How We Met
There were so many things that had to happen for them to have even met…and they did.
His friend Paul invited Paul to go see Legally Blonde, which first struck his interest in our theatre.
Paul and Misha both auditioned for Young Frankenstein…
Misha accepted a role in the ensemble, even though she very specifically had decided that THAT was the show she was going to say “no” for the first time.
Dawn and Charlie cast both Misha and Paul…and the rest is history.
On January 11, 2016 they met. They didn’t actually say hi to each other but it’s the first time they encountered each other. That was the first day of rehearsal for Young Frankenstein. Misha arrived obnoxiously early, like usual, and Paul was already there. They exchanged a quick glance, but, because Misha knew the routine and the Stage Management crew she gathered her papers and went to sit in the soprano section. It wasn’t until further into rehearsals that they would even talk. Around the time that the movie Deadpool was coming out they began talking as friends of friends about how excited they both were for the movie. A couple weeks into talking only at rehearsals, Paul and Misha both said that on Valentine’s Day they were both separately going to see Deadpool, both alone. Paul made a comment somewhere along the lines of “Oh we should both go together then!”…on valentines day… to see Deadpool. Misha said maybe… but when the day came they both went exactly how they said… on their own.
Fast forward to one particularly cold day where a group of them went out to Southstreet for food after rehearsal. They had been with this group a couple of times before this, but, Paul was under the impression that Misha had a crush on someone else…which she did and was pretty vocal about. But that night, Paul said the two magic words that won over Misha’s heart… “Doctor Who”. As soon as he said that it was like tunnel vision. They started talking more in person, and Misha decided to start their text convos by sending a Spiderman meme….because that’s how nerds flirt, obviously.
Fast forward again, they are in performances of Young Frankenstein, they are talking online until 3 am, and neither of them have any idea if the other is flirting or just being friendly. Misha would try and steal Paul’s prop gun during intermission and thought that was a cute way of flirting…it was apparently not obvious enough. So they both decided to start subtly hinting through songs at Karaoke every Friday… still wasn’t working. Finally one of their fellow cast members, Brent, decided to help Misha – since she seemed so distraught. While she was up singing he leaned over to Paul and said “you know she’s shamelessly flirting with you, right?” to which Paul responded “I know”…but that was more of an “oh!” moment because it was confirmed for both of them… yes… they both had a crush on the other.
how they asked
What Misha didn’t know… is that Paul had been planning this since the fall show in 2016, Rocky Horror…
They both were cast in this crazy play about Dungeons and Dragons on the Blackburn Hall stage in the fall of 2017, She Kills Monsters. Paul was playing a nerdy high schooler/The Great Mage Steve and Misha was playing Lilith Morningstar…a demon queen, complete with leather armor, no pants, black dripping lipstick, and horns.
October 10, 2017, they perform their show for the preview audience…which consists of about 300 members and volunteers of The Naples Players. The night before the cast had rehearsed a speech that Amy, the lead of the show, would say after each performance about Hurricane Irma and the raffles we were having. So the entire cast bowed and they were to take a step back leaving Amy forward to give her speech. She said a couple things about it and then said “But actually, Misha and Paul have a special announcement…” and she gently pushes Misha forward as Paul takes a step forward as well…
The first thing Misha thought was “I don’t know the speech!” so of course, she’s panicking thinking she has to give the speech. But simultaneously looking at Paul walking towards her and her body knew, her body was saying “you’re about to be proposed to” but her head was saying “don’t be stupid that’s not happening”.
At the same time as Misha is going through all of that, Paul is thinking of what he’s going to say and takes one look at Misha and completely forgets absolutely everything he was planning on saying.
He says “Misha Ritter” and slowly gets down on one knee and the entire audience starts screaming. The cast is jumping and clapping and crying and Misha is frozen. She doesn’t realise that she hasn’t responded to his asking “will you marry me?” because she’s trying to process everything that is going on. At some point about 10 seconds later Misha looks at Paul on his knee, and he gives her a face of uncertainty that says “are you going to respond? please say something?” and of course she immediately says yes.
How many people can say that they were proposed to on stage, after a performance, dressed as a demon queen in leather…probably not even a handful, honestly. Misha has grown up at this theatre and has always had a fantastical dream of being proposed to in a theatrical setting…this took the cake.
Since meeting, Paul and Misha have performed in or worked on shows at The Naples Players Sugden Community Theatre very consistently through their entire relationship.