Mark Kotzin is a regular guy from Syracuse, a communications specialist with the Civil Service Employees Association. He is also a father whose teenage daughter, Molly, is studying at the University of Pittsburgh, loves Broadway and dreams of a career in the theater.
A few weeks ago, Kotzin had to travel to Manhattan for a week, for his job. Kotzin had time to kill at night. Instead of eating alone and sitting in front of the TV, he decided he might as well put his trip to use: He began haunting the entranceways to Broadway theaters with his camera, intent on giving Molly an 18th birthday gift she will not forget.
She had dreamed out loud that he might do such a thing before he left, even suggesting some stars whose reactions he might catch, but she never believed he would actually convince them to pause — at least not on such a scale.
He did. It was simply "persistence and patience and running around," he said. Not a single one of the performers turned him down once he approached them, he said.
Kotzin posted the video last week on Facebook after playing it for his daughter, whose response you will get to see. The post continues to generate joyous digital reactions. While he calls it "a labor of love," as a dad, all I can say is this:
The guy has raised the bar ridiculously high for the rest of us.
And just remember:
Daniel Freaking Radcliffe.
-- Sean Kirst is a columnist with The Buffalo News. Read more of his work in this archive.