“Oh! You do theatre? So, are you going to go to Broadway?”
GUYS. I love New York. Who doesn’t? It is the mecca of theatre. You can’t go there and not be inspired. But when that inspirational, positive energy gets twisted up to negative feelings and made up pressure, that’s when I have things to say! This beautiful dream has become a beacon of anxiety and shame for some and we need to shed some light on these lies we tell ourselves.
You have to go right out of college. While I think it gets more complicated to go when you have more ties, you gotta go when it’s best for you. And sometimes that means getting more experience under your belt. And sometimes that means earning some money. Sometimes that means gaining some life experiences. And all of those are so valid and okay and insanely smart. So don’t beat yourself up, ok?
You have to go at all. I think there is a tremendous pressure for theatre people to go to the Big Apple and that will mean that someone gets to put a stamp on your resume saying, “you’ve made it!” But guess what, good theatre can be done ANYWHERE. And if you aren’t constantly showing up to your current performing jobs like you were on Broadway, then you are robbing yourself, your cast and your audiences. Don’t let the excuse that you’re not in this one city rob you of exploring and achieving your full potential. It can and should be achieved anywhere and everywhere you are lucky enough to tell a story. New York is not the only place to do great theatre. There are several cities to consider! In fact, building up your own hometown theatre community is beautiful and completely worthy of your dream.
So, forget about the pressures of everyone else and be creative about your dreams. We don’t have to all have the same one. Where will you truly bloom, do your best work, and design the lifestyle that is best for you? Chicago? Cruise lines? LA? Georgia? Alaska? Your backyard? They’re all valid. I promise.