Late Bloomers

May 21, 2014

When I realize that I'm 44 and trying to make a name for myself in musical theatre, I consider people like Bianca Del Rio, who is 38. I also consider Colonel Sanders, who was in his 60's when he found success. I find such stories inspiring, which may explain why I'm sitting here in a ball gown with a bucket of Extra Crispy.

Truly, though, I was neither the oldest nor the youngest creator participating in the West Village Musical Theatre Festival auditions, last weekend. We ranged from our 60’s to our 20’s, and had all levels of formal education in this field. The one thing that made me an outlier was geography. Most of the creators lived in New York, of course. Some lived in New Jersey, a few in D.C. I was the only person representing the West Coast. Yes. I'm the festival's Tupac.

We auditioned a wide array of talented people, including, yes, some people who were older and still looking to achieve their goals, which is not only wonderful but necessary. All ages are needed in theatre and in film.

The greatest challenge, so far, has been finding a Director. This was WVMTF's job and they took awhile, so we’re behind on every aspect of this project, from promotions to casting. But it was worth the wait because I have a very highly qualified Director and Music Director on-board. They are both students of the famed BMI Musical Theatre Workshop and I've already learned a lot, just by working with them!

So here’s a quick shout-out to Geoffrey Goldberg (younger than me) and Ming Aldrich-Gan (also younger)!

GEOFFREY GOLDBERG is a director, choreographer, performer, writer and teaching artist. He has performed on Broadway, National and International Tours, and around the nation. Directing/choreography credits include MARY POPPINS (Alluvion Stage), BRADLEY COLE (NYC Fringe), A YEAR ON THE ROAD (Kennedy Center), and as Associate Kids Director on Broadway’s MARY POPPINS.

MING ALDRICH-GAN (Music Director) is a composer at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Recent MD credits include Spandex (Off-Broadway), Marry Harry (NJ), and Deployed (Off-Off-Broadway/54 Below concert).

So now it's on to casting, which is difficult. Fortunately, since we only get 15 minutes, I'm only including four characters. But those four characters have some of the most difficult parts to sing and to learn, so it won’t be easy to find the right people for the roles. I'm really missing the cast and crew of the New Orleans premiere, right now, but I'm feeling good because I've got the support of some very good people. And, at my age, support means a lot.

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