3 Things My Dad Taught Me About TheaterMaking. Vol 1: SHOW FACE.Apr 11, 2022
My dad was born in the semi-slums of India in 1929. And like so many of his generation, his parents told him to go to medical school. And then move to America to start a new life (and send some much need money back home).
Which he did.
So what could an Indian immigrant doctor know about making theater?
A lot, it turns out.
He actually dreamed about working in the theater. No question. (People are still talking about his star turn as the Caterpillar in our community theater production of Alice in Wonderland.) But his family duties called.
It wasn’t his theatrical skills that helped me as I sought to make my way in the challenging, however.
It was his life skills. His business skills. His keep-on-preserving-no-matter what-skills.
This week, only for you email subscribers, I'm bringing you 3 TheaterMaking lessons from My Dad.
Here's #1 . . .
Believe it or not, I'm an introvert. Social situations where I'm not so sure of myself or who the people are around me, can make me a bit awkward. (Apologies if you've ever experienced this side of me.)
So when I was younger, I learned how to occupy myself by staying at home . . . a lot.. Instead of meeting people, I stared at my computer, and figured out what I could to on my own to achieve the things I wanted to achieve.
My dad always beat me up about this. "Kenneth," he said, in his somewhat British accent, "You must get out there. You must SHOW FACE."
He was telling me to meet people . . . let people know who I was . . . develop relationships . . . you know . . . NETWORK.
Except he called it "showing face."
Now, there is no question that my introverted-stay-at-home process worked.
But my career climb would have been much easier and happened much faster if I had listened to him sooner . . . and got out there to met other people like me. (Even other introverts!)
So if you want to achieve your goals . . . faster than you are achieving them now . . . SHOW FACE.
Call a fellow writer to meet for coffee. Post something in a Facebook group. Go to a show and talk to the person next to you. Attend a conference. Do a table reading of your new play. Go to a gala.
But meet other people like you. Go show face today.
What can you do today to listen to my Dad?
P.S. After my dad passed in 2020, I started a non-profit charity in his name called The Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund. We've already donated thousands of dollars to other theatermakers, and are looking to do even more in 2022. To learn more about The Fund, click here.
And if you enjoyed my Dad's advice today, or any advice you've read in these emails, I hope you'll consider a donation to The Fund. You'll be helping other TheaterMakers get a head start. Click here.