An Artist at Play

Eventful Weekend

Friday night, my boyfriend and I went to a comedy show that included two of my favorite comics and friends, Jeff Richards and Earl Skakel. They rocked.

Saturday night was Shane’s Inspiration’s Annual Gala. I spent the past week shopping for an outfit for this event. I wanted something fun and a little sexy, since usually, when I go to a nice event, I’m representing some organization. Saturday night, I was representing myself. There was a part of me that felt guilty getting all dressed up and going out without my boyfriend, but that’s how I roll.

I was supposed to meet a friend at the gala, but we never hooked up. Attending the gala by myself was a first for me. Prior years, I’ve always gone with my mom or friends. When I bought my dress, I made sure it wasn’t long so I wouldn’t drop it in the toilet. Luckily, at dinner, I sat next to some people who I knew. The woman sitting next to me was nice enough to feed me. I’m a little insecure about not being able to feed myself all the time. This night, I was particularly shaky and my pills and wine did not help, like they usually do.  

Steve Valentine and Stephani Victor were amongst the honorees. They deserve it. They do a lot for Shane’s. I’ve been part of Shane’s since its beginning, about fourteen years ago. Shane’s builds universally accessible playgrounds so that children with different abilities can play beside their temporarily able-bodied peers. This teaches kids from an early age that people with different abilities are no different than people without them. I wish these playgrounds were around when I was a kid. I can’t tell you how many field trips I went on where we stopped for lunch at a playground and I would have to watch my friends play on the jungle gym from the sidelines.

Although I’m way past playing on playgrounds, I went to Shane’s Inspiration Playground in Griffith Park two weekends ago, after saying goodbye to my friend. Seeing all the kids playing on equipment I helped design perked up my mood. I tried to go on one of the swings, but some five-year-old beat me to it. A friend asked me why I just didn’t knock the kid off the swing. I was too depressed that a five-year-old could outrun me. I also realized it’s the kids’ time to play, not mine.

The couple of  hours I spent at the gala let me pretend I have money. Until the live auction started. My table was shocked when they auctioned off five thousand dollars’ worth of cosmetic surgery. Surprisingly, only one person had the guts to bid on that. We were even at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, in the heart of cosmetic surgery city.  

The gala was a night of magic and play. There were magicians everywhere. At least five magicians performed on the main stage during dinner. The concept couldn’t have been better. The kids and adults were entertained. I was glad there were magic acts. When I was a kid, I loved magic. Now that I’m older, I’d forgotten about it. I think it reminded everyone in audience of the magic of being a kid again. And that’s perfect for Shane’s.


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