My 2021 Blog-mencement Address to All the Graduating Theatermakers Out There.

June is bustin’ out all over with graduations.

High school, colleges (and even pre-schools!) are sending their students off to their next “stage.”

And from what I’m hearing from the theater students who I’ve spoken to, they feel a little . . . weird.

And who wouldn’t?

I can’t imagine being a student PERIOD right. Never mind a theater student.

One student Facebooked me and said, “What the @#$% do I know now?”

Here’s my answer:

Now look, I have never spoken at a graduation (except my own high school ceremony – where I quoted Les Miz and also sang “Memory” – and thank God there is no footage of that!). But, if you’ll imagine that I’m in a cap and gown, I thought I’d deliver an e-version of what I’d say to any graduating theatermakers in 2021.

Here it is. Ready?

Congratulations. You effin’ made it!!!!!!!!

And that’s pretty much it, in a speech-shell.

See, if you’re a graduating TheaterMaker right now, you survived the hardest period the entire theater industry has EVER experienced.

And I’d wager money that this is the hardest period that the theater industry will EVER experience.

And you made it!!!!!!!!!!!!

And if you got through this past year? And if you’re still as passionate as ever to make theater? To act in theater? To produce theater, market theater, direct theater, or whatever THEATER?

Then you’re going to be more than fine.

Because what this business requires of you to be successful (MORE than others) is simple.

Success in the theater demands relentless perseverance and commitment to your goals. It requires a, “I don’t care how many times people say no or how long I have to wait or what I have to sacrifice . . . I am going to make it,” attitude.

And this past year has been the ultimate test to see if you have that “gene.”

And if you’re here. If you’re reading this. If you’re writing your next play (or your first).  If you’re auditioning. If you’re looking to move to New York, Chicago or LA. If you’re taking classes. If you’re taking action towards your future?

You will be successful.

Because you made it. Congrat-u-effin-lations. I don’t know that I could have. But YOU DID.

And you should be so proud. You should be smiling bigger than any generation of theatermakers who have graduated before you. You DID have it harder. And you made it.

And you will MAKE IT.

As long as you put that “I don’t care how many times people say no, or how long I have to wait, or what I have to sacrifice, I am going to make it,” attitude to work.

Starting now.

I can’t wait to collaborate with you all.

Cue “Memory.”  (Just not sung by me, for the love of Pete!)

– – – – –

If you are graduating and want to meet other graduates, join our free TheaterMakers Facebook Group. Networking and accountability buddies are so key to success in the theater, which is why we created this group. See you in there.

Podcast Episode #237: New Destination Only For TheaterMakers

ESTIMATED LISTENING TIME OF THIS EPISODE:  12 Minutes

 

LISTEN WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS:

 

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:

When I was in college at Tisch, I, like every other student at NYU, tried to get into nightclubs on the weekend.

And for some reason, the fancy door people, with their super chic outfits, always turned me away. In hindsight, it might have something to do with my khaki pants from The Gap, white shirt from The Gap and blue blazer . . . from JCPenney.

I did get into one. Once. One of the ladies from my acting class at Strasberg took pity on me, and escorted me past the velvet rope on her arm. (You know who you are, and I’m still thankful.)

When I got inside, well, things got worse. 

Listen to this week’s episode to find out what happened AND how a nightclub inspired me to create a new place for the cool theater people.

 

AFTER YOU LISTEN:

  • FOLLOW The Producer’s Perspective on Apple Podcast (it’s FREE!)
  • REVIEW the Podcast on Apple Podcast (it’s the biggest compliment you can give)
  • SHARE this episode with your friends!
  • JOIN the TheaterMakers Facebook Group

 

My mission is to get more people talking about the theater.  The more people talking about it, the more people who want to make it, perform it, support it, etc.  And that’s how theater not only survives, but thrives.

 

The biggest compliment you can give me is by sharing this podcast.

 

I thank you and the theater thanks you!

June 4, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

 

Here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

 

1 – Jordan Fisher Will Return to Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway When It Reopens

The Broadway production will resume its run at the Music Box Theatre on December 11. Jordan Fisher confirmed on Good Morning America that he would once again lead the company as Evan Hansen, alongside the company that was appearing in the show when theaters shut down.

Read  more: www.theatermania.com

 

 2 – Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color has updated its website to include a contact database for stage managers of color 

Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color provides opportunities to stage managers of color to learn from people in the industry and provide insights to help stage managers of color start, maintain, and advance a career in the arts through free networking and educational events.

Read more: www.broadwaybeyondaccess.com

 

3- Broadway’s Hottest Marketing Tool: Streaming Shows

The Pandemic has helped normalize streaming theater and it seems here to stay, and there’s a business model there.

Read more: www.variety.com

 

4 – Black Theatre Coalition Announces Paid Fellowship Program for Aspiring Theatre Makers

The application submissions will be accepted for six weeks beginning June 1, 2021 through July 16, 2021 with 12-month Fellowships.

Read more: www.broadwaynews.com

 

5 – New York City to Tie Tourism Campaign to In the Heights

NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism organization, is launching a campaign tied to the film to promote Washington Heights.

Read more: www.wsj.com

 

Fun on a Friday: 

Jordan Fisher performs ‘You Will Be Found’ from Dear Evan Hansen.

 

 


Want to be part of an online community of theatermakers? Join 1,000+ producers, writers, actors, directors, and more here. Best part? It’s completely free.

Take The 30 Day Script Challenge. Imagine what could happen if you succeed?

My mission is to get more theater out into the world.

Because I believe the world is a better place if there is more theater in it.

One of the most successful tools in this initiative is our 30 Day Script challenge.  At least 100 scripts have come out of this sucker!  From people who hadn’t even written a page before they started!

So, at the beginning of the pandemic, if you said, “I’m going to take this time and get that script out of my head and onto a page,” now is the time.

In fact, with the way this pandemic is going, you’re running out of time!

Give it a shot with our 30 Day Script challenge!  It’s free.

So what’s the worst thing that could happen . . . you still don’t write it? You end up exactly where you are now?

Now, ask yourself . . . what’s the best thing that could happen?  Seriously. What could happen when you finish the script?

Take a moment . . . and imagine what COULD happen.

A produced play.  A licensed musical.  A great review.  An agent.  A Tony Award?

Yep, yep, yep . . . and who knows . . . until you FINISH THE SCRIPT.

So go for it. It’s free. It’s fun. And it works.

The 30 Day Script Challenge starts today, on June 1st, so sign up now.  And just think – by July 1st, you’ll have a completed first draft.

Take the Challenge here.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s 50 Broadway Mentors . . . in Paperback!

You asked for it, so you got it.

Cast of Mentors: Short Sage Advice from 50 Broadway Superpowers was a quick best-seller when we launched it last holiday season.  And while my name is on the cover, the best-seller status of this compilation didn’t have anything to do with me.

It’s all because of the advice from the Broadway A-listers like Director Kenny Leon, composer Bobby Lopez, Actress/Author Ali Stroker and so many more.

And while the hardcover, coffee table book was a bit hit (and apparently was a hot gift), we got a ton of requests for a paperback and an e-book version.

So, we made ’em.  And you can pre-order the ebook now for only $9.99.

Don’t know what Cast of Mentors is?  It’s bite-sized advice from an incredible group of mentors (see the full list below) on how to succeed in this biz . . . and in life!

But why should I tell you what it is, when you can see for yourself!  Click here to read Tony Award-winning Director and Choreographer’s Susan Stroman’s entry!

And then pre-order the ebook for yourself . . . or for a gift (I hear graduations are coming up real soon!).

Cast of Mentors: Short Sage Advice From 50 Broadway Superpowers Ebook is available for pre-order NOW and Paperbacks will be available on June 16th,

And, of course, the Hardcover is still available for those who have an empty space on your coffee table.

And a huge thanks, again, to the following 50 mentors for being a part of Volume I. (Yep – there will be a second one!)  

 

The Cast of Cast Of Mentors:

Rick Miramontez
Charlotte St. Martin
Nina Lannan
Terrence McNally
Jordan Roth
Tim Rice
Ben Brantley
Michael Arden
Casey Nicholaw
David Henry Hwang
Ted Chapin
Susan Stroman
Daryl Roth
Joe Mantello
Stephen Schwartz
Lynn Ahrens
Diane Paulus
Jeanine Tesori
Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
Robert Lopez
Leigh Silverman
Stephen Byrd
Bartlett Sher
Sue Frost & Randy Adams
Tara Rubin
Rick Elice
Lynne Meadow
David Stone
Kenny Leon
Stacey Mindich
Kathleen Marshall
Eva Price
Kwame Kwei-Armah
Pam MacKinnon
Sergio Trujillo
Lisa Kron
Rebecca Taichman
John Weidman
Joe Iconis
Michael Greif
Kirsten Childs
Dominique Morisseau
Ali Stroker
Mara Isaacs
Alan Cumming
Asmeret Ghebremichael
Jamil Jude
Mandy Gonzalez
Robyn Goodman
Paul Tazewell
Get the advice on how you can achieve your theatrical aspirations from all these mentors here.
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