By Megan Minutillo, IATG ContributorJune 21, 2016
When you work in the creative industry, it's easy to find yourself competing with your collaborators, and your contemporaries, but there is a fine line between unhealthy and healthy competition.
I’m a proud member of the theatrical community, and I also happen to be writing this right after the Tony Award Nominations have been released.
There’s only so many awards that can be given, and despite the tremendous work that people are doing this season, not everyone’s going to get a Tony, let alone a nomination. And yet, the outpouring of support from actors and designers and members of this brilliant tribe of theatrical folk is overwhelming. There are endless tweets, texts, and posts of well wishes.
Congratulations. Speeches of happiness. Speeches of love.
Broadway contracts. Tony Nominations. Tony Wins.
The talent pool is larger than the number of roles, positions, or shows, so the pool can feel...crowded. Sometimes it feels like you’re treading water in the deep end for a couple of hours, desperate for someone to throw you a life raft (or one of those donut hole floats, preferably a sparkly one with handles and a cup holder for a drink that has sports an umbrella).
The best I can say is don’t stop treading water.
Let the envy of those who get that sparkly donut hole float fuel you, not sink you. Learn from your fellow artists - those who have come before you, and those who come after you. As in the case for all professions, it never hurts to learn more. Grow more. Listen more.
Everyone can teach you something, even if it’s what not to do.
For my fellow artists, all I can say is this - surround yourself with people who push you, not depress you.
In the words of Lin Manuel-Miranda, be in the room where it happens. Even if it’s just to listen. Even if it’s just to watch. You can learn so much from listening to one another, watching one another, being present for another person’s art. So go to the shows, listen to the music, and be part of the experience that is the play.
Focus on your own work, your own dreams, and your own voice - but don’t squelch the voices that surround you. For we can all learn something from one another, and being open to that, well, that’s the mindset that allows glorious things to happen.
What have you learned from those around you? Take a step back today and simply listen. You’ll never know what inspiration may come your way!
Megan Minutillo is a playwright, director, and founder of the arts and education site, The Write Teacher(s). Her articles have appeared in HelloGiggles, So Worth Loving, I Am the Modern Career Girl, and Glass Heel. She is currently at work adapting her show, Ghosts in My Vodka, into a musical.