Hello, Helen Friends! Did you miss me? I've missed you!
I really have! The first few days of non-blogging were fine. I was wrapped up in spending quality time with my family, enjoying my niece and nephew, cooking with my mom, and reading my new favorite teen trilogy, The Hunger Games. I actually was able to slightly put Helen out of my mind for those few days, aside from giving my parents the very first "Helen on 86th St." t-shirts that are in existence. (Yes! We have t-shirts now!)
But, after all the presents had been unwrapped and I was back in New York, burrowed in my snowed-in apartment, I realized just how big a part this blog has been to not only Helen's development, but also, my development as an artist and producer--and as a person. Sharing the ups and downs of what will certainly be one of the most significant times in my life with you, has greatly enriched my life. So, among the many things on my "Things-to-be-grateful-for-list," having a loyal, enthusiastic and supportive group of "followers" is right up there at the top.
I've realized that it's just not possible to thank everyone or to sum up Helen's progress in a single blog, so I'm going to have to do that blog by blog as we enter 2011. (Check back in on Monday!) So as we cross over into 2011, I thought it would be fun to look back on the very first Helen blog entry from June 16th:
Nearly seven years ago, a friend of mine sent me a short story from The New Yorker magazine with a Post-it stuck on it that said, "You should use this with your students." As a teaching artist in New York City, and the Co-founder and Artistic Director of a burgeoning children's theatre in Park Slope, Brooklyn, I was always on the lookout for new material to develop with students--material that was substantial, that had heart, humor and depth, and material that would speak to the kids I was working with and their parents. Last summer, faced with a group of 19 females to create a musical theatre piece around at the Lucy Moses Summer Music Theatre Workshop, Helen on 86th St. seemed like a natural choice. And thus began this journey that, I guess, in the commercial world of theatre, is just beginning. So, as I embark upon this journey, I thought I would chronicle the process for other artists and dreamers out there. What I've got right now is a full-time job (not in the theatre world), lots of student loan debt, and New York rent that's too high. No producers, no investors, and no famous musical theatre mentors. But I've also got a great story, a solid book and lyrics, gorgeous music and lots of determination and drive to share this musical theatre piece with the world. So, we'll see how it all goes.
One hundred and forty blog entries and a little over six months later, we are deep in preparations for the stage premiere of Helen on 86th St. To think, it was a year ago today that I wrote my New Year's Resolutions--my first resolution being that this was the year I was going to get the rights to Helen on 86th St., adapt it, and just go for it.
Who said miracles can't happen?
Okay, miracles coupled with a lot of determination and hard work.
Wishing you all a magical 2011 filled with peace, joy, prosperity. May all your dreams come true!