PHANTOM Star Ali Ewoldt Responds to Facebook Troll in New Post
Tonight, Phantom of the Opera star Ali Ewoldt, who currently plays the role of Christine Daae on Broadway, responded to an unusual message she received on her Facebook fan page following a performance of the long-running Broadway musical.
In the message, the audience member rudely admonishes Ewoldt, critiquing elements of her singing and overall performance.
The star responded this evening in a public post, discussing the mental and emotional distress this bit of social media bullying has caused her, asking the sender to reconsider this sort of behavior in the future and imploring others to practice kindness.
See her full post below:
Dear Ms. _____,
Hello. I appreciate you coming to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and am sorry that my performance did not meet your expectations.
However, I found your message to be unnecessarily cruel. I feel compelled to tell you this because I believe that there is too much meanness on the internet and in real life right now. Just a few months ago, I attended the heartbreaking funeral of an 11 year old boy who chose to take his own life because he was being bullied.
Obviously there are many differences between me and this boy: I am an adult; I have chosen to be a performer and thus am continually putting myself and my craft out in the world for others to judge. I have even gone so far as to create a FB fan page for myself which is where you messaged me. However, I am still a human being. And your words hurt me deeply. Because our words are incredibly powerful, particularly the negative ones. Our brains are hardwired to retain negative or hurtful information because we once used this to survive. As soon as I read them, your words began a continual loop in my head and I am sure they will always be present somewhere in my mind for the rest of my time at Phantom if not my entire career.
I do not know you. I can see from the internet that: you are an adult, you are a patron of the opera, you posted a picture of the quote "always stay humble and kind" on your twitter page. I can infer from these things that you care about the arts and about people. And this compels me to tell you that your message did nothing to help either of those things. They did not inspire me to perform in a "better" manner. I already aspire to continually improve my performance, holding myself to the highest standard and criticizing every mistake I make. And tonight, instead of focusing on the story of Phantom, part of my brain was lost in the new seeds of self-doubt and shame you planted.
I do not imagine my words will change the way you choose to behave. But I do hope that they will inspire others to treat each other with more compassion and kindness. Because we truly are all in this world together.
Ali Ewoldt made her Broadway debut in 2006 in Mr. Mackintosh's first Broadway revival of Les Misérables as Cosette. She joins the company of Phantom direct from playing Tuptim in the Chicago Lyric Opera production of The King & I. She also appeared in the original cast of the current Lincoln Center Theater production.
Other credits include Luisa in The Fantasticks (Off-Broadway), Maria in West Side Story (first national tour), Lili in Carnival! (Musicals Tonight) and the national tour of Les Misérables. Born outside of Chicago and raised in Pleasantville, NY, she has a BA in Psychology from Yale University.