Do You Want to Know What I Did All F*ing Day? Tried to Get Tickets to Hamilton, That's What
Privilege bothers me. I hate the fact that when it comes to food, health care, environmental safety, and nearly everything else in America, the rich have it better, and the poor have it worse. I might be a "have" now, but I used to be a "have not", and even though I have all the good channels on cable, and only eat GMO-Free foods, at least I have the decency to feel guilty about it.
But I have a confession to make. I partook of one of these forbidden privileges today. I didn't feel good about it, but I did it nonetheless. Because the thing I have wanted since the moment I found out nearly a year ago that Hamilton was coming to the SF Orpheum theater, was the same thing everyone else wanted, too. As a wise TV sitcom once pointed out, Hamilton is like Frozen for adults. That's why when I got an invitation to the AMEX Gold/Platinum/Centurion cardholder pre-sale for Hamilton tickets, I jumped all over that shit.
This is not a pretty story. The first problem was, there were thousands of people in line. The computer generated a number for each person in queue as soon as they hit the link the pre-sale. Tickets officially went on sale at 10:00AM. I hit the link at 9:15AM and was number 10,102 in line. It took me until 11:30 before it was my turn to enter the ticketing system so that I could make my first attempt at buying tickets.
Believe it or not, I got lucky. Friends of mine who logged on closer to 10AM were anywhere between 35,000 and 50,000 in line. The sale went until about 1PM before they told people who were still in the queue that all tickets had been sold and that the sale was over. It was a miracle that I even got in.
But it wasn't what I'd hoped it would be. I was buying six tickets so that I could go with friends and by the time I got in, there were barely any dates available, let alone dates that could accommodate six people. There also weren't many of the cheaper seats available either (The $99 to $198 seats), and the next seats were more than $500. But by that time, after ninety minutes of nail-biting over whether I would get any tickets at all, I was happy to find six tickets at a price I was comfortable with and proceed to checkout.
Except, do you know what happened at checkout? I entered my address, typed in my card number, pressed submit and then didn't get a confirmation screen or a confirmation. AMEX did, however, charge my card for the transaction. So, at this point I had no idea whether my order had been processed, or whether something had gone wrong.
So, that's how something I thought that would take twenty minutes, then looked more like it was going to be two and a half hours, turned into all damned day. Because I spent the next two and a half hours on hold for the AMEX Platinum concierge (whose phone lines were jammed because, you guessed it, Hamilton), who I hoped could resolve the situation, and the rest of the afternoon simultaneously calling the Orpheum's box office to try to iron it out there. Do you think I resolved anything? No. Things are completely up in the air. I still don't know which way it's going to go.
So, there you have it. My first world problem. My privileged rant. Some part of me is embarrassed to be caught up in any phenomenon this big. I'm not a follow the crowd type of person (I know, I know--I was a Twilight fanfic author. But, in my defense, I avoided the Twilight franchise for four years before even reading the first book). And some part of me hates to be on this bandwagon. But, I genuinely love the theater. I am on the advisory board for one, and for an improv fest too; I have theatrical clients, and when I go to New York, I usually catch a show. So this time I'll give myself a pass.