinger was gunned down.

The Biograph is no longer a movie house; instead, it is home to the Victory Gardens Theater, and has two stages, a main and a smaller stage. American Blues is performing a staged radio play of "It's a Wonderful Life," and they needed volunteers to hand out milk and cookies after the show. I agreed to do tonight and a couple of shows next week - why not; it costs me nothing, I get out of the house, and networking is key.

So I showed up before the show ended, and was shown the kitchen, etc. I set up the cookies and cups outside the theater entrance (the show is in the smaller upstairs theater, right next to the kitchen, making it very convenient.) It's a very nice theater, very nicely redone. There is a rehearsal space on the other side of the kitchen, and I stood there, munching on a cookie, thinking about Dillinger and the history of the place.

The show ended, patrons came out, and I was Cookie and Milk Barista. I worked the crowd, and said hello to ABC members I'd met before. As with all free things, the food went quickly. I cleaned up, got things ready for the person doing tomorrow's matinee, and headed out.

On the sidewalk, a couple was waiting for the valet to bring their car. They smiled at me, and the woman said something.

"Excuse me?"

"I said, we really loved gthe show; your performance was wonderful."

And again, people think I"m someone. Happens. All. The. Time.

"I was the cookie girl. I gave out cookies after the show. But thank you for thinking I'm someone," I laughed.

They laughed, embarrassed, and I headed for the El. I thought about this amusing exchange, and realized that the women in the ABC show are tall with long brown hair; there is no mistaking me for one of them. So the couple must have seen "The Snow Queen," which was playing on the main stage.

I wonder who I was?

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