The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was truly an amazing experience.
The crowd seemed to be never ending. I walked and walked and there was no end to the crowd in sight. There were people in every tree, on the steps of every building and on top of every port-a-potty.
After walking around the edge of the crowd (trying to figure out where the stage was) I climbed up on to the roof of one of the port-a-potties and was greeted by friendly smiles from the five or so other people on that roof and the most incredible view of a sea of people as far as I could see. I couldn't tell where the crowd ended or began, but I knew I had never seen so many people.
After a while a police officer made us all get down and then I decided to try to walk into the crowd. It was hard to get in. The was a constant press of people like myself trying to get further in and small streams of people trying to get out. I slowly got further and further in and the further in I got the tighter the bodies of the ralliers pressed in around me. We weren't just standing shoulder to shoulder. There was no space between people. My chest was pressed against the backs of the people in front of me and the people behind me were pressed against my back. I could have lifted my legs off the ground and not fallen.
It was even harder to get out. In theater we spend time thinking about how many people you can safely fit into small spaces, so, I began to realize that if an unlikely but possible panic started this crushing crowd would very quickly be very dangerous. So I sanely (in response to a potential fear) decided to work my way out of the crowd.
It took forever. You can't just say "pardon me, could I get through?" the way you would in a normal crowd. No one had any where or way to move out of my way. When I finally got within about twenty feet from the edge I found myself in a group of at least twenty people, all trying to get out. We were all pressed up against eachother so tightly one or the other of us would occasionally cry out in pain when the crowd would shift from someone trying to get in or out. Finally, we started calling ahead to the people closer to the edge who were trying to get in that we were trying to get out and we slowly started to move until we stumbled out of the pressing crown into the street.
The street was crowded too, but there was space to breath and move where you desired. I soon found an idilic spot with big rocks, trees and a distant view of the stage. From there I got to see a giant Stephen Colbert and R2D2! Quite happy with my new location, I stayed there for the rest of the rally.
Tomorrow I will tell you more stories about the few hours I was in Washington! For now, I'm afraid, I must bid you adieu.
See you at auditions tonight!!!!