Funny how the Universe works. And I need to start believing in it more. Because you never know what amazing thing will manifest, as long as you have faith.

I got a surprise visit this week from a dear old theater buddy of mine I’d not seen in over 25 years. What a delight! After finding each other on Facebook, we’ve just had two great days of schmoozing while he stayed with us. And I have dearly missed old theater buddy schmoozing. It did my heart good.

A man of many trades, my friend Rique Patire was in Austin with Bonnie Raitt who was performing at the Moody Theater for Austin City Limits Live this past week. Rique, for many years now, traveling out of LA, occasionally does celebrity hair and make-up. Usually he works for Emmylou Harris and now even has his own hair products line.

But it is Rique who truly is a star. Masterful, dynamic singer, dancer, actor, comedian extraordinaire, he is more than a Triple Threat. Fearless on stage, always has been. Impressive. No hesitation whatsoever. Yep, you gotta dive right in. Rique is a smooth performer and has that most interesting voice you definitely want to hear.

He just spent three months in Nashville nailing the role of a hilarious yet menacing song and dance man Herod played as Trump in Circle Players’ ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at TSU Performing Arts Center which garnered him high praise reviews. I expected no less. Rique’s also a scriptwriter and songwriter and now on his way back to LA after a San Antonio stopover for a singing gig and a recording session. Yeah, he stays busy.

While he was here we shared tips of the trade and talked about the different roads we’ve taken to create the professional performing careers we’ve both maintained. We left unspoken the level of hard work it takes, because once you’ve done it, you just know it does. Yet always so generous, Rique reminded me to do positive self-talk. Be aware of what you put out into the Universe. Words are deeds. I needed that reminder. Yes, sir, I’ll watch my sarcastic tongue.

And we reminisced about our sweet friend, Virginia Kilgore. So many years ago, early days in Nashville, Rique, I and our hilarious buddy, talented comedian-actress-writer Virginia Kilgore had begun to put a show together for the three of us called ‘Triple Threat’. I can’t remember what interrupted us in that we didn’t get to develop it, but we went on in different ways, developing our professional acting careers. We all three had a such strong sense of direction and great work ethic. And we always got along so well.

Virginia became my closest, dearest, most loyal friend, all through these many years. She never hesitated in her friendship with me and I know I’ll never have a friend that I could laugh more easily with or as much with. God knows I will always love her so. She passed away suddenly a little over a month ago. Just gone. In a heartbeat. It’s been devastating to me.

And yet here he was, Rique, out of the blue after all this time, sent to me to schmooze with. To old theater buddy talk with, to heart to heart professional performer talk with. There are few people that can do that with me, quite honestly, few that I trust, that I enjoy. My God, Rique even did an impromptu makeover and photo shoot for me, all his idea. Wow! And you know what? I think my dear Virginia arranged all this. She and the Universe sent Rique to me. She couldn’t ever make it to Austin, so she sent him. Thank you, my sweetheart, Virginia for the gift! And thank you and God bless you, Rique! You are always welcome here. –by Martha Hannah