Today, I am thankful to my theatrical mentor. Thanksgiving is almost here, and today I look back over the summer and remember some of the advice he gave me.
“You get ONE chance for your New York premier.” – That was his first and strongest instruction. He went on…”One opening of a New York show…not two. Make the best of it.” He told… “everyone will be listening and watching. Listening to your words, how you speak and what you say. Watching your behavior – how many other shows you see and support in the New York Musical Festival (NYMF), how you treat the staff you hire and your actors.”
Yes, everyone. And I discovered that there were lots of them! The general managers, press agents, music assistants, musicians, backstage technicians, sound, set and lighting designers were all from New York. Then there were the representatives from NYMF and Playwrights Horizon who were there from the beginning and throughout the process. All of these people were watching all of us from Chicago. Watching and listening.
As I mentioned in a previous blog – you get ONE chance for a first impression – one chance to represent yourself. Oh, and another thing my mentor said, “Assume everyone will know everything. Nothing will remain secret. That is just the nature of our business. What you say and do to one person – everyone will eventually learn about.” “Don’t cause trouble, don’t lose your temper, and don’t raise your voice unnecessarily. Be friendly and courteous. And, most of all, don’t be a braggart.” I felt like I was not only getting a lesson for NYMF, but a life lesson as well.
“Be careful what you post on social media, say please and thank you to everyone. Be generous and kind.” Sounds like something you say to a kindergartener, right? But, I needed to be reminded of this. Lots was at stake, lots was hanging in the balance.
He wanted me to come out of NYMF with a solid reputation. He wanted me to make sure I did not blow my ONE chance.
Today, I am thankful to my mentor and to everyone else who has taught me life lessons over the last year. Thanks to them….. and Happy Thanksgiving to you!