It’s been ten days. More than a week. And you’re concerned. Maybe it’s not exactly keeping you up nights, but it’s there—actually, it’s not there, and that’s the problem—every time you’re in front of a computer, or hastily scrolling through your friends’ Twitter updates on your phone.
Gavin Creel isn’t updating. And you’re kind of starting to wonder what’s going on.
Because this is someone who doesn’t really just tweet. He shares. And always has, if you’re that girl or boy—you are, stop it—who’s gone back and read all of his MySpace and Blogger and personal site blogs, which he’s kept basically since it was remotely cool and remotely possible to easily and quickly put your thoughts online. Which is, of course, what makes Gavin Creel basically the best, and most interesting, and most enjoyable theater person to follow on Twitter. Because while plenty of Broadway personalities have proven themselves online to be charming (Audra McDonald), funny (Cheyenne Jackson), and entertaining in a vaguely self important, John Mayeresque way (Kober), no one tweets quite like Gavin tweets. Because no one else gives so much by giving away so little.
We’ve seen the inside of his apartment, gone on walks with his dog, hung out backstage at Hair. We’ve woken up next to him, taken the train to Jersey, met his cute friends and his vocal chord doctor, got an up-close-and-personal glimpse at his poor damaged ankle. Audra’s tweets are fun, but they’re a tightly controlled performance—the tiniest, remotest peek into her existence. Gavin’s tweets are a life.
And those small glimpses—remember those 20 almost-silent seconds of nothing but Wally walking and snuffling in the morning air?—somehow feel so precious. Maybe it’s because most of them are so splendidly ordinary for someone who seems to have such an extraordinary existence, or because because they all seem to confirm something that we all want to believe: that Gavin is a sweet person. But I think it’s something else, too. The fact that, buried amongst all that ordinary stuff—the walks with Wally and the nights spent watching TiVoed episodes of Top Chef and Project Runway—were some truly incredible and deeply emotional things. How did you find out that he was dating Jonathan Groff? You didn’t learn it from Page Six. You learned it from Gavin. He told you a dozen times, in a dozen ways that pretended to be cryptic in only the most half-hearted ways. He wanted you to know. He wanted the universe to know. His old blog posts about his parents and how much he loves them. His disappointment when the New York Senate voted against same-sex marriage. His giddy excitement about new songs. It’s all there—all of it real and fun and so wonderfully human.
But likewise compelling is what Gavin has chosen not to talk about. The Hair Tribe’s transfer to London, for example. It doesn’t take rocket science, a degree in psychology, or a pack of tarot cards to figure out that Gavin’s not enthused. He hasn’t even confirmed that he’s going in his own words, even though it’s been in the press for months, and even though he’s leaving in two weeks. This is from someone who discusses his work, whether it’s Hair or his own gigs, with so much joy and enthusiasm, with exclamation point-filled announcements about dates and tickets.
That’s why this most recent silence is… well… kind of disturbing. This isn’t someone who’s prone to silence, whose Facebook page has ever been without a new status update. Of course, this is as much a comment on the nature of social networking as anything else. We’re not friends, Gavin and all of us. But we feel like we are. His updates appear right alongside those from our real friends and sisters and moms, right there on the same homepage. That illusion of intimacy is powerful.
It sounds silly, but I’m guessing there’s more than a few of us who could do with a new Wally video right about now. Something to continue the story. And until then, we’ll just keep hitting refresh. Hoping for something new. For a nod, a word, that everything is OK.