Some of the highest praise producers and creators in musical theater receive is that they are visionary. And they have to be, right? Like all artistic endeavors, this is a business of creating something from nothing, over and over again, with no road map or absolutes. In fact, in this business, being a visionary is the minimum requirement.
But being a person of action is what will actually allow you to rise to the top.
Dream Big but Act Bigger
I love getting together with colleagues and brainstorming. I’m always blown away by the sheer volume of absolutely brilliant ideas that get batted around the room. And while the enthusiasm is infectious the sad but true fact of this world is — talk is cheap.
It’s not enough to possess a brilliant visionary mind if you can’t back those ideas up with roll-up-your-sleeves-down-and-dirty hard work.
This is a creative and glamorous industry that just screams out for new ideas and I’m all for that. Big ideas are what make musical theater such a vibrant, relevant and incredible art form. I challenge you, however, to USE the ideas floating around in your head to DO something. Though this may see obvious to an outsider, I’d bet you know what I’m talking about.
Every single show that exists in the world does so because someone had the big idea and paired it with action. Let’s face it, we all love brainstorming about new shows but from there you need to make it happen — even the smallest steps begin your process. Writing down the idea, then cultivating that idea, putting it down on paper one word and note at a time, slogging through hours of step-by-step rewrites, fueled by countless of cups of stale coffee while putting other shiny new ideas on the back burner (or in a file for future action!)
Every single show that’s ever made it has a producer who rose from relative obscurity with dreams of Broadway tucking them in at night. A producer who took the time, day by individual day to systematically reach out to potential investors one phone call, email and hand shake at a time, called in favors, passed up other projects and sold one ticket at a time, person by person, until their show became a reality and ran it’s course.
Big Talk: We’ve all Done it
Haven’t we all said, at one time or another, “How did that show make it, when my ideas are so much better?” Well, it comes down to the fact that someone DID IT — not just thought of it. And if your ideas are better, for all our sakes, please make them a reality! In a field where vision is expected, it’s action that sets you apart.
So, like they say in the movies, “Action!”