Happy Friday, friends! Unseasonable weather seems to have followed me from the beautifully warm London autumn days to my current snowy and chilly upstate New York week. I don’t know if the unlikely weather has kept up in the UK, but by now we all know I’d rather be there, right?
I’m such an admirer of Lin-Manuel Miranda. He was featured in a New York Times “By the Book” piece, which is one of my favorite Times features.
I was assigned to read through content at Vela this week for my Writing Creative Nonfiction class, and absolutely fell in love with its premise. It strives to “help close the byline gender gap by publishing exceptional nonfiction written by women.” I read several of the published pieces posted here, and the two that stuck out most to me were “Travels with Carly” and “That Spanish September.” Both pieces involve traveling at an “in-between” moment of life, which I’m very into after my own semester abroad.
This New York Times article featuring a longtime Broadway ensemble member really made me think about the people in the background of Broadway shows. It’s been maybe two or three years since I really got into Broadway and learning how it works, and, because everyone is unconsciously trained to look down upon ensemble members and think that they’re not good enough for leads, I never considered the ensemble members who are happy where they are and prefer to blend in while still loving their job. In high school, I had a lot of friends who were in the stage crew and ensemble for Drama Club productions, and what I remember best is how much fun they had in these groups and the genuine friendships they formed. I remember one friend even saying that she preferred being in the ensemble because she got to hang out with more people and be less stressed than those in leading roles.
“I find it a little insulting that people think what we do isn’t enough,” she said, flashing a hint of anger. “Maybe it is because our culture only understands hierarchy.”
That line really made me stop and think. I’m totally guilty of aligning the highest possible rank with the most happiness and success, but that’s just not the right way to live. It all comes down to a matter of personality.
Is this real life? After coincidentally singing Part of Your World during technical difficulties at a Waitress preview, Sara Bareilles is now going to star in a Hollywood Bowl concert production of The Little Mermaid. With Tituss Burgess as Sebastian, Darren Criss as Eric, and Rebel Wilson as Ursula? That casting seems a little too hilarious to be true, but video of that concert should be pretty entertaining.