Is “Vanity” a sin?

I got into a discussion about “Vanity Projects” today.

I’ve thought about this term before, because I’m sure some people have called my shows VPs.  I do wear a lot of hats on my shows at times, depending on the scope and size of the project, and, to be honest, how much is in the budget (I work cheap when I’m negotiating with myself) and who else is available.

But what really is a Vanity Project?

A Vanity Project is a term used to describe shows that don’t work, AFTER they don’t work.  It’s the entertainment industry’s version of Monday morning quarterbacking.

Has anyone ever called Rocky a Vanity Project?  Sly wrote and starred in the first one (winning an Oscar), and wrote, starred and directed the rest of the series (except for Rocky V, where he let the original director get behind the camera again).

How about Star Wars?  Written and Directed by Mr. Lucas.

Hedwig?  No.

Rent?  Nope.

In The Heights?  Don’t think so.

In My Life?  (alarm goes off)  Most people in Shubert Alley would say yes.

Collaboration is why I love the theatre.  But that doesn’t mean that wearing a few hats is a bad thing, as long as you deliver.

So no, Vanity is not a sin.

But sucking definitely is.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

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