His Past Didn’t Destroy a Chance at Love

My name is Dan Madonia and I am in an adult relationship. Which if you don’t know me is an incredible feat. Before my girlfriend, there were things I would do for a sandwich that I wouldn’t do for someone of the fairer sex. I wasn’t exactly sensitive to those around me, a girl once broke up with me and I didn’t even know we were dating (which is the ultimate situation of not knowing what you got until its gone.)

My parents weren’t the best of examples either, my father is a touring professional comedian who my mother only had sex with ONCE and didn’t let me know he was the father until I was twelve years old. I wouldn’t say that I have daddy issues though; the presence of my mother screwed me up way more than the absence of my father. My mother is a retired adult entertainer with more credits than I can list. Which is a hard nut for a lot of people to swallow. Most people have trouble coming to grips with the fact that their parents had even had sex once, I had to come grips with that’s how my toys were paid for. That will make you think twice before asking for stuff for Christmas. I wasn’t completely left without a father figure though, my mom did hook up with her acid dealer when I was two years old and they embarked on what can only be explained as a twenty-year case of Stockholm syndrome. Who the actual hostage was though, is still up for interpretation.

With that tremendous backing cast. you are ultimately going to end up a little screwed up and come up with a few twisted theories on what love and relationships are like. I grew up believing that relationships were like driving in the carpool lane.

1.) You can’t do it alone,

2.) There are heavy fines for getting in and out at the wrong time and

3.) Once you are in it you are sitting there watching everyone else go by, thinking “What the hell? This was supposed to be better.”

Thinking like this is not the best way to end up running down the aisle. But here I am, in an adult relationship with everything that comes complete in the adult relationship do-it-yourself kit like a dog, decorative soap and re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond. How does that happen?

Get over it.

It is the answer for everything. Get over it. Its not easy and I know this but in order for any relationship to succeed both people are going to have things to get over. For my girlfriend and me it was my past thoughts but for you it might be someone’s sleep apnea machine, someone’s technology obsession, someone’s mean Doberman or someone’s Doberman-like mother. Of course you aren’t going to be able to get over everything instantly but that is what a relationship is about, bringing two perspectives together and making each of yourselves better. There are going to be fights and bumps in the road but if you truly love one another you will be able to see from your partner’s eyes and get through your problems. For example, earlier this week my girlfriend was mad at me because I am immature, but all at the same time I was mad at her because she isn’t a power ranger…In the end we both had to get over it.

Falling in Love Onstage: Finding My Lover Through the Magic of Theatre

I’ve been a performer for my entire life. Now, I’ve met my love thanks to the theatre.

A majority of my friends are involved in the theatre scene, which isn’t especially surprising since I was part of a theatre troupe in high school and studied theatre in New York City. It also isn’t especially surprising that the only people I’ve really dated have been involved in the entertainment world as well.

High school and college was filled with romantic drama surrounding my theatre crushes. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of falling for people that have played my onstage love interests a few times. Onstage chemistry is very important to me, and sometimes those feelings bleed into real life.

Do I always act on it? No. That would be unprofessional. But I have slipped up once or twice.

However, there was one time where it was actually successful. I met my dream man through my “Rocky Horror” shadowcast. Which was, in all honesty, something that I expected would happen since I was a kid. Rocky is incredibly important to me, and there’s no way I could have ever dated someone that didn’t like it.

I met Chris a little after I joined Rocky around last year. We had known of each other in passing at cons and such, but didn’t become friends at first. One of the few times we did talk was via Facebook message, where he gave me advice about how to construct a costume piece. I didn’t think anything of it.

Around the time I joined his cast was when we really became friends. I had a falling out with a few friends, so I turned to him for help getting through the tough time. We ended up quickly becoming best friends, with me staying at his house often and going on adventures constantly. He treated me well, but again, I didn’t think anything of it in a romantic sense.

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Falling in love on stage

Then the on-stage romance began.

A few months into our friendship, I started playing Columbia. He plays Eddie, so it made perfect sense that he would be performing with me in my first show. I was so nervous about the performance, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. Something just felt weird about playing my best friend’s girlfriend. Maybe it was a subconscious thing, who knows.

Cut to a month later, and we’re dating. After a three-show day in late October (our prime season), we realized we had something more to our relationship and took it to the next level.

Now, Chris and I have performed together as Eddie and Columbia with three different casts, traveling as far as Toronto.

It’s an interesting life we have, being two performers who date, not to mention live together. Our life consists of making costume pieces, constantly practicing at home in front of the TV, and me reminding him which days he’s performing (I’ve become almost his Rocky secretary in that sense).

Before every show, we usually get ready at home, me sitting in front of a mirror for an hour trying to cover my eyebrows with a glue stick, and him making sure his beloved leather vest is good to go.

Doing Rocky on tour feels akin to being in a traveling circus, and it can be a very high-strung and energetic environment. For that, I am grateful for Chris. He keeps me grounded through all of the stress of performing, and it’s comforting to know that whenever I feel insecure or nervous on stage, he’s right up there with me.

finding love on stage with rocky horror picture show

Even when one of us isn’t performing, the other is usually in the audience showing support. The amount of pride I feel when I’m in the crowd watching him emcee a show is like nothing else, in fact, I usually tend to turn to the person next to me and say something along the lines of “He’s so weird. I’m so proud of him.”

Once the show’s over, and after we’ve had a traditional late night breakfast with our castmates, we usually go home and immediately pass out. We tend to spend the rest of the next day at home, doing chores and watching “Friday the 13th” movies like the homebodies we truly are. It’s important to find balance.

I’m eternally grateful for the life I currently live. I get to write all day, perform all night, and get to do it alongside the love of my life. It honestly everything I could have asked for, and it’s only the beginning. We have plans to travel all around the world to perform, and we hope to continue doing for as long as we possibly can.