I fell in love with theatre at a very young age. My mother used to take me to see productions at the Civic Center in Atlanta, GA, where I grew up. We saw “Annie”. We saw “Oklahoma”. We saw “Annie Get Your Gun”. I loved and watched everything about these productions – the actors, the sets, the lighting, the costumes.
Then in high school I left a very academic institution to attend a high school of performing arts. I thought my life would be like the show “Fame” – kids would dance and sing on the tables in the lunch room and my life would be one big show after another. Well, I did have a few leads in shows. I studied Shakespeare, Ibsen, Wendy Wasserstein and Sam Shepard. But I also convinced that acting wasn’t my calling. I was awkward looking. I was sensitive and didn’t have the stamina that an actor needs. My sisters lived in NYC at the time and every time I came to visit, we spent all our time on Broadway.
So, I moved to New York City, where I’ve spent the last 20 years or so being a real voyeur and connoisseur of the theater world. I’ve been a little bird on the wall, loving the experience every time I’ve sat down to watch a play. I’ve saved all my Playbills (it’s a big pile!) and am a proud member of several theaters.
This year something happened. Because of this blog I actually had a role in bringing two shows to the NYC stage. It was all quite incidental. Because of this blog, I have met women with similar interests. Because of these women, I have discovered my true passion. Because of this passion, I feel restored.
How did it all start? At BlogHer in 2010, I walked up to Ann Imig of AnnsRants.com and asked her if I could have anything to do with her show Listen to Your Mother should it come to NYC. She and Amy Wilson of WhenDidIGetLikeThis.com had led a panel called “From Blog to Page” and I was mesmerized by their words. I just wanted to have the slightest involvement with the show, given my lack of knowledge and experience in the theatre world.
Ann got in touch with me right when I got back and suddenly, I was involved with bringing an actual show to New York. And I mean really involved. I learned the nuts and bolt of bringing a show to the stage. Along with Amy and Varda Steinhardt from SquashedMom.com, I helped to produce a show. It was invigorating.
When that experience ended, I was depressed. Where do I go from here? I was glad to know that there would potentially be another LTYM show a year later and I would look forward to that. But to have loved something so much and do it on a daily basis. Would I be able to do that again?
Not much later I saw that Amy was working on a new show called The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe, a play she had been working on for a long time with her writing and producing partner of 20 years, Julie Kramer. Craving to have the slightest involvement, I fearfully asked her if she needed help. My hopes were so high and when she embraced the idea and brought me in, I was walking on air.
For the last 3 months, I have watched the birth of a show. I have been a part of something so important. This show, one that Amy and Julie sank their hearts and souls into, is now a bonafide hit, playing at the Here Arts Center in Soho. Last week it received 4 stars in the New York Times by Ben Brantley, one of the, if not the most important, theater critics in NYC.
After that review, and several other fabulous ones, the show has sold out its entire run and is truly the hottest ticket in town.
How was I so lucky to have stumbled into something I love so much? All because of this little blog. Amy and Julie’s mentorship have been worth a million dollars.
Have you stumbled into your passion through a back door? I’d love to hear your story.