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BWW Blog: In My Own Little Corner - Creating A Workspace

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It’s important to give yourself the right environment to practice self care.

BWW Blog: In My Own Little Corner - Creating A Workspace

Hey BroadwayWorld! My name is Michael Scuotto, and I'm new to this whole blogging thing. I'm currently a sophomore studying theatre, music, and literature at Sarah Lawrence College. Primarily, I'm a musical theatre writer, but I occasionally detour into playwriting and performance, both of which I love dearly. Most of the time, you can find me overanalyzing Stephen Sondheim's shows, or fleshing out ideas for original musicals without actually writing them. I'm thrilled about this student blogger position, and I hope a few of you out there are willing to stick around and hear my (occasionally funny, always existential) thoughts.

Last semester, professors and students at my school had very little time to adjust to online learning. This drastically altered a lot of college courses, especially pertaining to theatre. As a result, I (and many others) were reduced to doing online college courses out of our childhood bedrooms. This was less than ideal, to say the least. For some of us, this situation made us feel like we were in high school again. And I think I speak on behalf of the class of 2023 when I say that many of us had only just adjusted to the independence of being away at school. I knew that doing school out of my bedroom wasn't going to work for me. It had just barely gotten me through high school, and after only a few weeks, it was proving difficult. The solution? This summer, my Mom and I took on a project. I decided that I needed to create a new workspace for myself. At the time, there was nothing occupying our basement except a bunch of useless junk. Since we had to clear it out anyway, my mom and I spent the summer making way for me to create a college dorm room in my basement.

My main priority was that I wanted to separate my bed and my desk. The main problem with my old bedroom was that I could never really get into 'work mode'. My bed and my desk were right next to each other, and there wasn't room for much else. My solution was to place my desk at one end of the room, and my bed at the other, creating a division between where I work, and where I 'live'. I needed to allow myself distance from my workspace at the end of the day. I didn't want to roll out of bed and right over to my desk. I wanted to have space to wake up, make a cup of coffee, and then arrive at my desk to start a day of work. You know, like a normal person. With this setup, I can lay in bed at night watching Netflix without feeling bad that I'm not churning out papers or reading next week's assignments ASAP. For me, it's important to create a distance between my work and my life so that I don't become too overwhelmed by one or the other.

Right next to my desk, is my keyboard. So now this corner of the room really feels like a creative and productive environment. But the crowning jewel of my workspace is a big whiteboard. I use this to outline all of my projects. Names of individual songs or scenes are written on index cards that I stick to the board. It's a very kinesthetic writing style that helps me structure the big picture before I get down to the nuts and bolts. Also, fans of Smash may realize that I stole this idea directly out of Julia Houston and Tom Levitt's playbook. They completely saved my writing style.

I hope you've enjoyed this virtual tour of my writing space. I know that not everyone has unused basements they can convert. But if you haven't already, I highly encourage everyone reading this to take a look at how their workspace is laid out. It's important to give yourself the right environment to practice self care. I'm no guru on the matter, but shaping my space to fit my needs has helped me immensely. Wherever you're operating out of, be sure to do everything you can to optimize it for your own needs. Whatever that looks like for you, you'll be glad you did it. Sometimes a little push helps.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I'll see you guys again soon!

Sincerely, Me

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