My friend PL and I were foolish enough to decide to book a flight to LA to go see A Christmas Pudding. It was a small venue, probably no more than 100 seats, and we made sure to arrive early. So early in fact that we ran into Elisa who was checking the microphones, but we got the best seats. Front raw, and what later appeared to be right in front of Tim during the entire show.
The show, a creation of David Birney is made of a variety of texts, from Hamlet to Fruit Cake Recipes, that were read by David Birney, Anne Cioffi, Charles Cioffi, Tim DeKay, Michele Roberge, Ned Schmidtke and Elisa Taylor. The readings were interspersed by Christmas carols sung by a choir.
Tim, who wears tuxedos like no one, was, of course, super elegant. He wasn’t the one who read the most, but his reading of The H-street Sledding Record, by Ron Carlson, was definitely the highlight of the show, and not just because it was Tim reading it. (you can find a recording of it on Youtube. Definitely not as good as Tim’s, but the story is adorable, and fits him so well). You can just tell how much Tim loves acting and being on stage.
But the best part of the show was probably simply watching Tim looking so lovingly at Elisa when she was reading. He was absolutely and totally absorbed, cracking a loving smile every once in a while. (So, okay, maybe I won’t try to ruin their marriage 😉 )
At the intermission we were offered cookies (delicious) and hot cider (delicious too, but a little too hot…). When we were called back to the show, PL and I diligently went back to our seats in the front raw, and when Tim caught sight of us he shot us a gigantic smile. But that was only the beginning…
After the show, the cast joined us in the reception room. And Tim managed to exceed all our expectations. We were hoping we’d get a chance to greet him. You know, just “Hi Tim, great show!”. We were not expecting him to be so happy to see us there that he spent most of his time at the reception with us.
We talked about White Collar of course, and our separation anxiety, our ideas for the finale… He even shared things that I swore not to tell anyone… He talked about all the souvenirs from the set he kept (mostly Peter’s casual clothes, but also seven suits, and surprisingly no ties… And a painting just outside of Neal’s appartment because that’s the one he was seeing the most, waiting for his cue to go in). He talked about the difficulty of commuting (apparently you can tell which scenes he shot on mondays). He talked about sending his kids to college, and not doing theater until then, because he doesn’t want to have to go to work when they’re coming home from school (isn’t that an adorable dad?). He also wanted to know everything about me, what brought me to Madison, my job… We even talked about the faith of Pluto, who is back in the little circle of planets, and the recent discoveries by Philae.
He also confirmed he was working on projects with Fox Television Studio and that he was hoping to direct a Christmas movie (which I assume is Loving Ebeneezer).
He spontaneously offered that we’d take pictures, and when it was time for him to leave, he gave me the longest hug ever.
I’m not completely back on Earth yet… But it has to be said, Tim is definitely the kindest, sweetest person I’ve ever met.