First off, thank you to all of you who have responded so enthusiastically to the essay I wrote today. It’s been a little overwhelming, but touching nonetheless, to see it shared so many times. That being said, I want to clarify a few things:
1) I really DO love musical theatre. I will always love musical theatre. I still want to do musical theatre when it’s right for me. So I am certainly not condemning the genre or the people who work within it, but I think all of us can use a refresher course in constructive criticism in this internet age where everyone and anyone can be a critic. I believe criticism is a necessary tool to help an artist grow when it is offered in a way that is constructive and provides positive feedback and tips on how to improve on “problem areas.” Positive energy is far, FAR more powerful than negative energy. Always.
2) I have other personal reasons beyond the one mentioned for pursuing other artistic goals outside of musical theatre. We’re all more than one thing, and I am more than just someone who does musical theatre, so I’m taking time to pursue those things because I feel it’s time to do that right now. I didn’t leave only because of what’s in my essay and some awful things people I don’t even know said or wrote on the internet. As an artist, we frequently go where the wind takes us. My wind is taking me elsewhere for right now.
3) Lots of wonderful, terrifically nice and supportive people DO work in musical theatre from the top down, and having met mostly those kinds of people, I can say they are the ones who keep my love for musical theatre alive. It is overall a fabulous industry in which to work, and I still see it that way despite some of the behavior that has been displayed. I am so proud of all of those I know who are treading the boards of the Great White Way and beyond and doing it with humility, grace, and a great respect for the art.
Again, thank you for all the discussion, enthusiasm, and appropriately enough, constructive criticism of what I wrote. Keep spreading the love and joy to those around you, because we need more of that in the world! 🙂