With March being Women’s History Month, I took a moment to think about the incredible influence women have had in the theatrical community and on my life in particular. It was the great Carole King who shared one of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever received: “We must fight to remain in the wonder of what we get to do.”
While rehearsing for the Tony Awards with the Broadway cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Carole shared how she had just recited “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” at Maya Angelou’s memorial. She was explaining that because she didn’t have time to rehearse the poem, she had to “let Maya’s words happen to me.” It was at this moment she realized what a wonderful opportunity it was to not only honor a great woman but to have led a life that brought her to this moment. She went on to share how easy it is to forget being an artist is a gift after years of being in the business.
I thought about her words of wisdom this week as March began and the year mark of the shutdown grew closer. Have I remained in the wonder after the year we’ve had? Do I still have the same positive outlook on theater’s return? Am I still hopeful our new shows will have a life onstage?
I consider myself a positive person, always able to let my dreams keep me motivated, but I had to be honest with myself- I was discouraged. Even though Broadway announced its first new play’s theater and opening date, I still felt cynical about the certainty of the announcement. A close friend moved to the West Coast for new opportunities outside of the theater. Even the Golden Globes couldn’t lift my spirits as I was reminded we still don’t know what’s happening with the 2020 Tony Awards.
I needed to fight harder than ever to remain in the wonder of what I get to do.
I’m sure I am not alone. We’ve all had one of the most challenging years of our lives- and survived. I’ve been told “survival is underrated” and I couldn’t agree more. So I decided to start there. We’ve not only survived, but we’ve seen the birth of virtual theater, witnessed the influence of Musical theater Tik Tok and now with the new online platform Clubhouse, the revival of the radio play. We may not be in crowded theaters at the moment, but our beloved art form is alive and well.
How is your fight to remain in the wonder going? Today is a great day to stop and celebrate wherever you are in your creative journey. Finished writing that new song for Act 2? I applaud you! Cut that joke that didn’t land in the Zoom reading? Bravo! Revisit that idea from years ago and resume the work? I couldn’t be more proud.
No matter where you are in your process, take the time to see the wonder of making new theater. From budding playwrights to seasoned producers, we’ve all been given the gift of bringing new stories to the stage. And that’s truly wonderful.
PS. Want to hear from more inspirational women and join a community of like-minded theater professions, check out The Theatermakers Studio.