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Thoughts?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 09:28:41



Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by siny 2012-07-24 09:34:21


I saw RENT last night and the whole cast came out and signed Playbills, including every female memeber of the cast.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by CaissieFan101 2012-07-24 09:34:23


Yes, it is true they all have that in common. I can see one time and they don't come out, but three times, I think that just means they dont like to stage door. But than again, a lot of younger female actresses do, like Teal Wicks, Caissie Levy, Lindsay Mendez and many other young female stars.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 09:36:47




Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by keb2 2012-07-24 09:42:48


The two times I saw Ms. Damiano in a show (Next to Normal, Spider-Man), she came out and signed, and so did T.V. Carpio. I guess it's all a matter of luck?

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Emmaloucbway 2012-07-24 09:43:30


I've only seen Peter and the Starcatcher once, but Celia Keenan-Bolger came out and signed/took pictures. She was very nice too!!

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 09:43:59


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by JBroadway 2012-07-24 09:46:28


As others were saying, I think a lot of that was bad luck. Hell, when I stagedoored The Addams Family it was a matinee she came out. You're right about Sutton Foster though. She always went out a different door.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 09:49:56


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by April Saul 2012-07-24 09:53:53


I think you're over-analyzing here, and that it's a bit more random than all that. Thinking about actresses, I can't remember being blown off by any of the younger ones: Lea Michele, Damiano, Celia, Julia Stiles, have all been friendly and graceful, even when running into them on the street to and from their shows. Even older, more established actresses like Mary-Louise Parker and Nicole Kidman have been lovely to me and my daughter--and at that time, it was really a thrill for her.

Honestly, it is almost impossible for me to remember any of them being rude...although I don't consider not appearing at the door to be inherently rude, as they're human, and may not have the time each and every night to sign.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 10:24:51


I've said it before and I'll say it again - people at the stage door just skeeve me out. I've gone to visit friends in shows and seen the loonies they have to put up with when they exit the theatre; strange, lonely people who feel the ticket they may or may not have bought entitles them to buttonhole an actor and engage them in a creepy conversation. The same maladjusted people seem to feel that they have a "relationship" with these actors they watch. It's just not quite right.

On the more harmless side of the argument, you get those screaming tween tourists who seem to feel their theatre-going experience isn't complete if they don't get to touch the actor they just watched, talk to them, get a photo with them, as though they've actually had some sort of significant interaction.

I'm sure there are some actors who love the attention; but there are also those who suspect they're going to see a gun or knife in the crowd, wielded by some unhinged Travis Bickle.

Take the memory of the show home with you; go out with friends and discuss it; but why pretend you have any sort of connection to the actors? How does a scribbled name or a photo of someone you don't know and who doesn't know you make the experience more significant for you?

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Wynbish 2012-07-24 10:28:11


^ Completely agree.

Stagedooring is a perk of live theatre that has really gone out of control, to the point that it is expected of everyone. It's not part of the purchase of the ticket, or else they would rope off sections and charge for each accordingly.

Also, many stage actors are shy. Many probably have somewhere they really just need to be, whether it is a prior commitment or just needing to catch a train/ride.

And I am not saying the OP or anyone in particular is making this judgement, but it is unfair to discredit their two hour performance because of a two minute moment.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SahDu 2012-07-24 10:35:23


I've got to disagree with newintown. By that logic, what's the point of any autographs from anyone in any field? I mean, just because you go see a sports game doesn't mean you have a connection to the players. But receiving celebrity autographs is a pretty standard cultural phenomenon. Granted, most of these actors aren't celebrities per se, but with what the experience of theatre is in the context, I'd consider them pseudo-celebrities. Getting the actors signature is memorabilia. I don't see anything wrong with that.

I'm not the biggest stage door goer, but I get it. And I don't see anything wrong with people wanting an autograph, especially when the actors make themselves accessible. Assuming that someone is going to pull a gun seems way over the top and takes the fear mongering stance everyone in society is dangerous. When have you ever heard of an actor being attacked at a stage door? Sure, you're going to get those overzealous fans or the tweens, but that's a part of the Broadway culture. Of course, signing autographs at the stage door is no requirement, but I don't see the harm in fans taking advantage of actors that are willing to do so.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 10:49:19


Autograph hounding may be a "pretty standard cultural phenomenon," but it's still utterly meaningless.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SahDu 2012-07-24 10:56:15


Then we must agree to disagree. Just because you don't see the meaning in it doesn't mean that others can't enjoy and participate in the experience.

Just my opinion!

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Wynbish 2012-07-24 11:01:00


It's one thing for people to enjoy it, but if it is not as enjoyable as expected, should they make an opinion on the performer as a person? Or say, "oh they didn't because of this unreasonable excuse I am assuming, and that's not cool"?

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kad 2012-07-24 11:01:40


Sometimes actors just want to go *home*. Or they have plans, or have friends and family coming to see them.

Once the curtain comes down, the actors aren't obligated to do anything for you.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Wynbish 2012-07-24 11:04:07


Would people rather they go out the stage door and just keep walking or exit through another door? I would think the latter would be less offensive.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SahDu 2012-07-24 11:04:56


Just want to clarify, I was in no way trying to comment on actors who don't attend the stage door. It's their prerogative. Just was responding to newintown's comments that no one should stage door at any time.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 11:12:58


Do avoid putting words in others' mouths.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by humbugfoto 2012-07-24 11:18:42


I agree with newintown, too. I have never understood the autograph mania. No one has ever been able to adequately explain to me why getting a person to scribble his name on a piece of paper or a Playbill is so special. You get ten seconds of the actor looking at the piece of paper, concentrating on it and the pen, not you. WHY does that have meaning? If you're going to stagedoor, I'd think it'd be far more special to be able to have that actor's undivided attention and chat with them for ten or fifteen seconds. THAT would be a memory to take home. But a bit of ink on a piece of paper?

I just don't get it.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 11:24:56


Many people have great difficulty examining their personal totems - an autograph hound will take their Hugh Jackman-signed Playbill home, and believe, deep down, that they actually have a piece of Hugh Jackman with them at all times; this is similar in thought to Dark Age Catholic peasantry stealing the host from church to create personal shrines at home.

But if you consider the nature of the autograph in a non-sentimental, thoughtful light, its inherent lack of true value and meaning is pretty clear. It's merely a piece of paper that has been touched by one's idol.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Rainbowhigh23 2012-07-24 11:26:50


I believe that the actors truly do not owe you anything besides a performance, but after seeing a great performance, and being in such close proximity to where they are leaving anyway, it's natural for people to get excited at the prospect of a signed playbill, maybe a photo or a hello, a unique memory to take home with you.

And re Rachel Potter at Addams Family, wow - that is the opposite of how she is now. Since Evita started in previews her and Max Von Essen are always the first of the lead actors out the stagedoor who stop and sign. I remember Rachel being very friendly back on March 14 and remembering me a few months later when I saw the show two weeks ago. Most fans who tweet about the Evita stagedoor experience say, "I was able to meet Magaldi and the Mistress no problem but no Ricky Martin."

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Dawn Davenport 2012-07-24 11:29:46


QUOTE (from humbugfoto:) If you're going to stagedoor, I'd think it'd be far more special to be able to have that actor's undivided attention and chat with them for ten or fifteen seconds. THAT would be a memory to take home. But a bit of ink on a piece of paper?

I just don't get it. END QUOTE

I've been going to the theatre for MANY years (I'm old) and never really thought to even stagedoor. Very few exceptions to that---I asked my aunt to get Tim Curry's autograph outside Amadeus because I was too shy to ask myself (he was very gracious) and my husband was able to get both Daniel Craig's and Hugh Jackman's autographs at the stage door of Steady Rain because I was there for a milestone birthday (I won't say which one!) and wanted that memento to mark that special occasion.

The BEST stagedoor experience I had was not an autograph at all, but a short convo I had with Tom Hewitt outside Jesus Christ Superstar (my sis was there to get autographs, I was standing there with her.) I said to Mr. Hewitt as he was signing my sister's Playbill "I'd like to see you play Sweeney Todd someday" and he looked at me and smiled and said "I was just thinking about learning those songs as a matter of fact!" and I encouraged him to please do it, and he asked my name and we shook hands in greeting. Better than an autograph!!

I think people are getting pretty pushy about EXPECTING actors to stage door. I don't think we are owed that at ALL. We are only owed the best performance they can give us, that counts more than anything else.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SahDu 2012-07-24 11:29:51


@newintown Not putting words in your mouth but doesn't the following imply that people should not stage door? Am I misreading?

"Take the memory of the show home with you; go out with friends and discuss it; but why pretend you have any sort of connection to the actors? How does a scribbled name or a photo of someone you don't know and who doesn't know you make the experience more significant for you?"

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Wynbish 2012-07-24 11:33:38


^ I think that is just saying that people should not put so much value into their stagedoor experience.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SahDu 2012-07-24 11:36:04


Well then, my apologies for an incorrect interpretation. I still stand by my statements that people should be free to enjoy receiving an autograph if the actor is kind enough to give it.



Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 11:37:40


I'm with newintown. TOO many people at stage door are looking for an experience that is owed to them. I don't stage door, but my 15 year old daughter loves it. She gets to pick one show a trip to do so. She gets autographs from everyone and pic with those whose work she most admires. She has no illusions to any relationships nor disappointments if someone isn't there.

Is she excited afterwards? You bet. But what she remembers is the show.

That there are threads upon threads that are solely about stagedooring exemplifies that most people are more interested in that then the performance.


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 11:59:01


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 12:02:22


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 12:05:13


SahDu, just to be clear on this - what I wrote was brief and succinct, requiring no summary or re-wording. If you disagree, that's fine, but disagree with my actual words, not your translation, please.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by AngelorPhantom1359 2012-07-24 12:05:42


Speaking of Evita and stage door, does anyone know if Elena Roger comes out after the Wednesday matinee? I know she doesn't perform at night, and I was hoping to get my playbill signed by her because I already have one signed by Christina DeCicco and would like to have both Evitas.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by nasty_khakis 2012-07-24 12:06:43


I used to stage door a lot more in college. I can count each time I actually had a converstaion with an actor (not just a "good job/thanks") on one hand. I'm not saying they'd every remember me or I have a piece of them, but it's a fond memory for me to think of.

It never bothers me when they don't beacuse I never would unless I needed a Sally Field in Soapdish style pick me up.

It's a bit trickier when you're at a Hugh Jackman/Daniel Radcliff level of fame. Stage dooring helps keeps a fan base and good will towards you.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by mikem 2012-07-24 12:07:30


I've gotten signatures from Jennifer Damiano, TV Carpio, Sutton Foster, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Phoebe Strole. (I've never seen a show with Rachel Potter in it.) Some of them don't do the stage door thing very often, but it's not like they don't do it at all.

I personally don't know if I see a relationship between willingness to do the stage door thing and sex, but there are some weirdos at the stage door. I've never seen anyone get attacked, but I've definitely seen inappropriate behavior. I can see why a young woman might find weird fan behavior more unsettling than a young guy.



Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kad 2012-07-24 12:09:40


See, I would think that big stars like Hugh Jackman and Daniel Radcliffe need to stage door the least. It doesn't matter if Susie Nobody gets snubbed by them at the stage door- they're still Hollywood megastars. The rest of America doesn't know or care about that.

But a lot of Broadway performers are only marginally more famous than the fans whose Playbills they sign.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 12:13:22


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 12:16:12


Singalong -- I think perhaps your initial question put judgement on the actresses you "called out".

I will say this -- I've met a few of these women in more 'social situations' (NOT stage door) and some of them are just really shy/uncomfortable with people. NOT the people they know, but strangers.

Some are just trying their best to stay healthy and rested. While you could make the argument that stage dooring isn't asking all that much more of them realize:
-Germs galore are waiting at the stage door.
-A half an hour more at stage door being "ON" is still performing.
-Stage dooring is another 1/2 hour they are not home resting, relaxing, just being with family.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 12:19:11


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 12:23:13


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 12:48:08


I don't mean this to chastise you in any way. I'm sure you were being sincere in your op. I would advise you, that since your identity is obvious -- to those involved with your short film -- that you might want to think about the connection before you hit post. The b'way community is a small world.

I also meant to say in my previous post: John Gallagher, Jr. wrote about why he would seldom stage door while doing American Idiot. He mentioned how exhausting the role was for him, and how he felt he needed as much rest every day to stay heathly and be able to continue to perform.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SingAlongMOVIE2 2012-07-24 12:50:35


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by SFFrontRow 2012-07-24 12:57:42


Funny story and a little off topic re: young actresses but on topic with the "not quite right" stagedoorers...

I went to see How to Succeed when Darren Criss was in it last winter. A tween age kid was crying by the main theater doors and his mother was complaining (to no one in particular):

"It's not FAIR, kids who PAID to see the show can't get close to the stagedoor because all these other kids who just hang out there and don't PAY get to meet the actors and get their autographs..."

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Phillytheatreguy10 2012-07-24 13:17:23


When I saw Anything Goes the second to last weekend it played, Stephanie J. Block came out and was incredibly gracious and kind, as were the rest of the adult members who came out, but just about the entire youg chorus bypassed the line, very obviously, if you know the theatre it's got a glass vestibule at the stage door, we saw them all and not one came through the line! I agree, it's a bit rude to not greet your paying fans if you're able to have the opportunity, I also understand they have lives too and places to be, still its Broadway, and as a performer myself that's the ultimate goal, so why not take every opportunity to meet and greet potential fans for life? Also, this may not happen again in your career so embrace the love!

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 13:23:27


It's not rude. Rude would have been going through the line with disdain. Wouldn't you rather meet those that are interested in meeting the public? If they don't want to be there, why would you want to meet them?

Nothing in your ticket price gives you the right to the actors' free time. They don't owe you anything.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by WestVillage 2012-07-24 13:26:47


Honestly, with all the crazies out there, stagedooring for a performer has got to be frightening. No one ever thought they would be in harm's way going to a movie theater; same kind of thing can happen at a crowded stage door. Safety, for both the performers and the fans, should be of utmost importance, and stagedooring defeats that. It only takes one demented, disgruntled, attention-getting fan to wreak havoc and put lots of people in danger. As an audience member, I stay as far away from the stage door crowd as possible, and if I were a performer, I would take a different exit or wait til the crowd dwindles before leaving.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by booth0882 2012-07-24 13:29:20


SFFrontRow brings up a good point however. I can understand stage dooring for a show you just saw, but just going there when you didn't see the show that night? I think that is a bit much. Although for the Darren Criss performances at least, I believe they had one side enclosed in barricades with security checking tickets as that half had been reserved for ticket holders for that evening. I find it rather sad that they had to do that, there were that many people that rather than seeing the show, were willing to wait 4+ hours for the chance at an autograph without seeing the show. I just find that off.

And I do agree, to an extent, with anyone who says that the actors job is done when the curtain falls. (Well technically it ends when he leaves the theatre, and even then it really doesn't end as he is still representing the production as a whole and his behavior reflects back at the production if he is recognized) Anything above the performance is above and beyond, and not mandatory. However, the extra effort in signing a few autographs and taking a few pictures can be a very beneficial thing to an actor, particularly one who is just starting up. If you sign the playbill and smile at a 13 year old waiting outside the stagedoor, you have likely won them and their parents over for life. They will remember that you were kind enough to stop. Now, of course the megastars are a whole different thing.

I, personally, don't even go near the stage door unless I actually know someone involved in a production. And when I do that I either make sure the SD manager knows before hand so I can just go in and great my friend there. So even then, I just avoid the whole stage door crowd. Although, I really don't have any reservations against anyone that does get some enjoyment out of stage dooring after a performance.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kad 2012-07-24 13:29:24


It's not rude. Once the curtain comes down and they're out of costume, they are obligated to no one but themselves. Not everyone loves a throng of adoring fans, amazingly enough. A lot of performers are actually shy or uncomfortable around tight crowds.

Or, y'know, are tired and want to make their annoying commute home to Brooklyn.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 13:33:24


Additionally, they have the 'opportunity' 8 times a week. Maybe they just didn't do so when you were there.

And it's an "opportunity" that they don't get paid for. Do you volunteer to work overtime for free EVERY shift? Do you think any casting agents ask actors if they stage door? It doesn't come into play when getting a job. If you are going to chose performers based on whether or not they stage door, why bother going to see the show...just become a stagedoor johnny.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 13:46:12


I would say that going to the Broadway specifically to stand outside a door in order to get a close look at a lower-tier celebrity like Darren Criss, without even seeing his show, is a good indication of a decadent society (using the true definition of the word, i.e. characterized by or reflecting a state of moral or cultural decline).

This decadence can be seen in our ridiculous obsession with celebrity (countless magazines and television shows devoted to nothing but the mundane activities of celebrities), or by the fact that we pay teachers $35,000 a year while giving hundreds of millions of dollars to unnaturally enormous men who do nothing more than chase a ball around a field occasionally and try to injure one another. More examples are plentiful, to the interested observer.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-07-24 13:46:35


God, this board just gets suckier and suckier.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by BrodyFosse123 2012-07-24 13:47:45


In the almost 40 years of seeing shows on Broadway (I started in 1972 at the age of 7), I have NEVER waited at a stage door to obtain a photo or autograph from any performer.

I still remember being annoyed by my dad when we were exiting Sardi's on W. 44th Street (it was 1978 and I was 13 years old) and Bob Fosse was with his daughter Nicole outside of the Broadhurst Theatre where his show DANCIN' was playing and my dad said I should cross the street and get his autograph. I snapped back "what on EARTH am I going to do with his autograph?!" and went on a rampant about how pointless all of that is: taking a photo, etc. with a total stranger, etc.

Even as a kid I was aware how mundane taking a photo or getting an autograph with/from a performer/celebrity/etc was.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by followspot 2012-07-24 14:00:26


This thread makes me want to [NAME REMOVED].

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 14:08:00


Brody...its mundane to you.(and me, if truth be told) To others it brings great joy. The only time I 'care' about stagedooring is when those (like a bunch in this thread) believe it is their right to get time with the actors, or those that judge the actors that choose not to stage door -- whether it is at all, or just on the eveninng they are there.

I also think there is a difference between stage dooring for a paricular actor whose work you admire, and those that stagedoor as sport or as an every show activity.


As I've mentioned earlier: my 15 year old loves it; My 11 year old waits with me across the street until she is done.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by fiesta1 2012-07-24 14:25:10


I very rarely stage door (3x in the past decade). In all three times I did not want anything to get signed. I just wanted to tell the performer that I truly liked them in this show, and also mentioned other performances that also were memorable (generally off-Bway).

In these cases, I did not speak to the 'stars', but to other actors who I thought would appreciate kudos from someone who was not shoving a pen/playbill their way.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-07-24 15:09:38


Some people genuinely look up to and highly admire a musical and its cast. I happily categorize myself as, not just a fan, but a *passionate* fan of musical theatre. The musicals I count as my favorites have both deeply touched and inspired me since childhood and I'd even go as far as saying they are so deeply embedded in my mind, they have had to shape a part of me. I think it's important to distinguish the casual theatre-goer that frequently posts on BWW and the fan who's greatly fascinated by every last aspect of live theatre. Those people that they patiently wait for at the stagedoor are their heros and while they may not be celebrities in the mainstream, the mainstream doesn't dictate to a passionate fan who or who is not a celebrity; it is dictated by their love for the art form.

I stopped stagedooring in my late teens for no other reason other than a desire to avoid crowds. I've been meaning to do it again sometime but I always decide against it. Then again, times have changed and where I used to feel a little awkward for being the only one waiting for an actor or actors/creative team nobody cares about, nowadays I'd feel uncomfortable since safety is now something constantly on everyone's mind. I can't believe things used to be so relaxed back in the day, the sis and I thought nothing of calling out to Jennifer Paz after a performance of Miss Saigon in L.A. and asking for her autograph. She was very gracious and as sweet as ever. Nowadays, she'd likely keep on walking. It was close to 11 p.m. in downtown Los Angeles, which is a ghost town at that hour, and she was all alone walking across the street. Even back then, she probably stopped only because my sis was with me. I doubt she'd have stopped for a lone dude, even if I'm the type who can't harm a fly, hehe.

Not saying there's really anything wrong with it. More power to the bold fan who isn't ashamed of waiting out there after everyone has gone home. Kudos to the fan who isn't swayed by odd looks and awkward interactions with people who deep inside are concerned about their safety, are in a rush to get home to rest before the evening performance, or simply want to go to bed.

What has changed between the teenaged fan and the grown-up me of today is I'm much more mindful and considerate and would rather admire from afar. That's purely personal and not in any way suggesting anyone who stagedoors to be inconsiderate and rude. And I'm sure many actors genuinely love meeting fans at the stage door. It's like clapping at the end of a song; the choice is individual and in no way indicative of manners or lack thereof.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 15:23:19


I think you nailed part of the problem. HERO. What is heroic about a broadway actor? (And you can fill in many professions that are now hailed as heroes -- Athletes, actors, chefs, blah, blah, blah.)

There are actors whose WORK I am in awe of, or a creative team that inspires me -- but those things are not heroic. We have a warped sense of that in this country.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-24 15:42:20


I used to stage door when I was 16, but what is cute as a young teenager quickly becomes creepy and sad when you reach the age that you're expected to have your own life, interests, etc. that are not dependent on what some ensemble member in Spring Awakening thinks of you.

The deep psychosis and self-esteem issues that often accompany these people should be studied by someone. They would be laughable if they weren't so scary. Most Broadway actors, non-stunt-cast ones, do not live lives of fame and glamour. I can think of someone who is a lead in a very big show right now who has to commute home to New Jersey via bus every night and rarely signs autographs because he wants to make the earlier bus home. Is that rude? Is he blowing off his fans? No.

An actor's job is to perform and to give their best onstage every night. As long as they have done that, that's all your ticket entitles you to and if you choose to hang out and greedily demand someone's time, then you lose the right to complain if they don't want to give it to you.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Phillytheatreguy10 2012-07-24 15:55:01


I never stated it's the public's right to get the actor's free time, and "opportunity" may have been the wrong word, however for any performer in musical theatre broadway is probably the ultimate goal if you asked them. I was just suggesting they could make evn more memories meeting fans, with who out, they would be jobless. That's all, it's not a right.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Playbilly 2012-07-24 15:59:09


All of these mind readers and psychologists who know the hidden motives of others who enjoy waiting for an autograph from someone they admire. Maybe it's because...they enjoy getting an autograph from someone they admire.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 16:11:05


Well, that's certainly thoughtful and deep.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by ghostlight2 2012-07-24 16:20:09


...and yet more likely than all the other supposition I've seen here.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 16:23:05


If likely = reductive, then definitely.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by HogansHero 2012-07-24 16:27:34


I'm not going to read through this entire thread before I respond, but I would question the premise. Do you think these young actresses are escaping the theatre via a helicopter on the roof? Some folks leave quickly; some take their time. Some have guests back often; others never do. At some point, I guarantee you these folks are leaving the building, and with very few exceptions, there are no secret exits. Beyond that, yes there are those who play this ridiculous autograph game, and those who blow past autograph seekers. Some are very much repulsed by it, which is not a function of being cool, and some young actresses are probably creeped out by it for a variety of reasons. But there is no grand plot going on here.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by ghostlight2 2012-07-24 16:42:05


"If likely = reductive, then definitely."

The simplest answer is almost always the most likely.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 16:45:22


If simple = reductive, no problem.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by ghostlight2 2012-07-24 16:49:06


Take it up with your therapist. You're over-thinking this.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 16:50:08


The ultimate goal for MOST actors is:
1. Have a paying job, consistently
2. Have a leading role

NOT to be famous or be hounded by fans. (I'm sure some do, but they aren't doing it for the right reasons.) People don't try broadway to become famous. There aren't too many legitimately FAMOUS actors that work exclusively on B'way.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-24 17:02:32


"Take it up with your therapist. You're over-thinking this."

Interesting thought. Perhaps the sort of thing people who don't like to think at all often say.

You might consider the notion that a reductive sentence like "they enjoy getting an autograph from someone they admire" doesn't even begin to explore the question of "why" - no one was denying that autograph hounds enjoys getting an autograph; but there are people who like to delve a bit deeper and ask, "why do they enjoy getting an autograph?"

Of course, "why" can be a perplexing or terrifying question to some.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by ghostlight2 2012-07-24 17:15:14


"Interesting thought. Perhaps the sort of thing people who don't like to think at all often say."

Bit of a dichotomy, that, isn't it?

"You might consider the notion that a reductive sentence like "they enjoy getting an autograph from someone they admire" doesn't even begin to explore the question of "why" - no one was denying that autograph hounds enjoys getting an autograph; but there are people who like to delve a bit deeper and ask, "why do they enjoy getting an autograph?" "

Or you could just recognize that people have been collecting souvenirs from pre-historic times and this is a modern example of that.

"Of course, "why" can be a perplexing or terrifying question to some."

I'd say if you're trying to insult me, try harder - but I wouldn't want you to hurt yourself. You've already strained your logic.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-07-24 17:47:34


"I think you nailed part of the problem. HERO. What is heroic about a broadway actor? (And you can fill in many professions that are now hailed as heroes -- Athletes, actors, chefs, blah, blah, blah.)

There are actors whose WORK I am in awe of, or a creative team that inspires me -- but those things are not heroic. We have a warped sense of that in this country."


Well in my teenaged mind, the original creative teams of say, Evita and Les Miserables were definitely heroic for having taken an art form I already loved and built upon it in interesting and often times innovative ways while still maintaining that essence that defines a traditional musical play. It is an over-the-top, over-enthusiastic term of endearment not meant to be taken literally. In my case, at least.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by bk 2012-07-24 18:33:39


The whole cult of stage dooring is one from the last decade, maybe a teeny bit before that. It's all the Internet generation, in any case. They can stage door, get their autograph, take their picture, and then come directly online and post about it. When I grew up in LA I was rather bold and would occasionally go to the stage door and ask if I could meet the star of the show. In every instance, there was NEVER EVER anyone else there, and I was always taken to the dressing room of the star and introduced to them. We'd have a chat and that would be that. I never asked for an autograph, and I met some really big stars. It was better then. Now it's a game and weird with barricades and security and I don't know why any actor who's just put out energy for two and a half hours should have to endure spending another thirty minutes just dealing with that insanity.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Jane2 2012-07-24 18:58:03


Just as I don't know why people care who likes a show or doesn't, I don't know why anyone cares if someone stagedoors or not. How does it directly impact your life?

You (the generic you) shouldn't attempt to generalize why people stagedoor. There are many different reasons why they're there. And who cares? If they're having a good time, so what? I think those who are *so* bothered by this practice have more of a problem than a stagedoorer!

I bet if there were no people at the door when the cast exits, they would be disappointed.

I'm not a stagedoorer, but I like seeing a crowd outside waiting for the cast!

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 19:02:28


Words powerful, and the best thing about them: there's one for everything so that you CAN say what you actually mean. You don't get to use a word and give it its own meaning.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by beltingbaritone 2012-07-24 19:05:14


Jane...a-FREAKING-men!

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by My Oh My 2012-07-24 19:16:00


Excuse you? Now we're up-in-arms over a word? I haven't misused "heroic" in conversation before today in ages. I will use it now as much as humanly possible.

I'm messing with you. And I understand your frustration. I do my part by not promoting bastardization of the language to the kids at work. Lord knows the number of times I wish to tear my hair out due to some of the things kids say nowadays.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by orangeskittles 2012-07-24 19:28:21


Do you volunteer to work overtime for free EVERY shift? Do you think any casting agents ask actors if they stage door? It doesn't come into play when getting a job. If you are going to chose performers based on whether or not they stage door, why bother going to see the show...just become a stagedoor johnny.

Casting directors don't ask if they stage door, but the effect can trickle down. There are definitely actors who lose out on lead roles because they don't have a bankable name. If audiences don't want to pay money to see them in a show, they won't be cast. When the actor isn't Ricky Martin or Daniel Radcliffe, they have to work for that kind of recognition.

How do you think up and coming actors build up a fanbase? By sneaking out of a side door to rush back to Brooklyn every night, or taking a few minutes to acknowledge the people who are coming out to support their show? The actors may not owe fans an autograph, but fans don't owe the actors a purchase of a concert ticket or those crappy solo music CDs actors insist on putting out either.

I can't even think of the last time I stagedoored to see someone who wasn't an acquaintance and I couldn't care less about getting autographs, so this isn't a personal defense. I agree with Jane, I don't care what other fans choose to do and it has no impact on my life if they choose to spend hours waiting for an illegible Sharpie scribble. But to suggest there's no correlation between engaging with fans and becoming a successful performer (per dramamama's 2 goals) is not true.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-24 19:29:34


When I said the the word 'heroic' was part of the problem -- I didn't mean you personally -- but generically and they way Americans view and value things.

Soldiers, police officers, fire fighters, the men that shielded others from being shot in CO are heroes. Actors (on a whole) are not.

And as I said, I admire and am in awe of creativity that far surpasses my own. I am often inspired by others work and allow it to influence my own.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by ghostlight2 2012-07-24 19:38:59


"But to suggest there's no correlation between engaging with fans and becoming a successful performer (per dramamama's 2 goals) is not true."

I could not possibly disagree with this statement more. There are many, many successful performers who seldom if ever really interact with fans.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Phillytheatreguy10 2012-07-24 19:52:41


I never equated fame to Broadway, stop reading into things! In defense of the young actors and actresses, I will say the entire young company of actors in the revival of Follies came out and were all very nice. I just don't understand the intentional dodge at the door, ie. texting while another enesemble member signs and you just wait and don't recognize the people who paid to see you, and that is rude, it's called common courtesy, don't be a snob! When you see a large gathering, actually see them, like connect eye to eye and then dash it doesn't go unnoticed. That is they type of behavior I think people are commenting on.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by BrookeTansley 2012-07-24 20:23:19


I don't know if anyone here is interested in one actor's stage door opinions and experiences, but if you are - read on. (Please forgive any grammar/spelling errors - I'm not gonna proofread.)

When I was in Beauty and the Beast, I spent 30-45 minutes (on the low end, 183.5 hours of my life) at the stage door after about 397 of the 407 performances I did, opting not to only when I had to rush to an audition in between shows on Wednesdays. I even worked out an arrangement with my wonderful dresser that she would bring my family and friends to my dressing room, and they would wait there while I did the stage door. I believe that I owed no one this and that this was not part of my job, but I was interested in making people happy/feel special - particularly the children who sometimes thought I really was Belle. I even dyed my hair brown from blonde because when I started my job, some young children were confused and even a little upset. I was in the unique position of being an actor that wasn't very well-known, playing a character who is known and loved throughout the world. People would always want to meet Belle no matter who was playing her.

Here's the deal. 80% of the folks I met were great and struck me as normal, healthy people. An autograph, a minute or two of conversation, and then they went on their way. I very much enjoyed those people. Aside from the children (my favorite people to meet), I particularly enjoyed meeting the German and Japanese Disney fans. They struck me as confident people who had their own, full, happy lives. They needed nothing from me.

But with about 20% of folks, it got pretty dark. Americans, in general, have a very unhealthy relationship to celebrity, and as I've read in several studies of mental well-being in industrialized nations, rank near the bottom of the list, particularly in self-esteem and general satisfaction with life. I'm not gonna try to track down the studies - you can google - but I think one of them was Unicef. Again, to most of the world, I am not a celebrity, but the few people who viewed me that way knew where to physically find me 8 times a week.

One fan would ride a bus from Pennsylvania for four hours just to stand at the stage door - not to see the show - because she said seeing me made her feel better. She would rattle through her very personal woes and I would wish her well. She then made the mistake of thinking that we had a friendship, forgetting the fact that I shared nothing personal with her. Imagine my horrible guilty feelings when, on the day 2 busloads of folks from my hometown in CT came to the show, I see her at the stage door, knowing that it costs her 8 hours of bus travel to come stand at the stage door and see me. As guilty as I felt, I only said hello to her, because it was more important to me to share the achievement of a lifelong dream with my family and friends. I have a life, and am a person with hopes, dreams, and desires, too. Well, she was hurt and angry.

This dynamic happened with many people. That story was just the most extreme example. Unhealthy people who needed from me - a stranger.

Another fan was a man with two teenaged daughters. When he and his daughters showed up at the show on my birthday with a birthday cake for me, I thanked them sincerely, but I knew there would be trouble, and there was. My family had come into town to spend my birthday with me. After the show, I thanked this man and his daughters again, and left with my family. Well, I got a 13 page angry letter from him, telling me that I had some nerve spending my birthday with my family, and that he considers himself a Christian man but when someone hurts his family, who knows what he'll do. The beat cop advised that I tell him, in front of the cop, to cease all contact with me and never come to the stage door again. I did so and also apologized to the daughters for having to do such a thing.

Again, this is the most extreme example of a very common behavior.

Another time, while I was in Hairspray, a girl told her best friend that I was rude to her at the stage door. (I don't believe her for one minute - I make a point of being friendly to everyone at the stage door because that's the person I choose to be.) This girl, out of a need to avenge her best friend, proceeded to trash my performance as Penny several times a day on BWW. She even threatened to trip me as I walked down the aisle for the finale. She said exactly what seat she was going to be sitting in. Well, my mother read that and called me in tears. I was actually a little scared. We had no way of knowing at the time that it was just a teenage girl venting. I mouthed to the girl that I knew who she was, during a particularly frenzied part of the song. She met me at the stage door hyperventilating and in tears, and explained why she did what she did and apologized. I learned that you can't listen to anyone's opinion on a message board. It's anonymous and you never know a poster's motives, or who has an axe to grind over what they feel is a stage door snubbing.

Again, one example of many.

The fella who played the Beast has two kids and never did the stage door. More time with his family is more important, and only a nutjob would think otherwise.

Gradually, I became more guarded, which made me sad because I enjoy being an open book. I still haven't managed to find a way to be friendly yet communicate inaccessibility.

Hopefully, ya'll can see the issue from our point of view. It can get crazy, and sometime dangerous.

A lot of Broadway folks feel safer not doing the stage door at all, and not engaging with the fans. That's their right. Although most of you are healthy, normal folks who need nothing from us, the unhealthy, needy ones make stage dooring not worth it for many of us.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by luvtheEmcee 2012-07-24 20:26:22


First, what a weird-ass broad generalization.

Second, I am hardly saying this is in all cases, but I don't think you can argue that there is NEVER a correlation between being friendly to fans and gaining fans. There are always going to be the fans who choose whose careers they are going to support (perhaps not consciously) based on who is nicest to them at the stage door and who gave them the experience(s) that made them feel special. You remember those moments, especially when you are young. It impacts how much you care.

As for the value of autographs, I think it is unfair to deride them as meaningless - it's a matter of personal preference. When I was younger and waited at stage doors often, I was very, very shy. "Would you sign my Playbill?" was a way to engage with someone who I might have been very nervous to talk to. It's a good way to open up and break the ice. And when you're dealing with an art form that is completely ephemeral, it can be nice to have a tangible thing. Maybe that's not your thing, but that doesn't mean there are not good reasons for it.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Wynbish 2012-07-24 20:28:59


Thanks, Brooke

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by BrookeTansley 2012-07-24 20:35:44


You're welcome :)

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-24 20:59:12


Without fans, actors would NOT be jobless. The arrogance to assume that your
$26.50 or even $126.50 is the reason any of these people are employed is selfish and sociopathic.

Without PRODUCERS actors would be jobless.

And Brooke, thank you for sharing those experiences. Scary stuff, I feel bad for that man's young daughters, they could use a better role model.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by luvtheEmcee 2012-07-24 21:11:22


Ah, didn't see Brooke's post sneak in there before mine. Cheers to you for stepping up to share your stories, though.

It's a really tricky (and fascinating) relationship for sure.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by jv92 2012-07-24 23:43:27


Re: Brooke's experience with the cake/angry letter man--

Why do they ALWAYS have to bring their Christianity into EVERYTHING?

Thanks for sharing, though. Sounds rather frightening.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by orangeskittles 2012-07-25 02:50:57


"Without fans, actors would NOT be jobless. The arrogance to assume that your $26.50 or even $126.50 is the reason any of these people are employed is selfish and sociopathic.

Without PRODUCERS actors would be jobless."

Producers cast actors who can sell tickets. Not just my ticket. A thousand people a night's tickets. Most producers could care less about talent. It's commercial theatre. Recent successes have made it patently clear that shows don't have to have good actors to make money. They don't even have to have good shows. The culture is changing. Singing pretty is not enough to sustain a theatre career anymore and it will only get worse as the audiences continue to respond to it.

Look at Stephanie Block, who originally lost out on Elphaba because the producers didn't think an unknown actress could open a new musical.

Look at Michael Cerveris, who admitted he started taking TV and movie roles to be able to maintain his position as a Broadway lead. Not for the money, but for the marquee value that a Tony and successful stage career don't give him.

Look at Ricky Martin and Daniel Radcliffe, who were cast despite there being hundreds of better actors for the roles, solely because they can sell 1000 seats, 8 times a week for a year- crappy reviews, Tony snubs and all.

Like I said, I don't care if actors sign or not. But if they aspire to anything more on Broadway than the ensemble, or the understudy who will never go on because producers would rather cancel the show than refund all the tickets when an above-the-title movie star is out, or a cog in a long running show, they're going to need to make the effort to be more than a just good performer onstage. That's not enough anymore.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-25 02:53:22


Orangeskittles, I never made a value judgment on what types of actors get cast or why. I was stating the simple fact that shows can survive without stagedoor stalkers but cannot survive without funding.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by orangeskittles 2012-07-25 03:08:46


If you equate all fans as one in the same with "stagedoor stalkers", that's a reflection on you.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by thetinymagic2 2012-07-25 04:16:14


Great post, Brooke.
FYI - Below ground, in the basement of a certain Bway Theatre lies the Operations Ctr. for Shubert security. On one wall are NYPD mug shots/reports of all suspicious characters known and suspected who hang around, harass, etc. anyone working at a theatre. Know that you're being watched when you stagedoor. They take any potential threats extremely seriously. The NYPD/Bway Theatre Security know all usual suspects in the Times Sq. area.

BTW, Acting is a JOB.
Being an Accountant is a job.
Being an MD is a JOB.
How would like being hounded as you left WORK every day of your life??

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Sas cuyvers 2012-07-25 07:09:47


Well, it's nice to hear stories from the other side of the stagedoor fences. I do like to stagedoor, and I consider my signed playbills and/or windowcards a lovely souvenir from my NY trips.
Glad to hear Brooke say that the other 80% are perfectly normal and mostly well behaved people. Should the majority then quit stagedooring because of the nutty, disturbed 20% ?
I don't think of it as a prerogative to have my playbill signed, but it's nice when they do sign. I have experienced that some actors do like some feedback from the people who just saw their performance, and some of them, like Jim Stanek, Bill Irwin, Judith Light, John Glover, James Earl Jones, who never signs, but stays to chat and shake hands with everyone, Mark Rylance, Brian J. smith, to name a few, will even engage you in a conversation that lasts longer than 10 seconds. I have had very nice chats with all of the above, and many more.
It's just a matter of being calm, polite, and respectfull, and then stagedooring, for me, can be an added happy theater memory I take home with me.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-25 07:14:29


hmm...the cast of Book of Mormon certainly didn't get cast because of their fan base. And from what I can see, neither did the replacements. I'd say the same for the casts of ONCE and Newsies.

Yes, REVIVALS often rely on 'names' for the leading roles, but you can't say that for all shows, or all roles.


Chorus girls and boys aren't going to move up in the ranks (so to speak) because of their number of fans. They move up because of talent, experience and luck.


and to Brooke (or any other Bway performers) please remember: MANY of us here get the whole idea behind stagedooring, and respect, and boundaries. (Many of us have been sticking up for you.)

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-25 08:53:18


I add to the applause for Brooke's post. To those who are afraid to explore the dark side of celebrity-worship, read it and think a bit.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-25 09:37:17


Orangeskittles, I'm not sure why that wording tripped you up to miss the point. The types of fans (repeat viewers, autograph hounds) we're discussing are not the reason actors have jobs or the reason why shows succeed or fail. That all comes down to $$$ and one person buying 50 student tickets isn't helping a show. Heck, one person buying 100$ tickets can't save a show. It's a much larger operation than that and the real money that a show NEEDS comes from investors/producers. That's all I was saying. It is arrogant and delusional for fans to think otherwise.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Patti LuPone FANatic 2012-07-25 09:39:53


Aplauso, aplauso to Brooke! I've sometimes wondered to what extent Broadway show people looked at this board. You wrote a very descriptive view of stage dooring. It's great to be aware of your personal perspective. I like to stage door at Broadway (and touring) shows. Some have been surprising (ex. After seeing "Chicago" for the first time, I waited outside the Ambassador stage door. It was only me and one younger man. I was struck by that. After the first preview of "Evita", there was already a huge crowd waiting before people left the theatre. I did manage to get a few autographs and loved that the delightful Max von Essen signed things for a lot of people. After I saw "Deuce", Angela Lansbury signed and took pics with fans. She was the height of graciousness. One of my favorite stage door actors is Nick Adams. I've seen him in "A Chorus Line", "La Cage" and "Priscilla". He is ever so nice to his fans and to me. After "Addams Family", I was surprised that Bebe graciously signed things...but didn't pose for pics. I was thrilled that she did the stage door (Nathan Lane...did not..cough, cough). Best of luck to you Brooke....from RC in Austin, Texas

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by yankeefan7 2012-07-25 09:55:02


SingAlongMovies2 - I think we all know the performer you are talking about and the night I saw Spring Awakening, she did sign for everyone on a very cold night. She did not chat or pose for pictures, just made her way down the line nd signed for everyone. The rest of the cast was more sociable and I have posted in another thread about how great Jonathan Groff was that night to our family.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by sowren1020 2012-07-25 10:08:31


Brooke, how gracious and generous you are to share your experiences making time to sign programs and spend time with the fans who come to see you. I don't think anyone who waits for a playbill to be signed knows the commitment it takes to do 8 shows a week and to try to stay healthy that entire time while "pressing flesh" after each show. It is a big consideration that while people who are lined up for free for a program or face time, the first obligation is to the producers who hired you. When you are in close quarters to many people, the simplest cold or flu can take you out of your singing job and spread illness to the rest of the cast, which is why a lot of folks don't shake hands or sign with others' pens. The fact that you would be considerate enough to make your appearance similar to your character as not to confuse the younger fans, just goes to show your dedication and willingness to connect. Here's to a great role in a first run production for you, Miss Brooke! You are an asset to any production.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Jane2 2012-07-25 10:21:26


"Heck, one person buying 100$ tickets can't save a show. It's a much larger operation than that and the real money that a show NEEDS comes from investors/producers. That's all I was saying. It is arrogant and delusional for fans to think otherwise."

Producers raise the money from investors to mount a show. It's ticket sales that either closes it or keeps it running.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-25 10:34:23


Jane2, so are you making the argument that the small percentage of crazed fans at stagedoor, most of whom pay rush prices and do not see the show every time they show up, are a significant contributing factor to the run of a show?

I think that's being pretty deceitful about their influence.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by yankeefan7 2012-07-25 10:59:11


BrookeTansley - thanks for sharing the actors side of this experience. I saw Adam Pascal in concert with my wife and daughters a bunch of years ago and he sang a song that detailed the "creepy" experience of a few people at the stage door. He spoke before doing the song how some of these people actually thought he was the charachter in "Rent" and that they had some type of relationship with him. Anyway, thanks for the time you have given fans after performances.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by orangeskittles 2012-07-25 11:43:05


Not all fans are the teenagers who buy rush tickets 4 times a weekend. People are flying into New York from around the world to see Ricky Martin. Not just a handful of crazy kids and creepers- hundreds of people every night. They're fans too- fans who are setting box office records at the Marquis. And you think they have no bearing on a show's success? Talk about delusional.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-25 12:27:11


Orangeskittles, I was talking about the specific set of entitled stagedoor people who actively espouse the idea that they are somehow the deciding factor in an actor's success of failure. I thought that was clear. You're debating a point I'm not talking about.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-25 12:34:20


Interesting that marketa@walnutstreettheatre.org, who one can assume works at a theatre, has no sympathy for those who dread lunatic actor stalkers.

Seems there's some artist-envy there...

Hmmm, now marketa's post seems to have disappeared.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by TracyLord 2012-07-25 14:47:28


I worked as a stage door attendant for about six months. I came to the conclusion that most of the people who wait at the stage door are perfectly sane. They get their playbill signed, briefly chat with the actors, and go home happy. Perhaps they have a slightly unhealthy obsession with celebrity, but that is pretty normal in our culture. The repeat offenders, gift givers, BFF wannabes and such make up a small portion of the crowd, but they are LOUD.

I actually got my first job in NYC theatre because of a stage door experience I had when I was fifteen. I hadn't stagedoored before that, but I was so enamored with the performance of a particular actress that I felt the overwhelming urge to tell her how much her performance had inspired me. So I waited for her at the stage door and we had a lovely conversation. She then gave me her email address and asked me to get in contact with her the next time I was visiting the city. After that, I would contact her whenever I was in NYC, and she would arrange for me to see whatever show she was working on at the time. And when I moved to the city, she passed my resume and a good word on to a technical director who hired me. My experience obviously isn't the norm, but I'm not in a position to look down upon the teenagers who wait at the stage door.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Jane2 2012-07-25 15:35:20



"Jane2, so are you making the argument that the small percentage of crazed fans at stagedoor, most of whom pay rush prices and do not see the show every time they show up, are a significant contributing factor to the run of a show?"

Perhaps I am. I was responding to your post. Once a show is mounted, it IS the ticket buyers (of whom those "crazed fans" are a part}. They are who keep it going, which is contrary to your remarks and your calling those who think the fans provide the money a show needs arrogant and delusional. Arrogant and delusional hmmm.

"I think that's being pretty deceitful about their influence."

whatever.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-25 15:55:15


"Perhaps I am. I was responding to your post. Once a show is mounted, it IS the ticket buyers (of whom those "crazed fans" are a part}. They are who keep it going, which is contrary to your remarks and your calling those who think the fans provide the money a show needs arrogant and delusional. Arrogant and delusional hmmm."

Maybe I should have clarified that I intended the arrogant and delusional labels to be referencing those fans who believe themselves to be the saving grace of careers and shows. That, I find incredibly delusional, entitled, ridiculous, and a conclusion that is factually wrong and impossible to find in evidence.

Yes, good word of mouth is very important, but most base their word of mouth on the show they just saw, not how nice Actor X was to them at the stagedoor.

Sorry, the crazed mental defectives to whom I refer, those who dwell in parents' homes and the dorms of Pace and Marymount Manhattan, make up probably .5% of ticket buyers for the average Broadway show, if even that. To say they have a significant effect on a show's success or failure is really just acknowledgment of a complete lack of understanding of the financials of a Broadway production.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Jane2 2012-07-25 16:15:54


"Sorry, the crazed mental defectives to whom I refer, those who dwell in parents' homes and the dorms of Pace and Marymount Manhattan, make up probably .5% of ticket buyers for the average Broadway show, if even that. To say they have a significant effect on a show's success or failure is really just acknowledgment of a complete lack of understanding of the financials of a Broadway production."

judgmental much?

Now you go and have a good day, dear.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-25 16:19:40


^Condescension without any real superiority is sad.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-25 16:22:17


Sorry, I've watched my friends be harassed by these people and been the victim of their delusion on occasion as well. Brooke's stories are far from unusual and there is absolutely no reason to be ashamed of judging those who remain a part of this bizarre subculture.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by BwayTday 2012-07-25 16:53:26


Wait no "crazed mental defectives" go to NYU or any other surrounding schools? Only Pace and MM? Noted.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-25 16:59:08


Okay okay, we can include The New School too. NYU and Columbia and even Hunter in most programs have too rigorous of an academic schedule to leave time to the stagedoor-every-night madness. At least if you give a sh*t.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by temms 2012-07-25 18:10:11


I was part of an off-Broadway show a few years back that attracted a fairly consistent set of Superfans, all of them female, all of them between the ages of 17-22, all of them Big Time Stage Door Veterans of multiple Broadway shows (this show featured some folk who had been in Broadway shows, and the more committed Stage Doorers from the Bway gigs followed them to the smaller venue.) There was another subset of older ladies who were Superfans of one particular performer. It was amusing to watch two basically identical group of women, but 30 years apart.

It was off-Broadway, so everything's smaller; the cast, the venue, the amount of security, the size of the buffer between audience/fans and the cast, etc. So the company got to know the Superfans pretty well, and the lead producer even got some the younger girls to be a marketing street team and do some flyering and whatnot, which they were thrilled to do.

But as time went on, the Fans got more and more disenchanted. It was the days of Myspace, and a couple of them had blogs where they wrote quite extensively about it, and I couldn't pry myself away. They slowly began to realize that the actors were (gasp) - human beings with personalities very different than the characters they played or how the Fans imagined them to be.

They began to get genuinely upset when they realized that the show was not the reality. We were all there doing a job. They were close enough to know who didn't get along with who, and what little squabbles were going on within the company and the production, and it was clearly a really genuinely painful thing for them to see.

I distinctly remember one posting where one of the girls was watching the performance and realized that the whole company was "lying" through the whole performance. They were standing onstage singing about how much they loved each other, while backstage there were the typical workplace day-to-day ups-and-downs and whatnot. This one particular fan stopped coming to the show at all, truly crushed that she suddenly saw the "truth" behind something that she had loved and idealized.

The thing is, there was nothing unique about this particular production. It was just unusual that the fans got to get such a close look at it. Once they did, they really didn't like what they saw and it was a genuinely hurtful thing to them. They got to peek behind the curtain, but they realized too late that they couldn't unsee what they saw and it turns out that it did not line up with what they imagined it to be.

There were no real nutjobs or dangerous folk in our Superfan crowd, but I can easily see how there could be. I was involved in another off-Broadway production that was a lot more sexually explicit, and the Stage Door fans were a very different experience then. I think they felt that having seen this cast semi-nude and being frisky, that they had permission to treat the actors the same way. Some actors got really freaked out, and I think the hypersexuality of the piece had a lot to do with it. People made a point of not leaving by themselves lest they get pulled into a very uncomfortable situation.

I hope I'm wrong, but I can't help feeling like there's going to be a tragic incident at some point with somebody who feels they're owed more than they're getting, and decides to respond violently. At which point, all of this will be a memory and we'll talk about what it was like in the old days when you could just go up to a Stage Door and ask an actor for an autograph after a show. I really hope I'm wrong, but after Aurora I only feel like it's a matter of time.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by theaterisdead 2012-07-26 01:32:38


Kelly 2, goodness, give it a rest. I've seen your posts about "crazy stagedooring" and while your points may be valid, you seem to be unnecessarily harsh and wayyy, bitter. It's unfair to generalize about certain fan's behavior, unless you know each and every one of these people personally? I've been lurking for years, and from what I recall from all of the history of these boards, not too long ago, you WERE one of "those" fans, and perhaps someone who didn't know any better would've said the same about you. How would that make YOU feel? You seem pretty level-headed now. Why not give others the benefit of the doubt? I don't see why you need to viciously bash obsessive fans at every chance you get. If you have some unresolved issues, you might want to talk to someone else about it. It sounds like you've got a personal vendetta with some of these crazies. Sheesh, we were all sixteen once. ALL of us :). I'm sure everyone on this board has an embarrassing fangirl/fanboy story, no matter how much they might not want to admit it. Maybe this is the Psych student in me talking, but just can't possibly be healthy to hold onto all that anger and negativity.

Now, back to the original post: performing is HARD. I'd say it's one of the hardest jobs in the world. Ya'll can disagree with me, if you want. But hell, I know whenever I do a show, I don't want to talk to anyone afterwards. I can barely gather the energy to brush my teeth before I go to bed. Think of some of the more physically demanding shows. Even the nicest person in the world can't always be 100% at the stagedoor. Doesn't make them a bad person. Meeting actors is an added perk, but it's not in the bag.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by PastorErnst 2012-07-26 09:20:30


Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-26 11:16:49


Theatreisdead, I'm glad you went to the trouble or committed to memory the things that have been posted on this board in the past in reference to me, it's very flattering. The reality is that my "stagedoor past" occurred when I was 16 years old and I truly believe it was a terrible mistake to get involved in that world, even if it was for less than a year. And yes, I sound level-headed now because I'm a very hard worker and spent the last 4 years at one of the top 30 schools in the country. Maybe that is why I'm an intellectual snob and can't say much for the lazy kids at the easy schools who have all this free time to be crazy.

The behavior is completely out of bounds and Broadway fans think they have a different set of rules, which is to say, none. I WISH somebody had been so harsh with me so that I would've taken my chips and gone home sooner. Just because "everyone" has an embarrassing story doesn't mean that we shouldn't discourage more people from embarrassing themselves.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by yankeefan7 2012-07-26 12:25:05


Kelly2 - at least you admit you are a intellectual snob and it shows. I have been to many many Broadway musicals but never did the stage door thing until we took our daughters to see their first Broadway show when they teenagers. My daughters handed Playbill to be signed and always said thank you. It took a few years before they even asked to have picture taken with a favorite performer. They did not push their way forward in line and just waited their turn. They never expected every performer to come out and were grateful for any signature they received. BTW - both daughters are/were dance majors in college and their GPA's were always 4.0. They also were excellent musicians and played in college orchestra's. BTW - their HS SAT scores were in the 700's. We have been fortunate to have had the money to take them to experience many different parts of the arts and they don't consider themselves or would have the nerve to admit they are a intellectual snob.

I am not naive enough to think there are not crazy fans because I have not personally witnessed it. Unfortunately, it is a part of life and it is up to the individual performers on how they deal with it. I am quite sure performers can either find another way out of the theatre or just walk by quickly and head home if it is not their "thing". IMO - the performers owe the fans nothing but their best effort on stage. Any thing else they may do is a bonus and should not be expected.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-26 12:37:25


yankeefan7, I hope I've made it clear that I am not referring to every single person who has ever stagedoored for anything when I am being harsh. I am referring ONLY to the specific subset of people who return to the stagedoor night after night, sometimes after not even seeing the performance, to facilitate phony "friendships" with the performers. I do understand the urge to meet or get an autograph from someone you really admire and Broadway provides unique access for fans to do that, but it ends up being abused very very often.

That's great for your daughters that they care about their academics as much as their art, that's very rarely the case and I hope they continue to do well. I value education very very highly and was brought up to believe it is one of the most important things about someone to judge their character on, and I have no problem admitting to the fact that my views can manifest themselves in an elitist way at times.

Anyway, I hope that clarifies who I am addressing in my comments, it seems a few people are taking offense and assuming I am referring to everyone.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-26 12:46:14


Funny. I was taught that a person's actions determined their value. It certainly wasn't to "judge" anyone based on what school they attended.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-26 12:48:56


Dramamama, I'm not just referring to prestige-based measures of intelligence. A person's actions are often very revealing about how smart they are and their process of thinking. All these things are interrelated. To me, the repeated behavior at the stagedoor when people are adults and should have their own lives going on is indicative of a lack of ambition and intelligence.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-26 12:56:28


Yet you are the one to call out certain institutions as lesser as well as brag about your own education.

How do you know about the lives of ANY person just because they choose to stage door? Awfully judgemental of you.

Personally, I don't get the appeal of stage dooring, but I'm not going base opinion of one solely on them doing so.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-26 12:59:45


Well, I am basing it on experience. In my experience, many of the people who regularly stagedoor and seem to have the time to be involved in all of that have come from those institutions. I'm willing to admit there are crazy people everywhere, even at the "good" schools, but all I really have to go off of is what I know to be true and have observed. I've been fairly open about the fact that I am speaking very subjectively.

And sorry, if someone has the time to spend, as an adult, seeing 2.5 hour show multiple times a week and waiting around at the stagedoor I think I know a little bit about how busy their lives are and what they find to be a priority.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by theaterisdead 2012-07-26 13:01:25


But who are these "kids" you keep referring to, and how do you know they haven't grown up and moved on if you're no longer in that scene? It seems like you still have some rage pent up. Like I said, you can't judge EVERYONE. Just because YOU had a bad experience doesn't mean that all the young fans from this point on are going to take it that far.

And it's certainly NOT fair, and also a little disgusting to judge someone's intelligence and work ethic based on what school they go to. Not everyone can AFFORD to go to a top school. You can be just as hard-working and intelligent if you go to a community school. By your ridiculous generalizations, I'm a lazy slob because I went to a SUNY school. The main problem I have with this thread is the blind judgement of "those people" but what constitutes THOSE people? Apparently; education and money?

Oh, and P.S, despite my "poor" education I have a VERY distinguished job, and I try to see three or four shows a month, when I can.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-26 13:03:50


Theatreisdead, the money issue is a valid point and I'll definitely concede that can sometimes be the case. But I don't think highly intelligent people spend their time on something as fruitless as this. I imagine someone intelligent would want to work very hard no matter what school they were at and would, like many people I know and I myself, want to spend their free time obtaining say, an internship or a part-time job. Would-be actors have so many options in New York to hone their craft and be a part of the industry, even if it's just as a volunteer usher or an intern. There are plenty of ways to occupy your time, even in a theatre-related way.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by theaterisdead 2012-07-26 13:09:58


But are we talking about adults, or children? Children meaning sixteen year olds, because let's face it, those are children. Yes, times are hard, but I hope that young people can just enjoy a show and perhaps a stagedoor experience without worrying about how it'll affect their 'reputation' for years to come. It's wonderful you regard yourself so highly and that you fancy yourself such a well-educated, intelligent person. People are attracted to the stagedoor and the theater for all kinds of reasons.

And speaking of being hard-workers and not having so much time on our hands, funny how we all manage the time to constantly write on this silly message board despite our gloriously exciting, busy lives and jobs? I'm starting to think you and Miss James might be the same person.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-26 13:12:34


HAH. Fair point re: message boards. Though, to be fair, I don't have to make special effort or leave my house to catch up on the always-hilarious Broadway world.

And I will say again I am not referring to anyone but the specific subset of cult-like people I described earlier. I have specifically used the term "adult" a couple times. Impulse control is not as easy at a young age and I definitely understand that first-hand.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by yankeefan7 2012-07-26 18:20:32


Kelly2- Thanks for the clarification. While I may find it "sad" that some people would come back night after night, as long as they are not harming anyone does it really matter. Since I personally have never seen a performer not get to everyone on the line, it is also not stopping a person seeing the show from getting their autograph/picture. I guess it would be a question for performers who have responded to this topic how they handle someone they would see every night.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by veronicamae 2012-07-26 20:50:54


Nothing is more disturbing to me than the sense of entitlement fans of theatre performers have (it's rampant in all genres but theatre seems especially susceptible). Now with technology like Twitter and Facebook, it's even worse, imo. People think they become friends with these professionals because they replied to their tweet or asked how their day was after seeing them at the stage door for the 10th time. If you have to wait at the stage door to talk to someone, newsflash: you aren't their friend.

It really freaks me out sometimes. I go to a lot of Idina's concerts, and rarely does the venue have proper security to handle her stage door craziness, and sometimes she gets bumrushed and it's so damn scary. And then if she takes awhile to come out, or can't sign because she has to leave on time, people scream at her over Twitter about her being ungrateful and never going to a concert again. And why? You paid to see her sing. She sang. Anything beyond that is a bonus and you should be grateful the chance exists at all.

I also wish BWW allowed html/bbcode formatting of posts so that gif would be at the end of this and not at the beginning messing up my paragraph...

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Vellekoop 2012-07-27 11:26:19


When we went to see Jerusalem last year, we were hanging out by the stage door when Mackenzie Crook came out. I was chatting with him for a little bit when he asked me if I wanted him to sign anything. I was so caught up in the conversation that I didn't even think about it.
So I have the memory of chatting with Gareth from The Office and getting his autograph. Pretty successful day...

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 12:11:57


Vellekoop, please don't take this as judgemental or condescending, I am genuinely curious: Why does that mean so much to you, or others, do you think? I mean, it's not like he'll remember you or you'll ever really encounter him again probably, and I doubt most actors specifically remember every fan encounter they have, unless something particularly memorable occurs. Personally, I would rather reach the point of success in my industry that I could meet people I admire on equal ground at social events, opening night parties, friends of friends, etc. The "theatre friends" I've made through work and the experiences I've had are far better and more genuine than anything at the stagedoor. That, however, is just my personal experience and clearly quite a few people disagree with me judging by how crowded the stagedoor is. I just can't figure out why collecting autographs is satisfying.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-27 12:44:23


He has no illusions that HE made a difference to the actor. It meant something to him -- why is that so hard to let this go?


(And as soon as you have to mention what you DON'T mean, you know darn well that's what it is.)

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-27 12:46:02


Defensiveness is so attractive.

It makes one actually ignore the question posed ("Why does that mean so much to you?") and say something utterly redundant ("It meant something to him.").

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 13:01:48


I'm genuinely curious. I've asked friends of mine the same questions before and they have been hard-pressed to come up with a logical answer. Why does it mean something to have someone's signature scrawled on a piece of paper? Why is it so meaningful? I'm fascinated by the social dynamics of the theatre world and this is just one of many interesting parts.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-27 13:04:29


I'm not defensive -- I don't stage door. It would mean nothing to me. But that it means something to THEM doesn't need to be tangible to me.

I just don't like how she ends up belittling those that enjoy something she doesn't.

I don't get why some people love sci-fi -- but I don't need to understand why they do. Different strokes.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by orangeskittles 2012-07-27 13:11:03


Because some people just want to tell an actor how much their peformance meant to them. Not everyone wants a signature scrawled on a piece of paper, or to become their BFF, or even have them remember you. Sometimes you just want to say "Thank you", and that's it.

And you know what? Sometimes they do remember you. Sometimes they begin to thank you. Sometimes they ask you out for dinner or drinks, invite you to their New Years Party, introduce you to their family, and give you industry contacts to advance in your career. All of that has happened to me or someone I know based on something that started at a stagedoor. You can't generalize based on a few years of teenage stupidity the nature of every actor/fan relationship.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-27 13:11:25


Some people are curious. Some people ask "why?" Some people like to think, rather than just accept.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 13:11:49


Dramamama, your sci-fi analogy isn't really accurate. It would be more accurate if I weren't interested in theatre at all and had a desire to understand the fandom of it. A better analogy would be to be interested in Harry Potter (or some huge franchise) and be completely disinterested in the clear and massive fan culture.

As an analyzer and a devotee of logic, I'm always interested in the "why" over the "what" and I do apologize if that comes off condescending at times.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-27 13:15:49


But I dont' feel that Kelly2 is curious. She thinks she's right, and that that should be the way everyone thinks. It's like she needs to prove it to them so they can mend their evil ways. (Like hard core vegans, or born again Christians -- they've seen the error of the ways and need to save the rest of us.)

(All of the above is IMHO.)

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 13:19:35


Well, you'd be wrong :) I don't feel any need to "convert" people who value an occasional autograph. The only people that I wish would wake up are the people who spend their days and nights on this regularly, but I'm well aware that's their choice and I can't change it. I just don't understand it.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-27 13:28:11


"I dont' feel that Kelly2 is curious. She thinks she's right, and that that should be the way everyone thinks. It's like she needs to prove it to them so they can mend their evil ways."

And that's what they call defensive. Kelly asked an honest, curious question about motivation.

Now, we all know that some people feel attacked or violated when asked to explore their thoughts or actions. But it's not an attack. It's curiosity.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-27 13:28:13


I don't understand it, either. I doubt that anyone will ever be able to explain to me the attraction to any of it. I don't understand the worship of any celebrity in our culture (sports, movies, society, reality tv). But if they aren't causing harm to anyone else, who cares? (Yes, some of them are pretty frightening and even delusional -- and you will never get them to see any other side of it.)

But you seem to be 'demanding' that they make you understand. I realize that may not be what you intend to do, but that's how it comes off to me. And by pontificating your "real" interactions, you are saying theirs shouldn't be valued. You also seem to assume that those memories/events are INSTEAD of a life. Why can't they be in addition to a life?



Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by newintown 2012-07-27 13:31:30


"But if they aren't causing harm to anyone else, who cares?"

I'd say that's the wrong question. Again, it's not about "who cares?," it's about sincere and honest curiosity about why someone sees significant value in something that others see as clearly valueless.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-27 13:36:48


But Kelly, herself, attests to having done stage door in her younger days. She, on some level, knows why -- but somewhere along the way, it no longer brought her joy, so she no longer partakes.


Might she be truly curious? Of course, I just don't think it sounds that way.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by luvtheEmcee 2012-07-27 13:37:13


There are a lot of things I could potentially say here because I have had, by whatever strokes of luck, a lot of experiences that are outside what would be considered the norm, but I hesitate to get into too many personal details or anecdotes. I'm an adult and I work in the business; I was once a precocious, curious, shy-but-friendly, sometimes pain-in-the-ass teenager. I did some silly things back then, but I regret none of them.

Kelly, you are really working to play up this "intellectual" angle, but it seems like in doing so you're ignoring the fact that the questions are you are asking are about how these things make people feel. About emotion and memory, which are things that are not always in line with what's logical. That may be part of the reason you have yet to find any suitable answers. Or it could just be that the responses to your questions make sense (which I think many of the posts here do), and you just don't like them because they aren't coincident with how you see it.

I'm also struck by your insistence that different kinds of scenarios are so deeply mutually exclusive: that smart people can't ever have the impulse to go speak to an actor at a stage door, that it's only for the mentally unstable, that people only remember you because you did something outlandish and crazy, or that meeting someone in one of the social/industry scenarios you listed is the only way it's respectable. If you meet someone at a party, or through a friend, there's a pretty good chance that the next time you meet them, they aren't going to remember you. Maybe it can make you [editorial] feel less self-conscious and awkward to meet someone in a situation like that -- I have had that feeling -- but I get the sense that having the ability to do that does more to instill a feeling of superiority over people who don't than it does to (often, anyway) make a serious connection: for my money, the majority of conversations at opening nights, etc. are drunken, drowned out by background noise, and in too much darkness to see anyone's faces. Sure, being at an event like that or being introduced by a friend can legitimize you -- it can bypass the background check, so to speak. But I have a lot of trouble with the idea that it's an either-or scenario.

I think for me the bottom line is that this is a very difficult topic to generalize, because it's so dependent on the actor, the moment, the fan's behavior, and a whole host of other variables. Some people remember things. Some people don't. You can make an impression without ever even knowing you did so. Something you nervously blurt out could mean more to the receiving person than you'll ever know. But there are so many different reasons and motivations and possibilities and totally true stories that I think it's a very futile issue to make such broad generalizations about.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 13:47:16


I'm not "working" any angle. You can ask anyone who knows me, I'm argumentative by nature and value logic and reason above emotional hysteria. I always have. So I look back on the times that I have been caught up in the emotion and silliness of "stagedoor" 6 years ago and I can clearly see what behavior of mine provoked negative reaction and what did not. It's the negative behaviors that catch my attention in repeat-offenders and those are generally the types of people I do not understand and find to be generally emotionally disturbed in some way. I think I've clarified about 10 times now that I am in no way talking about the average person who wants to meet someone every once in awhile or who gets an autograph, though I personally do not really value autographs very much and find actual experiences to be infinitely more valuable.

I agree with your point that face-to-face meetings outside the context of stagedoor can be equally meaningless to the person being spoken to and that opening night parties are certainly usually silly and drunken affairs. However, I do think power dynamics are really important and meeting someone at the stagedoor places all of the "power" in the hands of the performer and leaves the autograph-seeker with significantly less agency in any interaction or "relationship". I don't think conversations in other situations are more memorable, but they generally place you on more even-footing which allows for a more stable interaction.

As I've said, I'm speaking primarily based on my experiences so if they are not applicable to others' worldview, that's fine. No offense taken. But this is a topic that I've seen from both sides of the barricades and I do have strong feelings on it.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by PlayItAgain 2012-07-27 13:49:19


Heres why I stage door:
It adds to my experience, I don't think any of these people that I meet are my friends, but when I look at my playbills on my wall and the signatures it brings me back to that night and the wonderful show I saw, if its not your thing well fine, but don't belittle or criticizes others, many of us who stage door aren't psychopathic tweens stage dooring the same shows 20 something times...

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by orangeskittles 2012-07-27 14:08:42


"I think I've clarified about 10 times now that I am in no way talking about the average person who wants to meet someone every once in awhile or who gets an autograph"

But you are talking about the average person. You started questioning Vellekoop personally for his actions, who in no way suggested from his post that he stagedoors constantly, or on any more than the one occasion, and then asked why it means something to get an autograph. So you did judge the average person who wants an autograph.

For someone who claims to be a devotee of logic, your posts make up a really illogical, contradictory argument.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by luvtheEmcee 2012-07-27 14:12:15


Yes, I can tell. But you also seem really quick to make unnecessarily giant leaps from what you read, and jump to kind of strange conclusions. Case in point, you are making this an issue of logic over "emotional hysteria," not logic over, as I posted, emotion. So you're implying that the way you see it, if any feelings are involved, they're hysterical. All I said was that if you are asking questions about why people enjoy an experience, or why a tangible item is meaningful, you're asking questions that sometimes go against the grain of what we consider intellect and logic -- I have thought, written and argued a lot about that divide, as it relates to art and otherwise. What I'm saying is that sometimes they don't mix easily. Sometimes it's hard to measure one in terms of the other, or to find a shared language, and maybe that's why you feel like the answers people have given you aren't satisfactory. Frankly, I don't know what kinds of answers you're really looking for, because they are inevitably going to be about how things make people feel -- and if any response that involves an emotion is going to be something you hyperbolize into hysteria, then therein lies the communication error.

I see no problem with the fact that you're moved on from the desire to go to a stage door or get an autograph -- so have I, 99% of the time. I'll make the occasional exception, but occasional is the operative. The thing that I think is rubbing people the wrong way is that the way a lot of your posts are reading, you seem to think anyone who does do that is silly, and further, that if it means anything to you that is silly, or you are silly, hysterically emotional and somehow unstable. I just don't think that's fair. As it seems like you know firsthand, a lot of the people who derive meaning from those moments are young. And yes, there is always going to be some negative behavior, and it can come from any age group or whatever classification you want to look to. But I think what's reading in your posts is a -- maybe accidental? -- conflation of the two. And a sense of judgment based on the fact that because you don't find it meaningful, it isn't, or if it is, that's because the person is nuts. I ask this completely genuinely: don't you remember what made it meaningful for you before you had a change of heart? And maybe for you, looking at your past experiences, you equate finding that meaning with being immature or something. But can't whatever that was exist for other people in various stages in their theatre going careers or of different dispositions? I just don't think it, whatever "it" is, is exclusive to young or crazy or whatever. Does that make sense?

I agree with you about the balance of "power," so to speak. It's what always made going to a stage door and meeting someone I really admired so nerve-wracking for me when I was younger. I think some of that is eliminated in a more "neutral" setting, but by no means is all of it. And that, to me, depends on where you are, who you are, and how you approach it. If you're a big fancy producer and you meet somebody at a party, that's a totally different power dynamic than if your friend is working on the show in some capacity, you're their plus one, and you're maintaining composure while you chat with an actor whose work you really love. I see what you are saying but in some senses I think it's a little bit of a false security blanket; you might feel better about it because you've been allowed into this exclusive environment (like I said, you're legitimized) but ultimately to me it's always felt like it's the other person who's in charge; yeah, I'm "supposed" to be there, but they're more important than me any day. But again, I think that very much depends on the two people.

I've seen it from both sides of the barricades, too. One of the most surreal things I have ever experienced was walking through a set of doors into a sea of cheering and flashing camera lights with a friend after a backstage visit. I found it terrifying and overwhelming, and I have a lot of respect for people who can handle all of that every night.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by yankeefan7 2012-07-27 14:13:44


Kelly2 - As I mentioned before, never went to the stage door until I took my daughters to Broadway. I believe they like to do it because a autographed Playbill was in a way another souvenir in addtion to the Playbill.Shows will sell autographed copies of Playbills for money so they must also think there is value/audience for a signed Playbill. My daughters were never under any illusions that any performer would remember them or was their "friend". The few pictures they have of them with performers from a show would put in a photo album just like any other picture from a trip. (we do not live in NY). There have been a couple of occasions where we actually had a nice conversation with a performer about their role/show but once again they did not take it as anything more than a conversation. I will also mention that they do not want to do it after every show, depends on the show or a particular performer.

BTW - last summer my oldest daughter did a summer internship with Broadway Dance Center. It was across the street from the show "How to Succeed" with Daniel Radcliffe. My daughter told us she was amazed at how early people were lining up to be on the stage door line and you know most of them were not seeing the show that day or night.

Finally, I have mentioned in other posts that my wife was a friend in HS with Robert Cuccioli (J&H, Spider- Man (8/5)). I was fortunate to go backstage with my wife after J&H and meet him and the rest of the cast. Went out to dinner with him also with my wife and another old HS friend. Just mentioning this because I know a little bit of what it is like to know somebody in a show thru my wife and not some fantasy - lol.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 14:47:43


LuvtheEmcee, I can see where you're coming from about the possibly unprovable correlation between mental illness or being emotionally disturbed and being one who stagedoors, but as I've stated many times in this thread, I am making that correlation between people who stagedoor 4-5 times a week without having seen the show, who leave gifts backstage for actors, who chase after friendships that will never be mutual, etc. If you are not doing this then I am not calling you mentally ill! I'm just saying that seeking for fulfillment from others instead of yourself is indicative of a larger emotional issue and when that void is filled, I find, most people do not feel as great of a need to be outside the stagedoor.

As far as my personal experience...I never talked to actors as though they were above me in any way. I don't really believe in one person being "above" another person in most circumstances. And because of that, I remember being called a lot of things and it struck me as the height of arrogance for an actor to believe that they were better than anyone simply because of their profession. As I often say, of course Patti LuPone could sing me under the table, but I highly doubt she could manage in my profession as well as I could.

The idea that people who are worthwhile have skills and a measure of intelligence shouldn't be treated the same as the "crazy people" was an inaccurate view. The sooner you learn that because of that "power dynamic" you will never be seen as a fully realized human being by most actors but rather as a source of validation and self-worth for them is hard to take for the younger set but important to realize. The difference in how I was treated then vs. how I was treated when I managed to land a fairly high-profile job was like night and day, and it was very clear to me how shallow and self-interested theatre people are (like most of the world, really). The point I'm trying to make, I guess, is that by treating these people as gods and goddesses in some modern mythological world is damaging to one's self-esteem and mental well-being because they are not gods or goddesses. They are people who are selfish and flawed and sometimes kind and wonderful but mostly human. Those who stagedoor regularly mostly do it because they enjoy the adulation and those who don't are under no obligation to do so purely because someone else wants them to. Furthermore, the amount of actors I have seen smile and encourage these people and then turn around and slam them to anyone who will listen is disgustingly high. I'm sorry, to me, there is a toxic culture in this and to be too involved in it is really a poor prioritization of the important things in one's life.

Whew. That was a mouthful.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by dramamama611 2012-07-27 14:50:44


(Can I just commend everyone involved in this conversation? Nice job on all sides for explaining your thoughts without name calling or becoming offended. We don't see that often enough here.)

The only thing I want to bring up, is the notion of "power". What kind of power does the actor have at stage door? To interact or not? I'm not sure that's power of any sort. (But perhaps you are thinking along an entirely different line.)

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 14:55:19


What I mean is that it's generally true in life that the person who "loves least" has the power. As the fan, you are the one who idolizes or admires this person, you want them to like you, you want them to think you're awesome or cool or whatever it may be. You're asking for something from them, both the material (photos and autographs) and the immaterial (affection). That immediately puts you in the position of needing/wanting something from someone who does not, generally, need or want anything from you.

ETA: I agree this is a discussion that has remained insanely civil considering it's source. Well done, team.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by mikem 2012-07-27 14:55:33


I'll jump into the fray and say why I like to go to the stage door. I'll start out by saying I have absolutely no interest in befriending any actor at the stage door. I never ask about anything personal.

This is why I stage door:
- I have no connections to the industry and I often have questions about the production (set design functionality, directorial decisions, "was that supposed to happen?," etc), and people at the stage door have been incredibly gracious about answering them, and I have learned a lot about both the practical aspects of staging a production as well as understanding in general why and how productions are put together the way they are. It has been a wonderful education that has really enhanced my theater-going experience, and I really couldn't have gotten it in any other way.

- If a show makes me feel something -- if it touches something within me -- going to the stage door and talking to the actors makes me feel more connected to a production that has had some emotional resonance for me. I'm not saying that's rational, but I think it's common and understandable. And isn't feeling something part of the reason why we go to the theater? In addition, those conversations often enhance my understanding of the show and make me appreciate it even more.

- If someone has given me joy through their work, why not tell them? It makes them feel good. I especially like to tell the people with smaller but memorable parts, or creative team members, because they often get ignored but are often the key to the whole production. And I've gotten genuine responses of "You've made my day," and "I'm so glad you said that," and I'm happy I was able to give something back to someone who gave me joy.

And when I look at the autographs later, I remember those encounters. It's a souvenir of an experience, just like any souvenir.

That's not so strange, is it?

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 14:59:45


No, mikem, it is not. But I do wish people would read the many clarifications I have made on the specific subset of people I am calling "strange", to use your word.

As far as the casual things you are mentioning, to me for the place I am in my life and my current lifestyle, it is not meaningful or relevant to me to engage in it, but I'm not condemning every person who does to Broadway hell or something!

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by luvtheEmcee 2012-07-27 15:26:44


Well, that's not really what I was saying, or what I was talking about at all for that matter, but it doesn't really matter. I'm sure somebody could do a study if they felt like it.

It seems like, for whatever reason, we're sort of passing each other by on a lot of these subjects. The only reason I said anything about a potential power dynamic was because you brought it up initially. I do think it's different in different settings, but again, there's not as much a black and white distinction as I felt like you were positing. How someone addresses others is a matter of disposition. But it's like I was getting at in my other post: if it's your party and I'm just telling you I like your work and having an innocuous chat, I don't want to hog up all your time; you've got more important things to do and people to talk to than hang out with me. That's all I meant in terms of what you're reading as feeling like an actor is above you.

I think that even though we aren't really seeing eye-to-eye on some things, you and I have probably actually had some similar experiences; I know exactly what you mean about a change in the way you're treated. I remember having a discussion with someone on here once where I was being pummeled for things I had said at like 16 or 17, and in response I was like, you know what, you have to realize that teenagers grow up, and fans become artists and theatre professionals. I remember so clearly the moment at which an actor whose work I've long loved and now count as a friend began treating me as more than an adoring fan. But that wasn't about the actor, it was about me: I had to grow up a lot, I had to start responding to him like he was a normal human being before any of that could happen. And it's something that's grown for years. It's just like anything else, or dealing with any other person; it's about gaining somebody's trust. I disagree that that switch is entirely about self-interest, because my experiences have actually been the opposite, and experiences of nothing but kindness and generosity, but again, so many variables.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by beltingbaritone 2012-07-27 15:51:05


Audra McDonald talks a little bit about stagedooring in her "Show People" interview on Broadway.com. She recounts how a woman offered to hold her daughter while she singed an autograph. 0.o

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 16:28:19


Totally get what you're saying about your experience. I've had one standout experience with someone I met at "stagedoor" who is now one of my closest friends, but that person has patience that I couldn't imagine having and is not an actor so that, I'm sure, contributed. It was a series of very unusual circumstances anyway. And I have definitely had the experience of being a working professional in my twenties and having some people still try to pin me down based on things I said 6-7 years ago. They are discordant ideas but part of me knows that the way I was treated and held accountable for my behavior (much of which was encouraged or provoked by bored or sociopathic actors) wasn't entirely my fault. But, now, I realize how important being scolded and having both positive and negative consequences helped me to realize I was engaging in something that was not productive for my life and to remove myself from it.

I simply don't want other people to make the mistake of assuming their experiences are genuine, real, and special when the people they're talking to are professional actors and it is their job to be smiling and make you like them. It doesn't mean they like you back.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by luvtheEmcee 2012-07-27 16:55:35


Well, no, it's a give and take on both the positive and negative sides. There have certainly been situations where things go sour and get out of hand where the actor is to blame just as much as the fans. I think it can be a big challenge for actors to know what to encourage and what not to. It's a learning curve for everybody.

And I understand the precautionary words, but on the flip side, it's one thing to caution; it's another to say it can't ever be genuine or real, especially when you run into things that are above and beyond what's obligatory. You have to have a degree of self-awareness about it is all.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by theaterisdead 2012-07-27 18:41:46


I find this whole discussion EXTREMELY fascinating. Like others are saying, there's not "box" for fans. I've worn many hats as a performer and a fan. I've stagedoored plenty. Not as often as I did as a teen, but I definitely gawked at Audra McDonald when I saw 'Porgy and Bess' the other day. I've also made (few, I'll admit, I can count the number on my hand) friends from actors I actually MET at the stagedoor. Years later, we still visit one another and keep in touch. Some have left the business. "Stagedoor friendships" if you want to call them that, may be rare, but it happens. Who can know the reasons why? I know a married couple that MET at the stagedoor (an actor and a fan).

Kelly2, just out curiosity, when was it that you supposedly "woke up"? Did you just wake up with 'maturity' as you call it one day, or did you have some sort of horrific experience? I'm not being facetious. I'm truly intrigued, since you said it used to be a large part of your life, and now it's not.

Not gonna bother to proofread this, sorry guys.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by mikem 2012-07-27 18:59:05


kelly2, I wrote my message about why I stage door partially in response to newintown's seeming insistence that there is no legitimate reason to stagedoor, ever, but also in response to your questioning Vellenkamp as to why he was excited to have met Mackenzie Crook. I'm guessing his reasons would be similar to my own -- he likes his work, Crook's made him laugh on The Office, and it's exciting to meet someone you feel is talented or has some admirable quality and who has affected you in some fashion, which is going to be a different person for different people. I wouldn't think it was weird if a friend called me who was excited because he had just spoken to The President of the United States or Muhammad Ali or the Director of the National Institutes of Health or the captain who landed the plane on the Hudson or whoever the person is for him. It doesn't mean that it was a life-changing event or that it's supposed to have some resonance for Crook. It's a casual encounter that you remember casually. When you're six, you're excited because you met Mickey Mouse at Disneyland. It doesn't mean you become a Mickey Mouse stalker.

The crazy fans of course are a different story.

I have also noticed the stage door "persona" that most actors have. It's supposed to be casual and real, but it's a public face and it's not real at all. I find it pretty rare for an actor at the stage door not to have on their public face. But I agree that many fans don't seem to be able to tell that. If a fifteen-year-old fan would take a step back, they might wonder whether a 35-year-old actress really has anything in common with them and whether they are actually friends, but I'm not sure that insight is that common.

You obviously can decline to answer this, but can I ask you the general outline of what you're referring to in terms of sociopathic actors leading you down a certain path? I'm just curious.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 21:02:29


"Kelly2, just out curiosity, when was it that you supposedly "woke up"? Did you just wake up with 'maturity' as you call it one day, or did you have some sort of horrific experience? I'm not being facetious. I'm truly intrigued, since you said it used to be a large part of your life, and now it's not."

There were a lot of factors, one of the major factors was the person I met who became my friend who was not an actor asked me why I was wasting my life at the stagedoor. It wasn't because he was judging me, he just didn't understand why I wasn't pursuing the things I had been telling him I wanted to pursue. That was one of the first moments I realized I was wasting a lot of my time and energy on something that was really not that important. I did have one very bad experience with someone who I admired very much. I believed we were friends (we weren't) simply because we spoke on the phone and hung out occasionally. That person did a series of horrible things to me not only personally but professionally just because of an extended argument that was had about the fact that there was some backstabbing going on. I don't want to get into any details on a public board but it was truly bizarre relationship that no one in my friend circle can quite explain the how or the why. That really was for me the last straw. I don't like being lied to, I don't like being strung along, and unless you're onstage, I have no desire to be "acted" at.

I hope you don't take this as my having an axe to grind though. What really drives me to speak about this topic is the amount of people I've seen go down the autograph line, come back inside, and immediately go into a laundry list of all the crazy people who were there, anything that was said, tons of unflattering nicknames regarding those who were there often (many based on negative physical traits like weight and dental hygiene)...it proved to me that my experience was not unique. Some actors feed off attention and will do anything to get it with little regard for what the consequences might be, it is parasitic and inappropriate in a million ways. Fans are guilty of blindly playing into this and not ever stopping to question anything and of course, filling a void in their lives with other peoples' talent and fleeting affection when they could be doing so many more productive things.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by ghostlight2 2012-07-27 21:14:50


Well, that explains a few things...

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Kelly2 2012-07-27 21:29:49


You know what, I hesitated even posting that because I thought it was too easy to be glib and reductive about what I've been saying. I did not let this one person alter my entire viewpoint, it was EXPERIENCE in life and in this industry that altered it. People would do well to be more cautious with their admiration and affection and spend more time hitting the gym, the books, the museums...anything but wasting years of your life on being the fluffer for someone else's ego.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Wynbish 2012-07-27 22:29:00


Like beltingbaritone said, here is Audra addressing what it is like at the stage door.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by JeanGudio 2012-07-27 22:53:49


It could be a safety issue, matilda they came out but could not sign.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by Bettyboy72 2012-07-27 23:52:46


I think because actors are all just normal people with the same hang ups as everyone else, it can strike them as odd or overwhelming that people would wait for them. It has nothing to do with the fans, it has to do with them.

I think fans forget that actors are people and the same way that you can go to work and snap at a co-worker, avoid the lunch area, or maybe even be unprofessional with a client. They have bad days too and may avoid fans. I think it is fine to avoid fans or even be brisk and not chat. Im ok with whatever an actor chooses to do.

What I did find odd was when Kathleen Turner essentially told all the people waiting for her that she had no idea why they were there and found it odd that people would waste their time doing this. When someone asked for a photo, she told them politely no and asked "why would you want that-thats a little odd." Her sense of disconnect from fans seemed off.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by yankeefan7 2012-07-28 17:24:43


Humbugfoto - I took my oldest daughter to see "Next To Normal" several years ago after it was open for a short time. My daughter was attending NYU for a semester and I was visiting her. We loved the show and she wanted to "stagedoor" and get her Playbill signed. The line was not very long and the entire cast came out (small cast) and Alice Ripley was the last one. We were at the end of the line and she signed for my daughter and was nice enough to have picture taken with her. I then told Ms. Ripley that I could not imagine how she could reach the emotional depths of her role night after night. She proceed to talk for several minutes about her role and the show in general. She also noticed my daughters bag which had NYU on it and asked her if she was a student and my daughter told her she was a arts major. I finally apologized for keeping her late and she laughed and said it was no problem and it was her pleasure talking to us. I guess my point is that by going to the "stagedoor", my daughter not only got a additional souvenir (autograph/photo) but also received some insight about being a actress on Broadway.

Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?
Posted by kurt.perry41 2012-07-29 15:20:21


For me as a fan and actor myself, I think that I do it because I want to tell the actor how much their performance means to me as an individual.

I mean I'm horrified sometimes by the behavior at some stsge doors coughH2$cough, and I've been shocked by peoples assumption that they are now "friends" with the actor.

Certainly I always remember that they are doing this as an EXTRA thing and a service to the fans. And also they have lives like everyone else and have things they have to do. I try to ber super genuine and as un-invasive as possible and always ask if something is ok, like taking a picture.

I think it's really important that people remember common courtesy and respect for people's lives and I feel like thats gotten lost in recent years. I know that stage dooring allows me the opportunity to thank the performers for what they do and the experience they have created.