i have a question...

Friday, February 2, 2007

i met zach braff tonight

I just saw the most incredible musical, called Spring Awakening. Zach Braff was in the audience, walked by and grabbed my roommate's arm. I had to sit through the 2nd act with him 4 rows behind me. And then after the amazing conclusion of the show, I introduced myself.

Then I finally posted my fan letter to him on his website. Check out www.zachbraff.com. It's posted as a comment under his January 17th entry, dated February 2...there are 1000 some-odd posts, so good luck finding it.

So here's to you, Zach. Thanks for being so nice to me tonight.

November 1, 2005

Dear Zach Braff:

I’m writing in great appreciation and admiration of your film, Garden State. I am 22 years old, and this was the first movie experience I’ve had in which what was unfolding onscreen mirrored so exactly my own life and conversations I had had.

“I can tap-dance; do you wanna see me tap-dance?” was absolutely a regular quote of mine, before I saw the film. My roommate and I had a tap routine that we regularly performed at a local movie theater in Oakland. And I had had that conversation about home and homesickness. A familiar chord was struck in me by the idea that family is a group of people missing the same thing about a place that probably doesn’t exist. I had finally surrounded myself with a chosen family of friends and had begun to explore what my childhood home had meant to me, the ways my family had shaped, fostered, and broken me and my model for a home.

I saw the film at the beginning of my senior year at UC Berkeley, a concentrated time of drastic and swift change. I was living what was being portrayed in your movie: an unknown future, a new, surprising and overwhelming love, epiphanies in my discovery of self. It was a profound experience, at this potent point in my life, to see distinct parts of it onscreen.

Your respectful control of your set, your obvious admiration for your collaborators, and your precise vision are to be celebrated. I appreciate so much that there are intelligent, down-to-earth young people in the movie-making business. I think you and they should start a quiet revolution, producing films that really portray the truths young people can identify with.

Without sounding too dramatic, I believe this film changed my life. At a time in my life when I was coming to terms with my adulthood, your film propelled me further into the secure reality that I had already lived and learned a lot. Because I saw it at such a crossroads in my life, it’s hard for me to separate the experience of the movie with the experience of my life at the time. But it doesn’t matter. The effect is the same. Your film touched the part of me that was changing, the part of me that continues to change, post-college, when the “real work begins,” as they say. It also touched that precious unchanging part of me that stands steadfast in the midst of the constant confusion I’m experiencing as a recent college graduate, and I thank you for confirming that part of me in your film. After such a seemingly clear time, it’s the one thing I am certain of in this hazy, unsure part of my life.

Thank you again for telling a universal story for 20-somethings. I look forward to your next written and directorial projects.

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