In the late ’90s, I did some work here in Los Angeles for the musical non-profit “The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation” (MHOpus). One night there was a benefit concert at UCLA, conducted by the late composer (and co-founder of MHOpus) Michael Kamen. Many amazing people attended that performance. There were loads of known and unknown faces in the crowd and it was quite the success.
Anyhoo – on that night I was responsible for making sure certain guests were given their tickets. And by certain guests, I mean the A-Listers who received personal invitations and comped seats. To the best of my ability, I would spot a recognizable face approaching the table and have that person’s tickets ready, so that there was no delay. (A-Listers get all the special treatment, don’t you know.) I don’t remember all the faces who approached me that night, but one made a lasting impression and I’ve never forgotten our exchange. It was Mr. Alan Rickman. He was perfectly friendly and kind, and when I gave his tickets to him, I held his hand in mine – a bit too long, actually. He looked me in the eye and in that beautiful deep voice, said, “Thank you.” I looked at him and said, “No. Thank you.” I won’t lie. He kind of gave me a sideways glance, as if maybe he needed to get away from me as quickly as possible. I released his hand and he walked into the hall. It was only a moment, but it makes me laugh, to this day.
I have immense respect for Mr. Rickman. I’ve loved him in everything from “Die Hard” to the recent “A Little Chaos.” For me, he is Severus Snape from the Harry Potter world. And I love Snape. Mister has a Slytherin scarf and I wore it all day yesterday, just because. Alan Rickman’s passing is felt more deeply by me than I would have expected. I am emotional about it and I’m sad. Coming on the heels of the loss of David Bowie is almost too much. I don’t really know what else to say.