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Meet the Queen

When there is even the tiniest chance that you can even possibly meet your idol, you have to do whatever it takes to make that possibility a reality.


About a month ago, I was presented with the opportunity to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. I'll be honest, I didn't really like the book. The story didn't feel like Harry Potter, and the writing didn't feel like Rowling. I told myself that I would give this story a chance and see it in the medium that it was intended to be in. As a twist of fate, a friend of mine had an extra ticket for a preview to the show, and through an insane blizzard, I was able to attend parts 1 and 2 of this play.


I actually really loved it. There were so many magical things to see, tricks of light, and literal magic on the stage that occurred that left my jaw on the floor. I walked out of that theater, covered in snow, with my face wet with tears. I was thankful for every ounce of traffic and chaos that eventually led me to be able to see that play.


The coolest thing was I was able to see the show with my friend Julie, someone I knew through someone else on Instagram. I am a huge believer in the Power of Potter People. Connecting with Julie was such a magical touch to the entire experience.


A few weeks later, I found out that Julie won the Friday Forty, a lottery where she won $40 tickets to see the play. Not only that, the specific tickets that she won were for the premiere. Not only was Julie going to attend the premiere, word on the street was that Jo Rowling, the queen herself, was going to be attending the premiere as well. As a New Yorker, this brought my idol so close to me that I made the decision that no matter what, I had to do whatever it took to have the chance to see her.


I got in touch with Julie to formulate a plan. She and I had ever intention to sleep out on the streets of Manhattan. We showed up to the theater on Saturday night. The premiere was on Sunday at 1:00. We talked to every security guard that we came across, all of whom encouraged us to be safe, get a good nights sleep, and come back around 10:00 in the morning after they had finished setting up, that we would be safe to be a part of everything.


And so, Julie and I slept in a tiny hotel room with her mom, and were up at 3AM to be at the theater. Alas, no one was there, and the streets were creepy. We decided it would be smart to go back to the hotel for a couple of hours, then venture back down at 5:00 and no matter what, make camp.


There were actually some other Potter People there! Fantastic! We started to mark ourselves with numbers to keep track of who go to the venue in what order. This was the beginning of a pretty beautiful bond between the "Dawn Crew." We also got a piece of the red carpet when they were cutting it because we were there so early which was pretty dope. At 8:00 they started giving out wrist bands for 100 people to be on the carpet for the event. At this point, panic set in because my fiancé was on his way into the city and I was so nervous he wasn't going to get a bracelet! Thankfully, he made it in time and we were even able to leave the group for a half an hour to get some breakfast!! Yay fuel!!


We were moved around a few times after this because they needed to set up the cue. No big deal, but it brought so much stress upon us "Dawn" people because there were people just showing up that were trying to get ahead of us. With a lot of luck, strategy, and positioning, we were able to be some of the first in the pen on the red carpet, and my fiancé and I got a spot right against the barricade.


The rest is history. We were a part of so many videos, so many promos on Pottermore and for Cursed Child. We were featured on Jo's twitter. All just super incredible moments. None, however, were better than this. I will let this video speak for itself.


I shook for the entire day after this. My fiancé (his name is Alon, just so I can refer to him by his name in the future) would look at me and I would just burst out with the biggest smile on my face randomly. I still can't believe that this happened. I also cannot believe that she interacted with me, made eye contact with me, and signed my book with the most gorgeous signature.


To have a book personally signed by the author is an incredible thing to happen to a person. For me to meet Jo Rowling, my idol and hero, it was an absolute dream come true.


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The Harry Potter Collection is an unofficial Harry Potter website. All images are proudly from the personal collection of Melanie Friedman.

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