Last Saturday in Philadelphia, while at dinner with Roy and Jaki, my purse was stolen. We were in an Irish pub and it was a little crazy in there as the Phillies game was on, so I didn’t think anything of it when the lady sitting behind me bumped my chair. When I turned around to grab my purse a couple of minutes later to pay the bill, and realized it was gone, I knew immediately that she had taken it.
Jaki ran down the street and tried to stop the woman who was jumping into a cab. The stagehands outside the theater said they had seen her hand something off to a guy who had taken off down Broad Street. We called the cops, filed a report, walked around looking in trash cans for a while, but in the end I gave up and went back to the theater to start the long process of canceling EVERYTHING. The biggest problem was not the credit cards, or the money, or even the fact that my cell phone and i-pod had been snatched, but that my passport and green card were in my purse. And we were leaving for Canada in one week.
This last week has been completely engulfed in dealing with the Great Stolen Purse Caper of ’08.
The first two shows of the following week, which we were playing in Hartford, were canceled due to lack of ticket sales, so to save on labor costs over Labor Day, the load-out in Philly was postponed until Tuesday. Ryan’s birthday was Tuesday, so we took advantage of the Monday off to celebrate his day, and also to do some purse reconnaissance. We went to the police station, where I got a copy of the police report, I bought a new phone (an i-phone!), and I went to Kinkos to get some new passport photos taken. That night was all about Ryan’s birthday. After a long bike ride up the Schuykill River, we had a lovely dinner at Alma de Cuba.
The next day I was on a 6:52am train to New York to be at the DMV when it opened to get a new driver’s license. Complicating the fact that I now had no ID to get across the border to Canada, I also had been planning on driving, so I needed to get a temporary license in a hurry. The DMV was surprisingly painless and I was in and out in fifteen minutes, which just doesn’t happen, especially in New York. After that I went to Citibank to close all my accounts and re-open new ones (my checkbook was also in my purse). I was on a noon train back to Philly, checked out of my apartment by 3:00pm and on a tour bus to Hartford with the crew by 5pm. We arrived in Hartford that night around 10pm. I was pooped.
On Wednesday I had an appointment at the immigration office in Hartford. I knew it was a long shot as everything has to be processed in your place of residence, but New York’s immigration office doesn’t take appointments, and I needed to figure out what to do. Now, I have had some terrible experiences in immigration offices (seeing a man thrown to the floor by security for defending his wife who was being berated for having nail clippers in her purse was one of the worst sights I have ever seen). Luckily, I was helped by an angel of an immigration officer in Hartford, who took pity on me as I broke down in tears at her window. She sent me back to the hotel to e-file my form for a new green card and pay for it online, and then I came back to her with a receipt and a copy of my work contract and she gave me a temporary green card good for six months! When my file is processed, I will eventually be summoned to New York and will have to go no matter where I am, but for the time being, I should be okay to get into Canada and hopefully back. I am so thankful and grateful to that woman officer for being a superior, kind, human being!!
That afternoon I rehearsed a new ensemble guy, Lenny, along with our dance captains, at Hartford Stage’s rehearsal studio. Michael Wilson and Jeremy Cohen, the artistic director and associate artistic director, stopped in to see me. It was so, so nice to see them and made me feel so good that they still want me to come back at work with them sometime. I would love to! And it made me feel so appreciated and so “worth” something, if that makes sense. It’s nice to be reminded of your worth every once in a while. It really made for a great day, seeing the two of them.
On Thursday we finished loading in the show and opened with our new King Arthur, Jonathan Hadary. Jonathan is a very different king from Michael Siberry and Gary, but I like him! It’s nice having a new energy in the show. The crew in Hartford is much the same as the last time we were there. They are super strict when it comes to the “rules” and can be very loud backstage, but they are generally a good group of stagehands, and it was a smooth opening. It helped having the two same prop guys as the last time we were in town.
On Friday I did some more purse reconnaissance. My birth certificate arrived. A credit card arrived! Phew, I have the necessary items now to rent a car.
On Saturday, the storm Hanna hit. It was torrential rain and really gusty winds. Ryan and I got soaked walking back to the Hilton after the show. This morning, Sunday, we arrived back at the theater for the matinee, to find the place totally without power. A transformer had blown up during the storm, leaving even the generator useless. So, both shows were canceled. We took the actors in groups with flashlights to clean up their dressing rooms and pack their trunks. We packed up our office in the dark. Another generator was sent over to provide enough power for the guys to load out the show. I spent the afternoon back at the hotel doing laundry and then had dinner with Ken and Karl. We stopped by the theater again after dinner and the crew were doing great getting everything packed up in semi-darkness.
It has been the most surreal week.
So wish me luck as I set off for Toronto tomorrow. Hopefully I can get across the border without too much hassle. Fingers crossed.
And once I am there I am going straight to Roots to buy another purse. Take that, purse-nappers!