February 19, 2017

“Or, I could do it myself.”

My sixteen-year-old daughter Emily is obsessed with Broadway musicals like Hamilton, Rent, and Chicago. 

Every year, she auditions for the high school musical and the local theater productions.

And every year, she’s been sorely disappointed.

She’s been told,

“You’re too old to play the ‘kid’ roles.”

“You’re too young to play the ‘grown-up’ roles.”

“You’re a girl. That part is supposed to be played by a man.”

This year, due to a scheduling mix-up at school—which was the teacher’s fault, not hers—she didn’t get a chance to audition at all. She was automatically cast in the ensemble.

That was the final straw.

Emily decided, “If nobody’s going to let me play the type of role I want, then I might as well just produce my own show. I’ll do it myself.”

She started daydreaming with her friend Liz.

“What if we started our own theater company?”

Em asked me if I thought she could pull it off. I told her, “Obviously. Hell yes.”

She and Liz put their heads together and came up with a crystal clear vision:

The Wench Theater Company. 

All female production team. All female cast. 

Classic musicals and plays—but reworked with a feminist twist.

They chose their first show: 1776. It’s a musical about the Founding Fathers of America. But this time, audiences better get ready for an all-teenage girl cast.

“This will be a love letter to all the women who helped found this country but were never given credit,” Emily decided.

Emily and Liz put together a funding campaign to raise money for their first production. It’s been less than a week. They’ve already raised $1,428 of their $5,000 goal.

The money is rolling in. It’s exciting. But what’s even more exciting is the fact that so many women “get” what Emily is trying to create—and want to help out. This week, numerous women have written to me—and Emily—to say:

“I’d love to be on your advisory board…”

“I’ve got a local theater space you can use…”

“Would you ever be interested in doing an internship on Broadway? I’ve got connections…”

Support is pouring in from every corner of the country from women who believe that #thefutureisfemale.

The moral of this story?

If there’s something you crave, don’t wait around for someone to hand it to you. Create it yourself.

If nobody wants to cast you, cast yourself. If it doesn’t exist yet, start it up. If it hasn’t been written yet, write it yourself. If something is missing from your community, fill that gap. If nobody throws any cool parties in your town, host one yourself. If you’re tired of waiting around for your husband to book a romantic trip to Paris, take yourself on your own damn trip.

There are people who wait around. And there are people who act.

There are people who hope “somebody else will handle it.” And there are people who say, “Or, I could do it myself.”

There are people who spend their whole lives waiting to receive permission to do what they want to do, or have what they want to have. And there are people who write their own permission slip. People like Emily.

Which type of woman do you want to be?



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