Last night I met my in-laws, Barbara and Gerry Green, at a restaurant in New York for dinner before performing in a storytelling show down the street. As Elysha and I walked in, we found Barbara and Gerry sitting at the bar, eating salad and chatting with the bartender.
As I sat down, they introduced me to the bartender, a woman in her early thirties who was an actor and a self-described Shakespearean nerd. She chatted with us for the entire meal, and shortly before I left for sound check, Barbara had exchanged business cards with her.
Less than an hour later, Barbara and Gerry arrived at the theater space. Within five minutes, Barbara was chatting with a woman named Denise, whose chair was quickly moved over to our table, where it remained for the rest of the night. Between stories and during intermission, Barbara and and Gerry chatted with Denise, and by the end of the night, they had exchanged contact information, too.
I think Barbara started talking to Denise because they had a similar hair style. That was all it took to launch a possible future friendship.
My wife, Elysha, is famous for knowing a lot of people. We actually have a friend who begins conversations with new people by asking, "Do you know Elysha Dicks?"
The answer is yes so often that it's turned out to be an effective ice breaker.
This is where she gets it. This is where she learned to enter a space and make a new friend. Again and again and again.
When it comes to Elysha, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Actually, I don't think it's even fallen off the tree.