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BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission

Broadway World lost one of our journalists this week, and the world lost a great artist and a Woman of Strength.

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission

I don't do Facebook birthdays. If I know somebody's birthday, I am happy to send them a text, but I don't usually look at the list of birthdays on Facebook and send blanket greetings to people, it's not my thing. Yesterday, though, a name jumped out and caught my attention. It was Amy Oestreicher's birthday. How funny - I had just sent Amy an email. And a few days earlier I saw a post on Joanna Gleason's social media of her holding her brand new Amy Oestreicher painting, a beautiful work of art that must have thrilled her and satisfied her passion for landscapes. I decided to break my rule and leave a birthday greeting on Amy's Facebook wall because she was someone who always brought a smile to my face, someone who always made me feel good.

I awoke at five this morning and began my tea-making process. While waiting for the kettle to boil, I opened my phone to see if there had been any late-night messages. There was a greeting from Janet Hurley:

"I am not sure if you knew but Amy Oestreicher passed away on Thursday."

What a gut-punch to my soul. What a sad and terrible bit of news, and what a monumental loss. I was amazed at how much it affected me that Amy had died, given the fact that we had never met face to face, or even spoken on the telephone. I didn't even know Amy Oestreicher, and I felt like I had lost a dear friend. Perhaps the depth of my sorrow was in that we had not had time to get to know one another, even though we had mentioned, in our emails, how we looked forward to the day when we would, in fact, meet.

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission When I took the job as Editor of Broadway World Cabaret, I was told that my predecessor had emailed the writers with whom they worked, informing them of the changeover and providing them with my email address, in case they wanted to continue working at BWW Cabaret under a new regime. Amy emailed me that very day. Even in an impersonal email, Amy's ebullience shone through. Her optimism and enthusiasm was palpable, and I could tell that we would be well-suited as colleagues, and for the five months that we worked together before the lockdown, I always looked forward to all of our interactions with each other. I found her writing to be interesting, informed, inquisitive and intelligent (she would have appreciated that alliteration, by the way). Regularly, Amy emailed me or messengered me on the Facebook Machine, with thoughts, ideas, questions. We developed a mutually respectful affection for one another in a completely epistolary relationship. I really liked Amy.

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission Imagine my surprise when I was looking at the calendar of events for Feinstein's/54 Below and saw that Amy was doing a nightclub act late in 2020! I knew she had authored plays and books, that she was a painter and motivational speaker, that she spent time as an actor and that she had a rather famous TEDTalk, but I didn't know she also performed the art form that she covered for Broadway World. I was so excited that I began chatting with her about the Media Blitz we would give her show and what fun it would be to interview her when the time came. Well, the time didn't come, the lockdown did. Even in quarantine, Amy would email me with story ideas, and especially one that hit her really close to home - a story about the future of live theater, and what the theater meant to her.

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission

Amy was always very collaborative with her writing projects for Broadway World, wanting to discuss the trajectory and tone of each article, asking for editing advice and paragraph placement. She not only wanted to work together on her stories, she encouraged notes, restructuring and editing; that could be difficult, as an editor, because Amy was a published author with an audience, a fan base who wanted her voice in the stories she wrote. When we worked together on a story, my goal was to never remove the depth of emotion, the extemporaneous stream of consciousness vibe, nor the passionate intelligence that came with every Amy Oestreicher story - The Amy Oestreicher voice was something I was very proud was a part of the Broadway World family. I was really looking forward to seeing that energy, to hearing that voice, in full-force when her club act debuted at 54 Below: that will have to be a fantasy created in my mind.

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission

Since I didn't get to know Amy well enough to tell her personal story, I would like to direct readers to the Amy Oestreicher website HERE (look at everything, especially the paintings!) and to her Tedx Talks (below), as well as some tributes from friends taken from her Facebook page. I encourage people to visit her Broadway World Author page HERE so that they can read her bio and any of the articles and stories that she wrote for us. I am proud to have known her, even in a limited capacity, to have worked alongside her, and to have expressed, on more than one occasion, my genuine affection for her. All of the Broadway World family joins in the sorrow at the loss of her light, and hope her loved ones will find comfort.

Amy Oestreicher was living proof that, even though you may never meet someone face to face, they can still change your life.

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission

BWW Feature: Remembering Amy Oestreicher - A Woman of Substance and An Artist With A Mission


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