I went to New York City and attended Broadway shows that were nominated for Best Direction of a Play/Musical to experience artistic excellence. Along with this, I met with and interviewed numerous theatre professionals to get an inside look into what it takes to be successful as a director.
Once I arrived in New York, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was quite busy, seeing so many shows and meeting with professionals- however once there was time for me to sit down and reflect I learned a lot about myself. I always thought that I wanted to move to New York post-graduation, however I was unsure if I would be able to make it. After spending a week and a half in the city I felt immediately at home. I felt as if I belonged and was comfortable where I was.
Along with this understanding of New York was where I needed to be, I also learned a lot about the type of artist I wanted to be. For so long I felt that I needed to do Broadway shows in order to be successful, that that was what I wanted to do. After seeing a few shows on Broadway I soon felt empty and felt as if something was missing. One day I was unable to get a ticket to one of the shows I was supposed to see and decided to take a chance and see an off-Broadway show. That was the greatest decision I made, that night I ended up realizing that I wanted to work for Manhattan Theatre Club and felt that it was one of the greatest productions I have ever seen. I learned so much about myself on this trip, and definitely feel I have grown.
As I said, one of the major events that took place that caused this change was the fact I could not get tickets to The King and I. This was not something that was planned, or part of the itinerary however it was the event that caused so much change. I then ran that night to Second Stage Theatre and purchased a ticket to The Way We Get By a show I had wanted to see, but wasn’t supposed to have the time. Seeing this show felt more comfortable, it wasn’t some spectacle for audiences, or some crazy madhouse filled with tourists, but it was actual theatre. The audience was filled with folks who actually liked theatre, and wanted to see new work.
After this experience, I decided that I wanted the rest of my trip to explore other aspects of theatre other than Broadway. Having been to New York numerous times before, Broadway is all I have known. Soon I started exploring the city with a new light. I took a time to see another off-Broadway show, at Manhattan Theatre Club. I also began to explore off-Broadway companies, and talked to professionals outside of the Broadway scene. I felt more excited and confident after this change in my trip. I felt enlightened and I was more comfortable in making connections with people I was networking with.
While my original plans for my experience were exciting when I planned them, I soon learned what I was looking for and who I am as an artist. Once I learned this, I made the decision to start and make changes to my experience and fashioned it around what I needed/wanted. The city felt new and seemed less overwhelming once this change occurred. I now feel much more ready to conquer my post-graduation life and to move to New York.
As stated previously, this change is significant to my professional career because it made me understand myself better and what type of work I want to do. Once I had this better understanding, I knew what I needed to ask from my professors and those around me. I knew what I needed to do in my next two years at Ohio State. This new found understanding of myself and my work, because new motivation for me in my academics and in my work. Now that I have a better understanding of what I want to do over the next few years, I have a more organized and clear path for what I need to be doing. That is all due to my experience.