The Courage to Interrupt

Pregame Group Action 7-13-39

In many of the interviews I do, I like to discuss the idea of turning points in people’s lives and the moment that things really changed for them.

And of course, in my own life, I have many of those stories, but the one that came to mind recently was how I ended up getting started in producing and in a room with Broadway producers.

Back when I was teaching, I was producing small shows at the Off-Off-Broadway level and used certain venues often.

There was one venue that housed multiple theatres and I got to know the manager of that venue very well and she would invite me to come to the various events and panels that they would host and one of those panels was a group of Broadway producers.

I remember sitting in that room absolutely fascinated by this panel and the stories that they told and wanting to be a part of all of the excitement and when the panel finished, I was ready to get in the long line of people who wanted to talk to these producers, but as I got up, to do so the manager of the space stopped me and said:

“You know all these people are going to line up hoping to get a few seconds with all of these folks, but they’re all going to be at our Christmas party.”

She encouraged me to go to that instead so a few weeks later I found myself at the Christmas party which was much less crowded and sure enough all of the producers were there chatting it up and having a great time.

And then the moment came where I decided that if I didn’t go up and say hello, I might as well forget about producing, so even though I had never up until this point interrupted a conversation in my life, I went up and while they were all talking, introduced myself to one of them.

To my surprise, she was warm and open to talking and asked me about my interest in producing and my work as a teacher.

A few minutes later she invited me to be her guest at a gathering of Broadway producers a few nights later where I met some of the most influential people in the industry up close.

And all because I found the courage to interrupt.

Now it could have gone very differently and this group might have ignored me or brushed me off, but I tell this story whenever someone comes to me saying they haven’t heard back from someone they wanted to or they haven’t moved as far in an industry as they wanted to.

I always ask them if they have actually reached out to that person more than once.

Have they gone up to that cluster of people they want to talk to ( as frightening as it may be) and said hello?

Often we get so worried about what might happen, we stand still too long and nothing happens. 

So if you feel like things aren’t moving as fast as you would like, ask if you’ve taken that leap in your own life.

What’s stopping you right now from reaching out to or saying hello to the person who will change your life?

If you’ve been going along the same path for too long, consider this an interruption.

You can make big things happen if you’re willing to get uncomfortable.

The question is, will you?

Excelsior!

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