top of page
  • Writer's pictureHolly Richards

My Recent Trip to NYC - Adventures with a Broadway Producer

Updated: Nov 7

In August I had an amazing trip to NYC. A few days prior to my flight, I had been given word that I might have a chance to meet with a Broadway producer whose team is interested in one of my works-in-progress called WELCOME TO ZION. This producer gave our mutual contact their phone number for me to reach out in hopes of finding a time that would work well for both of us.

I was stoked! I immediately started figuring out a space I could rent with a piano, and reaching out to friends to find anyone in the city that could rehearse and sing for me on such short notice.

The Dramatists Guild offers the Mary Rodgers Room next to their office in Times Square as a resource for writers in need of presentation space. I hopped on my email to reach out to their person in charge of reservations and - lo and behold - they were on vacation until the day I would arrive in the city.

(Sidenote and plug for the Dramatists Guild - if you write for the stage and are not a member, I recommend changing that! DG is an indispensable resource.)

I worked up my courage to call the producer, and was met with their voicemail. I left what I hoped was a not-too-eager message explaining who I was, thanking them for their interest, and sharing my general availablity during my stay the next week. Over the next couple of days, I didn't hear back from them. I sent a text message as a follow-up, thinking that may be a more convenient way for them to communicate.

Still nothing.

I admit that I started to lose hope a bit. As I packed for my trip, which was going to be amazing regardless of whether or not this meeting took place, I waffled back and forth on how much I should prepare for the eventuality.

It didn't take long for my determined, feisty spirit to resurface. I decided that I would come so prepared that, if a meeting did materialize, I could be ready at the drop of a hat.

I flew on the red eye flight, met my dear friend Mandy at the airport, and only a couple of hours later, as we walked the streets of Midtown, my phone rang. It was the Dramatists Guild, reaching out. They had an opening for the Mary Rodgers room on Thursday morning. "I'll take it," I said. We went back to our hotel room, and I started pounding the digital pavement trying to find a singer. Luckily, my friend Austin Comfort (who starred in my first reading of WELCOME TO ZION at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, OR) had a friend named Samuel Wick who was available - but only on Thursday. Perfect! I texted the producer and let them know that I had the Mary Rodgers Room Thursday at 11 am, and wondered if that would work. They responded right away in the affirmative!

The day of, Sam and I rehearsed prior to the producer's arrival, and as 11 am came and

went, I checked my phone. They were in an audition that was running long. We had a hard out at noon in the Rodgers Room, so I wasn't sure what to do - but wasn't about to give up. I quickly got on the phone and called Pearl Studios to see if they might have a room at 1 pm available. They had one room. "I'll take it!"

The producer was thrilled. "The next audition I need to be at is at Pearl, so I'll be there already anyway."

Since Sam was available all day Thursday, Mandy and I took him to lunch, and then made our way down to Pearl Studios at 500 8th Ave. The producer arrived right on time, and we had a great meeting where we talked about the show, why it's an important story to tell, and Sam and I shared five songs - him at a music stand, me playing and singing from the piano. I was invited to send more for continued conversation.

I was so grateful that I hadn't listened to those negative voices telling me that it probably wouldn't happen, and to stop pursuing it. I proved to myself, yet again, that "luck" is merely preparation + opportunity. Who even knows what this opportunity means for the life of WELCOME TO ZION - every show makes its way to the stage on a different path. There are no guarantees, and no predictable patterns. My job is to remain positive and determined through the twists and turns, knowing that things will fall into place if I keep at it.

When I arrived back home to Oregon, I was contacted by Earlier this year I had taken a class on their platform from Pasek and Paul (writers of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, GREATEST SHOWMAN, among others), and had been identified as one of their top students. I am now awaiting details about...something?...that they can't talk about yet? We shall see...

These two back-to-back reminders of my potential were the impetus for my decision to leave Broadway Rose and to start pursuing what I am really meant to do - create musical stories for that stage. It was very bittersweet walking out of the doors on my last day, but I know I am always welcome there and appreciate the support of the staff immensely!

79 views7 comments
bottom of page