Backstory

Our adventure began across from City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, awaiting a carpool for a catering gig. It began with telling stories.

I was 23, living in Philly in between 2 national tours. Catering was one of my side hustles as I learned to navigate making a living as an actor. It was a mild day in September, and I stood in front of the giant sculpture of the clothespin on the corner of 15th and Market Street (which, I would later learn, has the title “The Kiss”, because the two halves of the clothespin look like two people embracing). I clutched my garment bag containing my button-down and tie, looking around, hoping I was in the right place. That was the first time I saw Aaron.

He wore a white T-shirt, just like me, and had the same black garment bag in his hand. We got to talking while we waited for our ride; we kept talking on the way to the gig; we talked while we folded napkins and laid out silverware and wheeled out carts. And, when we weren’t sure what to say, we played a storytelling game.

Using our phones, we told recognizable stories—fairy tales, books, and movies—using only the emoji keyboard. Whoever received the pictured plot had to puzzle out which story it was. Some were simple, some elaborate, and most looked very silly written as a chain of tiny emojis. It made the catering gig fun. And it was the perfect excuse to exchange phone numbers.

Regardless of how well we got along, though, I couldn’t imagine it would go anywhere. Apart from all the usual stuff (He’s probably already dating somebody…He wouldn’t be interested in me…etc. etc.), I was scheduled to leave for tour the next day. I’d be gone for months. Certainly Aaron would forget all about me.

But we kept in touch with our stories. It was easy—and needed no excuse—to send a text not of words but of images for the other person to interpret. Those stories kept us connected until I returned; and when I did, we went on our first date (which, if you haven’t guessed, went well).

Aaron proposed to me underneath that clothespin, “The Kiss”, the same spot where we first saw each other three years before. And two years after that, on July 1, 2018, we got married. It was an untraditional ceremony—writing our own story has always been important to us. And we knew what we were planning for the next chapter of our story, as well.

The Dragon and the Wanderer is the kind of story that both Aaron and I love: fantasy and dragons, as well as the kind of magic that exists in our world—making friends who are different than ourselves, finding the courage to face fear, and discovering more power within ourselves than we ever imagined we had. That’s the kind of story we want to tell, and the kind of story we want to live ourselves. That’s what inspired us to build The Dragon and the Wanderer. This summer for our honeymoon, we’ll pack up the show, our backpacks, and our tent, and go abroad. We plan to camp out, to busk, to hike and to perform, and to follow where our adventure takes us.

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