Iris, …. Iris, ….Iris,…. Iris,….
Does this affectionately friendly, salutation for an e-mail letter, look nauseatingly familiar to you. Every political correspondence I receive, Democrat, Republican, local, statewide, or federal, begins with my name (probably your name on your e-mail) and a comma. Who told these direct mail geniuses that it was an effective method for fundraising. It’s not. It’s just unbelievably annoying and far too chummy.
Dear Iris, Dear Ms. Burnett, while more formal, it also feels less intrusive. I get the power of social media. I even get the power of direct mail. And though I certainly prefer it to filling up my mailbox with drecht (you should know this one), it is all a bit too intimate to me – especially since they are asking for money. How much money could one person have? What happened to all the rules about limitations on donations? It’s all too much for my small, but well educated in the politics of campaign, brain.
But that’s not what I wanted to blob about. Yesterday we completed the cast for the “Gefilte Fish Chronicles, the Musical” staged reading. As part of the development process, it is a good idea to mount a reading where the actors perform, with their scripts, without costumes or scenery and no props. They do, however, present the entire show and music. It allows the producers to see what works and what doesn’t. In addition, it is a showcase where people who are interested in participating can see why the show can be a tremendous success. Since I made the transition from political hack to Broadway producer (Wow, I actually did, am I blessed or relentless -- either way), the people with whom I have worked, are all brilliant, dedicated, and energetic. It was a joy to watch the actors at auditions and a joy to see them work. Although you may not know everyone now, you will very soon. They are, the Emmy award-winning actor Louise Sorrel, world famous mime Bill Bowers, the astonishing Kathy Voytko and the ever so amazing company -- Ari Butler, Max Bisantz, Jordan Kai Burnett, Rebecca Odorisio, Sara Dobrinich, Dayna Graber, and Matt Harrington. It is directed by Emily Maltby, general managed by Justin Scribner, Stage managed by Justyn Wade, casted by Lexie Pergosian, written by Matty Selman and Me. Book and Lyrics by Matty Selman and produced by Nathan Sheffield and Me. I especially love the, “Me” parts. Of course I do.
As pleased as I am about all of this, there was a downside. During my eclectic professional life, one thing remained consistent. It was always difficult to have to fire someone. (Not that I ever hesitated to fire a volunteer who was just taking up space). But this was different, because rather than fire someone, I couldn’t hire people with whom I have had long term loving relationships. Talented, precious, friends who I respect and who have helped me through the often excruciating process of developing the show. I had incredibly biased judgment about all of them, so I had to take a step back, and let my colleagues make final decisions. Not hiring is far more painful than firing. (Note to Mitt Romney.)
Last night I wrote a letter to myself, giving me sound advice, Here’s what I said to me:
my mother used to say, “If it’s not hard, it’s probably not worth doing”. She also said the mice would eat my clothes if I threw something at a pregnant woman – so consider the source. Iris,
How many times have you heard, if the project is worthwhile, it probably won’t be without pain, no matter how much fun or how rewarding the results. People also said, once you suffer through a horrible experience, you’ll come out a better person. People say a great many stupid things. And that’s OK as long as it doesn’t start “Iris, …”
We’re just sayin’…. Iris