Another day. Another dream crushed.


I already told you earlier this week how I used to dream about reviving Carrie.  Well, whenever my mind wandered away from that horror-hottie, I dreamed about producing another musical:

A musical that could appeal to children and adults alike.  A musical that had great tunes already, but also could benefit from a supplemental score.  A musical that would be visually spectacular.

A musical of . . . Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Admittedly, I’m not the only one that has thought of this idea.  I think anyone who has ever dreamed of being a Creative Producer has imagined how the Oompa-Loompas would look live at some point in their career.  One of my favorite readers told me that she was in discussions with the estate for a while (I couldn’t even get them to return my phone calls).

It looks like Willy is finally going to happen, and Sam Mendes is going to be the guy to do it.  Click here for more details.

Am I really disappointed?


You know why?

1. Sam is the perfect guy for the job.

2. When I came up with the idea of Willy Wonka, I wasn’t ready for it.

Would it really have been possible for me to grab the rights to that material in between my acting classes at Tisch?  If you were the estate of Roald Dahl, would you have given the rights to me, no matter how much passion and creativity I had?

Of course not.

Was it worth my time to work on Willy Wonka back then?  Probably not. I would have been better served working on something that I could accomplish more easily like a reading of a new play or musical that would have actually had a greater chance of happening and becoming MY Willy (uh, that sounded awkward).

Starting small is often the best way to become big.

You don’t wake up one morning and say “I’m going to run for President,” and expect to win.  You go slow. You start off by being a community organizer, and then a senator, and so on.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t shoot for the stars, just remember that success is a staircase, best taken one step at a time.

  • Hi Ken. I could relate to this! I once fantasized about creating a staged adaptation of Wilke Collins’ “The Woman In White.” But I was just a graphic artist and beginning my own theater company at the time, and was broken hearted that Andrew Lloyd Weber beat me to it. But your points about timing are so on target. Fast forward a few years and I’m embarking whole-heartedly on transforming my career to theater production (creative producer, designer, director). I just completed a seminar with an awesome career coach geared to the performing arts (Capes Coaching), whose advise is very similar to yours – one step at a time. Advice that is hard to follow at times. A character in one of my favorite novels, “Swan Song,” (Sister Creep) would say, “One step and the next one gets you where you’re going.” Thanks for the inspiring words!

  • Deej says:

    I heard form a reliable source that Jeff Calhoun tried to get the rights years ago…IMHO he would have been a great choice.

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