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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Balance achieved

Professionally, finding a balance during the past few years has been difficult primarily due to the savage cuts in arts funding and the post 9/11 economy in New York City. Prior to 9/11 I had my own theater production company and was producing new material and scene nights for aspiring actors. I was also able to simultaneously work in the field of entertainment law which I love. However, all that was starting to change before 9/11 with the "improvements" in Times Square, the area whereby I booked rehearsal and performance space. Those "improvements" sent the real estate value high enough that it became impossible to afford the same rental space anymore.

I figured that was it for me as a theatrical producer. New work was what interested me the most. I interviewed with musical director/producer Hal Prince for a job in his office. He told me his assistant would be retiring soon and he was scouting around for her replacement. The assistant's job was to be his right hand which I would not have minded given what his profession was. However, during the half hour interview with both him and the assistant, Mr. Prince told me that I was a creative producer and should continue my work in the theater. He had tried to raise money for a new show he was doing and it was very difficult. Based on that news, I scarcely thought that Nancy Kersey would have better luck than Hal Prince in raising money for a show.

But Mr. Prince pointed out to me that New York wasn't where all the important theater was being done. The new plays were being done outside the city and getting in on that would be the smart thing to do. At the time of the interview, I was working in the office of Barry and Fran Weissler and on the Broadway productions of Chicago and the revival of Annie Get Your Gun. In short, the promising opportunity wasn't what I had hoped and I wanted out. In time, I came to the decision once my apartment lease was up I was going to move out of New York City and closer to where new theater was being done and at a far less cost.

A few years later, I find myself in a great place. A few days ago, I scored a job in the legal field that will not only allow me to indulge in my love of copyright, internet and trademark law but will pay me well and allow me flexible hours. I have a literary agent who wants to read anything that I write and a friend who is launching her own video production company and offered me the chance to work with her.

Ironically, I have put off my producing new works aspect of my professional life and settled down to write my own stuff.

It's funny how my own writing can scare me. When I am in the process of creating, I can actually experience the senses of the environment I write about. If there is blood, I can smell the sweet sickly scent, if there is violence I can feel the fear and even the physical pain . . . my writing can scare me at times because I meld into the experience, move from one character to the next even as I weave narrative in-between. I will face it anyway. There is much to write about.

Back when I celebrated my 35th birthday, I was able to announce to my gathered friends and myself that I had, at that point, achieved everything I ever set out to do. That said, new goals were created and I am still in the process of achieving those.

Today, I can say that everything is balanced professionally and there are many things to do.

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