Becoming Ken

Okay, so it’s time to come clean about something.  I do know a producer, and a very upstanding one at that.  Ken Davenport, of Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, the “P.T. Barnum of Off-Broadway,” and I have known each other since 1991.  That’s nineteen years for those of you who are counting.  If you spend a few minutes googling either of our names, you will undoubtedly come across a picture of the two of us in matching argyle outfits, from the Theatre at the Mount production of No, No Nanette that we met in.  So, there, I’ve said it.

Now, let me say this:  at this point in time, other than offering words of encouragement and support and giving me some general advice (check out Ken's informative blog), Ken has left me to my own devices to figure out all this producing and musical development stuff.  And you know what, I totally respect that—and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I want to earn Kenny’s interest and respect the hard way, by proving, regardless of our nineteen year history, that Helen is a show worthy of his time and investment. 

Ken’s been on my mind this weekend as I visit my family in Auburn, because, he grew up in the town next to mine, and both of us come from pretty down-to-earth roots.  We’ve both had to work really hard to establish ourselves in a business that we weren’t born into, and we both have faced lots of obstacles along the way.  And it was 19 summers ago that Ken took me to see my first Broadway show, Miss Saigon, in New York.  Without getting all sappy, watching his growth and progress in the theatrical business has really shown me that anything is possible, even if you’re just a simple girl (or boy) from Auburn (or Sturbridge), Massachusetts.

Oh, so why am I becoming Ken?  Well, whenever we can find time in our crazy lives to get together, I admonish Ken for working too hard, for eventually needing to be surgically removed from his iPhone, for not relaxing enough, for pushing himself too hard, etc.  That’s my role in our friendship.  I nag, he ignores.  So, as I sit here on Fourth of July, at 7:30am in my bed, typing away on my ancient (and very heavy) laptop, my iPhone an arm’s length away, I only have myself to nag…well, myself and Ken, since I know he is most likely working, too.  I’m going to try and take the rest of the day off, and Kenneth (as his mom calls him), you should too.