evolution of a producer

“I was probably born with all the skills to be a producer, but I came at it completely by accident. After graduating from college and touring as a performer for several years, I suddenly wanted more control over my life, my art and my career. I also was tired of playing ingénues and cute little girls and wanted to find more interesting characters with more interesting things to say.

SO, I started my own production company with the intention of creating new and original pieces. Which we did. And through a lot of eyelash batting (should be an Olympic sport), was able to secure the stage at Fordham at Lincoln Center for several seasons.

It was when one of my dearest friends from childhood called me in a panic that my next fateful step into producing emerged. She had staged a short run of Schoolhouse Rock Live! in the basement of a vegetarian restaurant in Chicago when Entertainment Tonight showed up. Now she was going to bring it to NY but only if I would do it with her.

Armed with two books about producing for the stage, and a great lawyer, I took on the adventure. It is where I originated my more famous quip and concretized my producing style: Whenever told “you can’t do it that way” I always respond with, “Is that because it has never been done that way before or because it is illegal?”

Once I ascertain it is legal, I usually go for it.

I have had the incredibly opportunity of seeing literally thousands of stage performances, many of them on Broadway which I have been attending since I was a little girl. I have so much brilliant material to pull from as examples of what works and what doesn’t. And from all of the techniques of acting, directing, singing and dancing I have personally studied and experienced let alone observed, I am able to translate pretty smoothly from one interpretation to the other. Also having worked steadily both on stage and behind it, in front of the camera and behind it, in front of the auditioners and being one myself, my bag of tricks is pretty full. Add to that my sometimes uncanny intuition, I tend to be able to cut to the chase and bring about useful edits and additions. Having also been on the other side of the table, I have a deep compassion for diplomacy and sensitivity when delivering notes and assistance. Gentle, but direct seems to be my M.O.

Also, being a producer as well as a creative, I have the ability to balance both sides of the show and the biz and help people stay on track – adding some reality checks but done with an eye of how to keep the art alive.

Giving back, helping people learn from my own experiences and mistakes so that more art can succeed…never a question…I will always take that email or phone call. So many great advisors and mentors in my life have kept me on a steady path so if there is ever anyway I can return that kindness, I am on it.”

 

Director, writer, producer, and performer