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Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?

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.
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veronicamae
Leading Actor
joined:7/13/09
Young Broadway actresses too cool for stage door?

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...

Updated On: 7/26/12 at 08:50 PM
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Vellekoop
Swing
joined:7/27/12
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...
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Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
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.)
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.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
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.").
Updated On: 7/27/12 at 12:46 PM
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Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
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.
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.
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orangeskittles
Broadway Legend
joined:1/8/05
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.
Like a firework unexploded
Wanting life but never knowing how
Updated On: 7/27/12 at 01:11 PM
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Some people are curious. Some people ask "why?" Some people like to think, rather than just accept.
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Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
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.)
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.
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Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
"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.
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
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?



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.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
"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.
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
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.
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.
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luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
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.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
Updated On: 7/27/12 at 01:37 PM
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Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
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...
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orangeskittles
Broadway Legend
joined:1/8/05
"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.
Like a firework unexploded
Wanting life but never knowing how
Updated On: 7/27/12 at 02:08 PM
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luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
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.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
Updated On: 7/27/12 at 02:12 PM
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
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.

Updated On: 7/27/12 at 02:13 PM
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Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
(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.)
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.
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Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
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.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
Updated On: 7/27/12 at 02:55 PM

 
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