THE COMMUNITY OF THEATRE WRITERS
I dreamed of being a movie star until I saw my first stage play at the age of four or five. Then I knew I was destined to be an actress who performed live. I put n plays in the backyard and living room until I started school and immediately petitioned (successfully) for the role of "Narrator #3" in the kindergarten production of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff". School productions continued through elementary school, culminating with my passionate, growling, tween performance as Snug the Joiner in A Midsummer Nights Dream. In middle school I found music and began to sing everything from pop hits to Madrigals. High school found me combining my skills to perform in musicals like Guys & Dolls and The Music Man. I went to college on an acting scholarship.
Something changed. The thrill I felt onstage shifted quietly into fright. The butterflies in my stomach became nausea. The spotlight, once warm, felt harsh. I could no longer conceive how to overcome the pressure of remembering all of my lines. And worst of all, my ability to realistically emote evaporated. I was no longer a good actress, and I realized with surprise that I wasn't really a willing actress, either. After my second year, I dropped out of the acting program and instead took creative writing classes. There was no stage fright associated with writing, and I loved the ability to represent the voices of characters in a variety of ages, races, genders, and body types (an opportunity I never got to explore onstage). But I found the act of writing to be isolating, lonely. I didn't miss the spotlight, but I sure did miss the people. Theatre had been my community for nearly two decades. The five-hour holes in my evenings - where rehearsals used to be - felt gaping. I didn't know where I belonged.
Years went by. I graduated from college with a general Theatre Arts degree. I found hobbies and friends unassociated with the theatre, and still maintained relationships with the buddies from my acting days who found time between performances to get coffee. I continued to write, but (despite trying) my wheelhouse did not include creating plays. Short stories, autobiographical semi-fiction, and journalism were more my forte. Soon my only solid tie to the theatre was as a member of the audience: a crucial role, or course, but different. More like outside looking in; solitude where community once was.
Three years ago I started a twitter account on a whim. I blogged for a bit, writing journalistic anecdotes dealing solely with my love of New York theatre. The twitter account took off and BroadwayGirlNYC earned some notoriety. A year after my first blog post, I was offered my own column on BroadwayWorld.com.
Tweeting and writing about theatre has brought me back into the community I lost when I was in college. The solitary act of tweeting became a means to connect with thousands of theatre-lovers like me. As my list of readers grew longer, I also sought out other voices sharing their words & thoughts with the digital world. It has been a delight to join a community, not unlike the casts I knew in my acting days, of passionate consumers of theatre. I want to thank every person who has shared their fervor by way of written word.
I dream of a scenario in which 1,100 people exit a Broadway theatre and then every single one of them goes home and writes about it. Some might write reviews but there would also be anecdotes from intermission, descriptions of merchandise, recreations of conversations overheard in the bathroom line, and dream scenarios involving the leading man.
Will you write? Will you send me a story inspired by the next show you see? (You can email me at BroadwayGirlNYC@Gmail.com)
There is no such thing as too much love for Broadway (and Off-Broadway, Off-Off, International, Regional, Community, School and Amateur productions). You will never find me badmouthing another theatre writer or competing for readership; LOVE has propelled me from the beginning, and I am delighted that my words, thoughts & stories have found an audience. I hope yours do, too.
On the next page I leave you with a list of blogs recently tweeted to me. Please support them. Please RT them. Use the comments to include any & all that belong on the list. Then support those, too.