Guess what I love most about Arts at St. John’s events?
I really like the first 30 minutes before the performance begins, when everything is set up and people start arriving at the door.
Why? Surprisingly, it is not the anticipation of the event – the music, dance or songs.
What I really like is greeting the guests as they arrive.
I love standing at the door or, better yet, out in the parking lot – and welcoming people when they come.
If they are newcomers, I point out where to park and where to enter the performance space.
It is like OLD HOME day.
I get to see people whom I haven’t seen since some prior event.
Sometimes I don’t even know their names – just their faces.
Welcome back, I say.
What a lovely dress, necklace etc., I exclaim to Marilyn or Sharon.
Are you still active in the homeowners association, I will say to an elderly gentleman.
Great to see you, Dale. Wow we have a real history together that goes back years.
What’s even better is that guests recognize other guests.
Hello – long time no see.
Mary, I want you to meet my brother who is visiting from Pennsylvania.
And so on.
One woman says to me, Are you ever going to do that fashion show and sale again from India?
What excites me in providing a place that has become a community, a gathering space in a crowded Miami Beach, where people don’t get to see friends as often as they would like.
Sometimes, if I am the announcer, I will recognize dignitaries in the audience – a commissioner, a well-known business man.
I like making people feel like this is their home.
I throw in a little humor, and remind them to turn down their cellphones.
Then the show begins . . . .
And, sometimes, I’ll sneak out the back door – to go home and have a glass of champagne in the quiet of my own home.