Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?

orangeskittles
Broadway Legend
joined:1/8/05
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.
Like a firework unexploded
Wanting life but never knowing how
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
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.
Updated On: 7/25/12 at 12:34 PM
TracyLord
Understudy
joined:9/30/11
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.

Updated On: 7/25/12 at 02:47 PM
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04

"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.

<-----craves juicy pizza
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
"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.

"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
Updated On: 7/25/12 at 03:55 PM
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
"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.
<-----craves juicy pizza
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
^Condescension without any real superiority is sad.

Updated On: 7/25/12 at 04:19 PM
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
BwayTday
Broadway Legend
joined:6/2/09
Wait no "crazed mental defectives" go to NYU or any other surrounding schools? Only Pace and MM? Noted.
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
temms
Leading Actor
joined:7/21/04
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.
theaterisdead
Swing
joined:7/26/12
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.

The slotted spoon still catches the potato.
Updated On: 7/26/12 at 01:32 AM
PastorErnst
Broadway Star
joined:4/20/09
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
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.
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
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.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
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.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
theaterisdead
Swing
joined:7/26/12
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.
The slotted spoon still catches the potato.
Updated On: 7/26/12 at 01:01 PM
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
theaterisdead
Swing
joined:7/26/12
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.

The slotted spoon still catches the potato.
Updated On: 7/26/12 at 01:09 PM
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
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.