What a whirlwind of a month!
This past May, I participated in an intensive hosted by 603 New Musicals in Toronto. The intensive was being run all month, with some participants present for a week or two, others for the whole four weeks. I was there for three of the four weeks.
I have always been keen on working on musical theatre, ever since the last couple years of my Bachelor of Music. Musical theatre had been part of my life for so long, but I found I didn’t have much desire to act professionally. As I progressed in the music program, I thought I’d have to put musical theatre in my past and do it more as a hobby than a professional career route. It never occurred to me until much later that I could write musicals instead of perform them.
The task of writing a musical always felt too big to manage myself. I’d start writing songs that were never finished, and I had a hard time thinking up plots, despite being a writer. All these past experiences were floating around me when I went into 603 for the first time.
Being at 603 was a fantastic experience. Just being around other authors and seeing their process was incredibly helpful. It gave me motivation to move forward, and the tools to realize my ideas on paper. One of the most important things I realized while being at 603 was that I was fully capable of writing the book of the show. I always thought I’d need a collaborator, and I still think that’d be beneficial in the future, but I also have the power and the skills to do it myself. Now I have more confidence moving forward in my ability to execute all aspects of writing a show.
Another thing I realized while at this intensive was that I didn’t have to write anything “groundbreaking.” I’m not saying my work won’t be groundbreaking, but I think I needed to free myself from those expectations and write the music in my heart. My training and past experiences will inform how that music is set, and that in itself could be something truly magical and different. I just needed to separate myself from my own expectations in order to really take this work and run with it.
Now that the month’s over, my main goal is to finish my first draft of my show. I know 603 will be behind me if I need support or a place to write. They’ve really crafted a community there, and I’m excited to see them all again.