I’ve been making shows my entire life.
By the time I turned six, I’d subjected my family members to so many coffee table performances that relatives began arriving at holiday gatherings with excuses at the ready. Once, even my great-grandmother admitted to my mother that she “just couldn’t sit through another one of Alex’s shows right now!” Any chance I’d get, I’d gather my audience in the living room, the backyard, or – my favorite venue of all – our barn, where I’d used fishing line and old fabric to rig a curtain that rose and fell. Often I recruited friends and family from the neighborhood to play both on- and off-stage roles. Most shows contained not one but often three or four finales, each outdoing the one that came before. I never wanted it to end. It was only when my parents smiled and interjected, “Okay, Alex, this is the last finale,” did I wrap it up and take a bow.
This is my story, but it’s like many others I know. I’m convinced that Show People are cut from the same cloth. In one way or another, we all have our stories of when the Show Business bug really bit us. For me I think the biggest bite came around first grade, when I started using wooden blocks not to build castles or rocket ships, but to construct elaborate theaters complete with wings, hallways, and dressing rooms. We all have our first “real” gigs, mine being at age six, when I essentially osmosed myself into a small community production of Li’l Abner, in which my mother had been cast. But perhaps most importantly we have the first time we saw a show that entranced us: for me, it was Les Misérables.
I like to think I’ve come a long way from my days of exponential finales and backyard barn shows, but I’m also happy to know that for as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve been lucky enough to know what I was meant to create. And I’m grateful to know that I’m in good company—yours.