The inspiration: I have always been a huge theater lover and I knew I wanted my Junior Workshop project to revolve around this meaningful aspect of my life. When I came across an article that told me more about the lack of representation on Broadway both onstage and behind the scenes, I was inspired to get connected with people in the industry who have insight into how our society can make New York City’s theater industry equitable. These interviews led me to create my podcast: BroadwayRep.
The process: Once I decided to conduct interviews with professionals, my other job was to identify a medium where I would share these interviews. In my mind, this was a documentary or article; however, when my advisor, Margie asked me how I would feel about making a podcast, I immediately jumped on that idea. The first step I took was making connections with people in NYC's theater industry that I found through my own family, but mainly through Margie and Casey who are both connected to the industry. Then, once I settled dates with the professionals, I would research each person, develop interview questions specific to their experiences, and then record our interviews over Zoom. To transport the interviews over to my podcast, I would write a script for each episode which included an introduction for each individual, the recorded interview, and a conclusion where I shared my takeaways.
What I learned: From Junior Workshop, I learned that you truly cannot rush the process — even with the little time juniors have to execute a final product. I learned how to communicate with adults beyond the Calhoun community. I learned how to adequately research a professional so that they feel seen as a person and that their work is acknowledged. There were times where I had no drive to write another podcast script, and I was tired, but I learned to self-motivate by reminding myself that the work I was doing is significant. That said, I also learned to have patience with myself because there are days where it feels impossible to produce work no matter how hard you try. It was a valuable experience because I leaned into the challenges I faced while also celebrating the success I achieved.
What's next: Without a doubt I plan to continue to pursue this idea, and I already have! This past summer, I studied theater arts and took a class called "Theater for Social Change," a course that revolved around the idea that "community must happen before a society can create social change." Additionally, I plan to study theater arts in college where I want to expand my knowledge on this work and hopefully be a part of the NYC theater industry in the future. I hope I can continue to learn about this work and help make a difference.