The topic this week seems very silly but I am VERY PASSIONATE about it, okay? I’m truly pumped to have a platform to talk about it, honestly, because I think it’s really important.
Okay so when the Tony Nominations were announced, Matt Rodin and Reed Campbell released a video on Matt’s youtube channel entitled BROadway - 2016 Tony Award Nominations:
Obviously, this video is hilarious. I watched it and fell immediately in love. I’ve watched it so many times and I’m literally upset that there isn’t more of it because I can’t stop watching. It’s ridiculous. I feel very fangirly and that’s weird to me. I very rarely comment or rate on Youtube, but I felt compelled so I wrote, “this is truly incredible” and Matt wrote back today, “you are truly incredible.” I noticed that he had responded to other people on the thread as well and learned that there is a SECOND ONE covering the awards themselves! So, feast your eyes and souls, my children.
WHY am I so obsessed? “What is the big deal, Bri?” you ask, “it’s funny, but I mean... why are you crying about this?”
BECAUSE, YOU FRIENDS.
This video is quite funny, but it is also POSITIVE. There are no quips about anybody involved, there’s nothing but completely supportive energy throughout both of these videos. A few jokes about things that went wrong or the sound design Tony here and there, but they were not mean-spirited. Everything said was in complete support of the people they are speaking about. That truly touches me. I am amazed! I’m so happy about it!!! So many exclamation points!!!!!
A lot of the time, I’m pretty afraid because I have some very strong opinions and sometimes they aren’t very positive. Whether that be about certain actors or shows or what have you, I have very many unpopular thoughts. That scares me because as a person who wants to be in this industry, I can’t ever express those opinions on a public forum. That’s really hard because I am a very public person! As a lady who really likes to speak her mind, it’s difficult for me to think about a tweet being taken the wrong way or saying something negative about someone and them seeing it and getting their feelings hurt. I’m sure there are problematic posts from my youth somewhere on facebook. If I ever get super famous, I’m certain I will have to answer for my 8th grade self posting weird things on the internet, but I’m having trouble now so I can’t imagine what was happening then. Broadway can’t dislike Broadway. That’s just the way it is, I’ve learned. And censoring myself is something that I’ve become very careful about. I don’t want to hurt people, but I still want to have feelings. These videos, however, showed me how easy and fun and hilarious being positive about the industry is. You don’t have to love everything, or be totally educated about everything to support it. You just have to find a way in.
“Yeah, I mean, that’s great, I just. I literally know nothing about dancing.”
“Dude, the Fiddler choreo was like, pretty authentic.
“Oh yeah, for sure, for sure.”
Like???? That’s amazing!!
While I was at NTI this semester, I felt safe to voice my not-so-stellar thoughts about some of my unpopular opinions and I wish that I hadn’t. When I get really comfortable somewhere, that tends to happen to me, so it’s something that I need to be aware of. It’s important to know your weaknesses, and that definitely one of mine: putting my foot in my mouth. Jeff Bowen actually talked to our (very small) class about this, and I have no doubts that he was really talking about me. I said a few things in his class that I wish I hadn’t said and I truly hope that it doesn’t come back to bite me later. I don’t think I was ever outright mean, I just wasn’t 100% supportive. He talked about Jennifer Tepper and how she has an appreciation for every lyric ever written for Broadway, and how she finds joy in all things theatrical. I wish that I could be more like that. I hope that I can learn from that talk and I hope that this weird guilt/regret feeling can make me a better person, and make me more aware of what I am saying to people. I’m trying really hard to shift my thinking. And I want to encourage you all to do the same! When you feel like you want to criticize something, find at least two good things for every critical thought. It helps a lot. That rhymed, yo.
It’s okay to have opinions, but not everybody needs to hear all of them. I just need to figure out that balance so that I don’t offend like, I don’t know, Sondheim or something someday.*
Anyway, I’m touched by these bro videos. Matt, be my friend. You just responded to me. I’m Bri Ryder, call me.
I think it’s really important to know and understand that support does not mean loving every little thing, it just means that you admire, recognize, and appreciate the hard work people are putting into a project.
Hope you’re all having a great week!
*I have no beef with Sondheim