I am a rarity, loyal blog readers. I am an actor that is clueless about Broadway.
Many actors I know are in touch with everything going down on the Great White Way. They are the first to buy albums to new musicals that just opened, and can list which Broadway personalities are in what show, sometimes even in what theatre. (Usually, but not always, the musicals as opposed to the straight shows.)
As for me, I can only name at most 4 or 5 shows that are even on Broadway at the moment. And I may be wrong about one of them. It is certain I could not name a single Broadway star, (not counting those made famous in other mediums currently doing a stint in a Broadway show.)
It took a friend of mine several weeks to teach me that it is 526,600 minutes.
Yet why do I know so little? Several reasons. I think the first of which is that right now I have no plans to try to make it on Broadway.
Is it because I detest it? Certainly not. While I agree that in some ways Broadway’s allure is slipping because of its commercialization, I hold nothing against that great American institution. When I get to New York every few years there is nothing I like more than strolling down the theatre district, taking it all in. I have no current aspirations to “make it” there, but I am often enthralled by it all.
The two shows I have seen on Broadway have been great experiences. So I certainly am not casting aspersions.
In fact, I have often wondered if it is that esteem that keeps me out of the loop. I myself cannot afford to go to Broadway anytime I please to see a new show. (Or an old one, for that matter.) As a result, any information I get about the nature of new shows, and Tony Award winning performances comes from reading about it online. In turn I do not often do such reading, because I do not like to ruin the plot of a show, in case by some chance I do get a chance to see it. And hence the cycle goes.
Another thing that I think contributes to my not being in the know is the fact that I am usually in straight shows. I am not what you would call a musical actor. As I mentioned, the vast majority of Broadway superfans that I know are predominately “musicals only” performers. There always seems to be more readily available news pertaining to the world of musicals, than that of straight shows, even on Broadway. (Now it seems, more than 15 years ago.)
I maintain that I can still be a good actor and not be up to speed on the ins and outs of the professional circuit. I would be more than content to hear about and understand shows as I saw them, or was cast in them. Yet I do have one or two Broadway based sites on my favorites list. (Among them talkinbroadway.com.) I am starting to think I should make a concerted effort to read up on such things more often…to be a little more in tune to some conversations that circle around the green room.