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Everybody is included.

October 23, 2013

It’s one of the things I like most about the industry. Sure, everybody is a critic and it’s a place where ‘if you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined.’ BUT, it’s also the most accepting environment I think in the world. Talent counts, but so does enthusiasm, and if you want to participate, nothing is stopping you.

As a teen, I took the same “growing up” emotional path that we all stumble down and tear up the map to as soon as we get to 21 or so. Theatre was my passion, and just being part of an audience was instant inclusion into a like-minded community (still is).

I could enjoy it alone or chat to the person next to me – there was something in common and it was great. No judging, just talking about a shared interest that also made you feel a bit “included” in a special group – something all teens crave I guess.

It still happens. Just last night as I was leaving a show: a casual remark to my companion about a signed wall-poster in the bar… instantly seized with camaraderie by someone else, totally unknown to me. Add an interval chat with someone I speak to almost daily online but rarely have time to catch up with otherwise; the extrovert communal magic that theatre seems to bring out in us all is something I love, and am glad survives.

It’s working for a new generation too.  I was so delighted a while back to see some teenagers gleefully posing at Zach’s desk just before the start of “A Chorus Line.” Friends, all quite clearly going through the same things I once did, but joined together in the sheer fun of seeing a show that (with typical teen characteristic) they’d obviously discovered for themselves and made their own.

One more tiny tradition, safe for years to come, I feel.

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