Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Broadway Debut That Never Was

Remember this post? One Last Time for Stro...again Well what I didn't say is that I ended up booking this workshop!  I spent a privileged and glorious month workshopping and rehearsing the brand new musical Big Fish with the likes of Susan Stroman, Andrew Lippa, and John August.  I sang and danced and tumbled my face off.  I fell in love with the story these wonderful people created and a cast that was amazing beyond measure.  I had a contract that gave me "right of first refusal", which means they had to offer me the role next time they did the show or pay me thousands of dollars.  I planned my life around this show, which was to be my broadway debut.  I stopped going to auditions for shows that would have conflicted with Big Fish and I went out on tour because I knew I would be back in a few short months.

And then, I was fired.

Now, I have debated long and hard about how, when, and even if I should share what happened to me.    This business can, at times, be brutal and judgmental and I feared that by sharing something so personal people would think less of me.  I still fear that, but I offer my experience up anyways because I started this blog to help people see what being in this business is really like and unfortunately crushing disappointment and defeat is a part of it too.

How did I end up jobless? Well, to be honest I don't exactly know.  After the workshop ended there was radio silence for several months and then some of my fellow cast members started getting offers for the Chicago out of town tryout that occurred this past April.  As the weeks went by I never received an offer.  I frantically contacted anyone I could to see what was happening, fellow cast-mates  my agent, but in the end all I received was a check in the mail.  As though money could somehow soften the blow of losing my broadway debut.  I don't think I've ever been so unhappy to get paid.

So I took my checks went into my room and screamed at the top of my lungs for a good ten minutes.  In the days, heck months, that followed I doubted myself, my talents, and God's plan for my life.  I cried countless tears.  I tried to come up with the Why I now know I'll never get.  In the end I didn't fit into the final picture they saw for the show and I had to accept that.  Does it still hurt? Of course.  Do I think it had to do with my talent, performance, or work ethic during the workshop? No. Have I learned some really hard lessons about counting chickens/putting eggs all in the same basket? You bet.

Eventually I have been able to find some semblance of peace.  I got to see Big Fish in Chicago while touring with Anything Goes and, while the ache of rejection still stung, I was and am so incredibly proud to have been a part of its creation.  The cast and creative team are filled with some pretty amazing people and I sincerely hope Big Fish takes Broadway by storm this fall.  They deserve it.

*sidenote: This post may seem like its coming from a completely emotionally stable and mature individual, but it is also being written six months after the fact.  Only just now have I finally managed to get some perspective on the whole situation.  Up until a couple of months ago you would have found me ranting like a lunatic about the whole thing.  So yeah.

1 comment:

  1. You are so strong! Thank you for sharing this story.