The audience at Godspell on Tuesday was treated to a talkback by Stephen Schwartz himself, who told great stories about everything from the origins of the Elphaba Theme in Wicked to why he won’t tell you what his favorite song in his own catalog is.
And in the midst of all that, plus a few juicy stories that he made the entire audience promise not to tell, he gave the attendees these words of wisdom when asked if he faced any obstacles in his career climb:
“Did I face any obstacles? It’s a business of obstacles, actually. It’s nothing but obstacles. And that makes it hard. How do you deal with it? Well, you gotta be . . . a weeble. Remember those? Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.”
Half the audience was too young to know what a Weeble was. But if you know what Stephen was talking about, then boy oh boy is this quote right on the money.
No one is numb to an obstacle, whether it’s a bad review, a deal gone sour, or just something that didn’t turn out the way it was “supposed to”. If you weren’t affected by those things, if they didn’t make you wobble, well, you wouldn’t be human, and you wouldn’t have feelings, and if you don’t have feelings, well, then, the theater is the wrong place for you, because you can’t succeed without ’em.
But you can’t let the obstacles knock you all the way down. Just rock back up, like Stephen said, and live to wobble another day.
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