I'm learning, very quickly that there are two things that simply are not compatible--being a producer and making everyone happy.
It's just not possible.
And why is this hard for me, you ask? Because I'm a recovering "People Pleaser." I've spent a good portion of my life avoiding conflict like it was the plague, giving 150% of myself to others (even if it cost me my sanity and my health), trying not to offend, hurt, or disappoint and struggling every time I had to say the the word "no."
While I've learned over time to balance my needs with the needs of others, I still struggle with all of these things. You see, I'm a nice person. Not a fake-nice person, a real nice person. I genuinely care about people, worry about them, want to help them, don't want to hurt them, and I live by the golden rule.
You see why this might be a problem?
Just about every moment of a producer's life is rife with conflict, negotiation, difficult conversations and challenging decisions that will ultimately make someone unhappy. (Just ask all the Kickstarter donors who wanted to see the matinee on April 30th.)
This is not enjoyable for me.
But what's at stake? My show. My business. My piece of art. My baby. My soul.
I have been working in this business since I was nine years old. I have spent years studying music, theatre and dance, going to rehearsals and auditions, performing in terrible shows, performing in brilliant shows, practicing lines, writing scripts, doing scales and runs, writing letters to casting directors and agents, stapling headshots to resumes, and all the rest, mostly for little or no money.
I have invested thousands of dollars in training--college, graduate school, voice lessons, dance classes, seminars, books, private coaches, etc.
The sacrifices I have made for a career in the arts are too numerous to list, but I have had multiple broken hearts, shed oceans of tears, suffered from migraine headaches, acid reflux, hives, and complete exhaustion, all in the name of pursuing this crazy dream.
And, now, I finally have an opportunity--one very big opportunity this spring--to take all of those hours, dollars, sacrifices and struggles, and put them into a beautiful musical that many of you will get to share.
So, unfortunately, some hearts might get broken in the process. Some feelings may be hurt. Some disappointment experienced. And I'm just going to have to live with it.
Because, at the end of the day, there is only one person who is responsible for this massive undertaking. There is one person who has to carry the weight of Helen on 86th St. with her every moment of her day--all of the successes and the failures.