This past weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing the first show of That Random Company, a theatre company launched by several of my darling Purchase alumni. We crowded into a nice lounge at the bar Solas on the Lower East Side.
Their first performance, entitled Exit Pursued by Beer, kicked off with comedy and highly laughable skits. There was only one portion that was a little too “Purchase” for me, which is a way of referring to over-the-top arts school weirdness. I used to go to many of the Drama Studies majors’ shows at school. They tended to be either good, bad, or really, really bizarre (one that still sticks in my mind has girls crawling around stage in the dark wearing horse head masks and nightgowns).
But this show was a success! We were laughing, despite the top 40 music pumping from the bar below. And it’s so lovely to see friends succeed, especially in an arts environment. The founders, Ethan, Colline, and Catherine, have really made something to be proud of. And my darling friend Kim manages their PR and Marketing efforts – on top of her own full time gig! I enjoy the company tag line as well: “At That Random Company, we help you do you.”
I am alllll about that.
After the show, I caught up with both familiar faces, along with people I only knew in passing from campus or theatre people parties. Some of us ended up at a rooftop party afterwards, which was a splendid end to the evening, though my quads are still dying from the eight flight walk-up to get there. But seeing all of my friends from school made it more than worth it.
Purchase was a big part in shaping me into who I am today. It fostered tolerance for all life paths and the belief that your only limit to what you could achieve was your own imagination. I like to say, once you’ve been to Purchase or another art school, even if you were on a liberal arts path, you probably ended up drinking the creative-special-snowflakes-for-life kool-aid.
And everyone at Purchase was so supportive. I’m sure there was some competition, but in general, most people were engaging and wanted to hear about others’ creative projects and ideas. I think that’s so rare to find nowadays. Especially since I grew up in a rather cutthroat town where everyone was competing with each other. Over everything, and anything. Purchase was such an unusual change, and a much needed one.