My dad had decided to take me to a matinee performance of Engelbert Humperdinck´s opera "Hänsel und Gretel" at our theatre in Wiesbaden.
Little me had been to some christmas plays before and, as a child, had been a regular visitor of touring puppet theatre but never had been overly bothered by it. I always liked it yes, but nothing more.
Then the big moment came, I heard the ouverture of the opera and baaang, I was in love.
I collected all bits of papers, ads and programmes, started a folder which I decorated painstakingly in theatre photo snippets. I listened to the cd and, with the help of my theatre-loving granny, worked out what to see next (I was 12, my granny picked carefully to not overpower me with "Faust" or "Götterdämmerung" straightaway).
First came operettas, then ballet...if I thought I was in love already, ballet changed it again.
I was smitten, blown away, burning. After my first "Romeo and Juliet" I lay in bed high and awake all night as if I had fever.
I wanted to see everything, wanted to see more, soaked up every bit of information (it was the time before the internet after all) like a sponge and was obsessed.
Ok, some of the ballet dancers were just too handsome for my early pubescent soul I have to admit*blush
Nothing I didn´t try or see. Not long and I saw my first "proper" plays and, as no one in my family could keep up with my hunger I started to go on my own. Sitting alone in my beloved theatre didn´t feel funny in the shlightest, I felt at home (and still do...it´s ok to go in company but I still enjoy it most if I´m on my own).
While my friends were starting to go out, kissing their first boy- and girldfriends and fainted to the music of "Take That" I was in theatre, listening to Prokofieff and skipping school in order to see some final rehearsals during the morning.
I was a freak, a very happy one.
Years went by, the relationship between theatre and me changed always again.
Sometimes it was all ballet for me, sometimes serious dramas, sometimes I needed excursions to the field of commercial musicals (it was then where I fell in love with musical star Uwe Kröger) and other times I needed a little break and preferred the cinema.
I studied theatre, I kept on going.
This January 1st 1994 so far has probably been the most life changing day for me.
And as I have always kept a fairly tidy calendar I sat down now and made a statistics.
Including all theatre performances but no concerts, minor rehearsals or comedy/cabaret acts in the last 20 years I have been to:
30 Plays for Children
Makes a grandtotal of 632 times (if my non-existent maths skills do not fail me)
Feeling proud, excited, motivated and very sentimental.
Seen some mesmerizingly beautiful things, some shitty ones and a lot of average stuff.
Sometimes laughed, seldom cried, was often amazed and always entertained.
Theatre, the love of my life (apologies to my husband when he reads this...but I think he knows that he will always have to share my attention :-))
Here´s to next 20 years...the first tickets for 2014 are booked!