Have you ever been on Facebook, or had a conversation after a show, where you find out a number of your friends, unknown to each other but connected to you, have all been to the same show? Our city may not be as large as metropolitan capitals but with a population in excess of 41,000 the odds of this occurrence are still relative.
In 1990 American playwright John Guare wrote a play called Six Degrees of Separation. You may be more familiar with the film version released in 1993 starring Donald Sutherland and Will Smith. The premise of the play explores the idea that any two individuals are connected by at most five others, a concept originally put forward in 1929 by Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy. Pre-Facebook and the Internet, and almost a century ago, this theory may have been dubious. These days not so much.
The theory of coincidences is equally interesting but since hard-core mathematics, probability, psychology, physics and the ‘blade of grass paradox’ are too lengthy to research and decipher, the Oxford dictionary definition of the word coincidence will suit: a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.
In relation to the staff and the DRTCC, and prompted by a couple of unlikely coincidences within my first month of working here, I have commenced investigations to see how many other quirks and connections I can find.
Scott McTiernan is a familiar face to many of our regular patrons and also to those who visit our venue for conferences, award ceremonies, school formals, trade fairs and generally anything that involves his calm manner and leadership skills as our Front-of-House/Functions Co-ordinator.
Drawn to gadgets from a young age, Scott liked playing with anything technical and would pull apart his father’s torch to get the batteries out for use in some other gadget or another. Scott’s father happened to be an usher at the Monarch Empire Theatre in Dubbo, now Scott manages a team of 15 ushers as part of his role as Front-of-House/Functions Co-ordinator, but is unable to borrow batteries from their torches for safety reasons.
More family members, and even pets, also oddly connect Scott with DRTCC and ushers. Scott’s cousin worked for Dubbo City Council, as Scott does now, as did the man she married... whose surname is Usher. And since rarity is subjective what are the chances, given all the dog breeders and all the cities and towns, of Scott choosing a dog from a litter of purebred German Shepherd pups and discovering it has a show name of Bossface Usher? These coincidences may not be mind-blowing but they’re notable and as I enquire about other staff and volunteers at the DRTCC it will be interesting to connect the dots and see if the “six degrees of separation” theory is pop culture myth or a fact of life.