The common denominator among all the jobs I've had and enjoyed is that they put me on the inside. Inside someone else's family as a nanny - inside the life of a new mom, mess and joy at the same time. Inside the restaurant, where I see how the menu is prepped, how the food is cooked, how the decisions are made about what you're going to eat tonight and how I'm going to talk you into it. Inside the show and how it is put on from script to production - and all the near-miss arguments that also meant you got a refunded ticket and no performance tonight. Inside the headline, knowing the real story, and behind the law that fails to pass - or the one that does, barely.
Last night, at the Florence + The Machine concert, John and I got rail... meaning, we were leaning against the front metal rail that keeps the audience separated from the performers... and at one point during the opening band, we looked back to see how the crowd was expanding. In a curtain gap far off stage right was Florence herself, with a white scarf over her head and blue jeans on, sweetly and lonesomely dancing to the music of The Walkmen. I was reminded, with a pang, that no matter how close you are to the concert, unless you're Tony Hawk (who was seated on stage), you're never on the inside - not really. She came out later barefoot with her hair in a polished-but-sloppy bun and an amazing navy blue chiffon dress, ready to perform and connect. But I liked seeing her without her makeup, spinning around and looking down at the ground, bopping around to the new music.
(P.S. It was a great show, start to finish - from the parking to the lines, from the crowd to the staff to the opening band, from the weather to the setlist, and most especially, from Florence's engagement with us viewers and the backup singers that brought the house down. Plus everyone jumping up and down at the band's request, screaming, "Shake it off, shake it off! Shake it off, shake it off! It's hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off!")