I was cast as a starring role in the original cast of the world premiere of the stage show “An American In Paris” in 2008.
The show started at The Alley Theatre in Houston.
Far from Paris and Broadway, but The Great White Way was the eventual plan, and this production was the beginning.
I love being a part of the birth of a project. Exploring the show, the role and given the privilege of playing. My character was all French but just loved American Movies. At one point in the show I impersonated 10 different American Movies, and it was the first time you heard me without my French Accent. It was a very surprising part of the show but so fun! And I had such a ball impersonating everyone from Judy Garland to Greta Garbo.
On Opening Night, I was told by the heads of the Gershwin Estate that when this show gets to Broadway my role will earn me a Tony Nomination. I have never heard that before or since! I thought, Wow! If that comment isn’t job security, I don’t know what is? Whether I was going to get a Tony Nom or not, I believed in my soul that I was going to go on with the show and be on Broadway. I loved the show, the dancing, the comedy, the role was tailored made for me and everything I did well.
The show was a hit in Houston but honestly needed some revamping before it continued to Paris and then Broadway. That revamping included my role. The creatives decided to change the show and so, my lovely role ended with the production in Houston. In fact, no one from that production really continued on.
It wasn’t personal. It wasn’t intended or malicious. It wasn’t about my performance or anyone else’s at all. It was just what happened. That is what we as artists have signed up for in this business.
And this isn’t the first time it has happened in my career....nor will it be the last time.
And I will admit. sometimes it feels very personal. It feels very silly, like when someone replaces you, regardless of skill, simply because they have more social media likes and followers (happens all the time). It hurts, it makes you take deep breath’s and maybe even cry. That’s ok. Give yourself your 5 minutes.
But then move on. Let it go and move on.
The point is you, as the artist, have to bounce back. Be resilient. Know it’s part of the game. You will find another role. You will get another job. You may not find something so perfectly suited for you and your skills, but that’s the game. You can’t live your life bitter and angry about what was not truly yours.
We have to be so emotionally accessable and yet incredibly thick skinned.
Every performer has these stories. Roles they didn’t get or were close to, that may have ended up giving the other actor an award or a career changing advantage.
Celebrate them anyway. Celebrate your part of this business, however complicated. I used to believe there was room for everyone to thrive in this crazy business, and the truth? There really isn’t. But maybe life has more in store for you?
What is meant for you will not pass you, what isn’t you can’t hold on to.
Let it go and love what you do, when you get the chance to do it.
I loved my role in “An American In Paris”. I know I knocked that role out of the park every performance. I got to work with some of the finest performers, creatives and musicians in the business. That was what I was supposed to do.
And that’s all I can do ❤️
There are a lot of douchbags in the entertainment industry. There are a lot of douchbags everywhere frankly, but specifically in show biz....douchbaggary is rampid.
Now let me give a shout out to the incredible, funny, awesome, chill, "non douchey" pure of heart people that are also in the entertainment industry. You are the reason we all love what we do. I celebrate you
But this blog isn't about you. There is a need to celebrate you but there is more of a need to expel the opposite of you. And that's what this blog is about. The energy suckers, the malicious, dark, viciously competitive people...the douchebaggery. We need to talk about how we can weed out the pricks and find the “transparency of the douchebaggary” in this biz we call show.
First step is to identify them and call them out. I find this isn't done enough. Example: in my own life it took me years to get the balls to call out people who treated me like douchebags. And when I did, do you think they came back and said "Omg! I'm so sorry. I totally walked over people, slept with so in so to guarantee me the role. I shouldn’t have done that “ Nope. They are douchebags let's not forget. Douchebags don't think they are ever wrong and they lie, cheat, and find a way to make everything work in their favor.
Seems like the world we live in sometimes right?
Why do we need to weed them out out of the business? Because the entertainment industry is SO nice when they aren’t around. It’s hard to watch douchebags succeed. It’s so hard to watch those people whom you know have cheated, lied, harassed, their way to the top get celebrated by fans.
Wouldn’t it be so nice if they are all called out and carted away?
Is there a point to all this post? I thought there was but not really. Just a rant about wishing everyone who was good and decent were celebrated profusely, and the douchebags were called out.
Point made 🙌🏻