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The Journal Gazette

  • Meyer

Monday, June 13, 2016 6:57 am

Homestead grad describes visiting Pulse

Jamie Duffy | The Journal Gazette

Sunday morning, actress and singer Megan Meyer woke up to a slew of text messages.

The former Fort Wayne resident who moved to Orlando about a year ago had no idea of the early-morning massacre at Pulse, a nightclub she often patronizes with friends.

Now she’s waiting for the list of the 50 dead. She doesn’t think any of her friends are on that list, but she can’t be sure until she sees all the names, she said Sunday.

"We go there frequently," said Meyer, 25, who graduated from Homestead High School and then studied acting and musical theater in New York City. Meyer works as an performer at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, a themed restaurant in Orlando where she plays a pirate queen. The last time she went to Pulse was about a week and a half ago, she said.

"I’m very friendly with the gay community," Meyer said. Pulse, located in downtown Orlando about a half hour from where she lives, is "a place where everyone can be free and open," and is frequented by everyone. Meyer goes there to dance and enjoys the club’s parties with different themes.

"There are three different dance rooms," said Meyer who has performed at the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and Arena Dinner Theatre. "People probably didn’t hear the gunshots for a good couple of minutes," especially with loud music.

"If you exit (in the back), it leads to the parking lot and a giant fence so people were hopping over that fence. I can’t really remember," Meyer said. She estimated the fence to be 5 or 6 feet high.

As a performer herself, she said the Pulse shootings and the murder Friday of singer Christina Grimmie at an Orlando concert venue have been sobering for her and all of her friends who entertain in public places.

"We’re all just kind of nervous," Meyer said. "We work in very big locations where this kind of stuff can happen. I think it’s just kind of hitting us. We’re really worried."

So is her mother, Renee Meyer, who woke up to the news of the Pulse shooting at 7:15 a.m. Sunday. Knowing that her daughter often went there made her worried.

"I was just thinking ‘Oh no,’ " Renee Meyer said. "I was pretty sure she wasn’t (there)."

Megan Meyer hoped to attend a vigil Sunday at Orlando’s Lake Eola. The area around Pulse was blocked off, she said, although on Facebook she learned of sites to donate blood.

"So far, all my friends were OK," Meyer said. "I’m waiting for the list to go up just in case. Right now, there’s a list with four names up."