I am very proud to be a member the producing team for The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess and it was thrilling to take home a Tony Award last week. But this is not a blog about the Tonys. Today’s post is a cautionary tale…
One of my friends and Porgy & Bess co-producers called me this week to celebrate our big win and to tell me a story.
He is a young producer who already has a long resume of Broadway credits to his name. Since even Tony winning producers can’t necessarily pay the bills (that’s the subject of a WHOLE separate blog) he has a new day job as an associate artistic director outside of New York. Not too shabby, right?
Well, his company was working with a new musical theater writing team and rather than send an intern, he took it upon himself to pick up the team from the train station. He thought this would be a great way to provide a warm welcome and give them a chance to get to know each other before the development process got underway.
Unfortunately, the team that arrived just saw a young man, made an assumption that he was an unimportant intern, and inexcusably treated him like the hired help. They expected him to carry their bags and sat in the back seat, talking just amongst themselves, during the half hour drive — as if he were a cab driver.
Needless to say, these writers were embarrassed by their dismissive behavior toward him when they realized he was one of the key players at the company. Not to mention a Tony winning Broadway producer who could have potentially opened doors for their show.
But let this be a lesson to all of us. In a business where everyone rolls up their sleeves and pitches in at every level, and many up-and-coming industry VIPs still get their start as interns and office assistants, you just never know who’s “important” to your career, or may soon be.
The young guy picking you up at the train might be a Tony winner. And the intern making your copies or the receptionist taking your call, very well might hold the keys to your big break sooner than you might think.