2009-07-01 / Entertainment

Meeting Michael Crawford (The Phantom of the Opera)

by Lisa Reynolds

Lisa Reynolds and Michael Crawford Lisa Reynolds and Michael Crawford Lisa Reynolds, the daughter of Sidney and Debra Reynolds, is a huge fan of Michael Crawford, the original Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. I have been a fan since 2001 when I discovered the Phantom of the Opera Original Cast Recording CD. I attended a very special event for him through his fan club MCIFA "Michael Crawford International Fan Association in Long Beach, California, at the Hyatt Hotel on June 12-15. He's very special to me. He encouraged me with a letter to help me to obtain my GED. He told me everything I needed to hear to receive my GED. He told me not to be scared of the tests, and I would do brilliantly on the test. He was right! I received my GED in November 2007. After I received my GED, I thought the most perfect gift would be to meet Michael and tell him my good news.

My dream came true on June 14, 2009. Michael did a Signing and Members Only Event with his Fan Club. Meeting him was like a dream. I thought I was about to faint when I got closer to the time to meet Michael at the signing table. I thought at first I wouldn't be able to say anything. I'm a very shy person; it's hard for me to say things right away. I know I was very emotional when I saw him. I ran up to him and gave him a huge "thank you" hug for what he did for me. It meant a lot to me to be able to give him a hug. I think it helped me to overcome my shyness. I had him sign my diploma. I could tell he was happy when he saw my diploma. He told me he was very proud of me. He also said some things about how I never gave up on obtaining my GED. I told him I was in college and doing well. He thought that was great news. I was so happy; I started to cry happy tears of joy when I left. I heard him say, "Bless her heart," when I left the room. I had achieved my dream.

I wasn't expecting too much from the Q&A part of the event. He answered my question about what do you do with letters/ cards/gifts he receives from fans. He congratulated me for receiving my GED during this part of the Q&A at the Members Only Event. I wasn't expecting him to do this at all. It was a great surprise. I thought he probably wouldn't remember me, but he did. That meant the world to me.

June 14, 2009, was one of the best days in my life so far. It was more than I thought it would be. If it weren't for the MCIFA, my dream wouldn't have come true. I owe MCIFA; the CoCos made this come true for me. I thank them so very much for supporting and praying for me. It means so much to me. I can't express how much it means to me. Most of all, I want to thank a very special person that changed my life, Michael. Thank you so much for helping me and making my dream even better than I ever thought it would be.

MCIFA supports The Sick Children's Trust in the UK (Michael is the president), The Lighthouse Foundation in Australia and the Free Arts for Abused Children in the US. The fan club is also having a campaign to raise a million dollars for their charities called A Million for Michael. If you are a fan of Michael's, I would recommend you joining his fan club. You can find the website @ http://www. mcifa.com.

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