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Who are people that mean the most to you in your life?

How did you meet them?***

***The answer to this might mean more than you think.

The Flowers I Met On My Detour

Since 2012, this picture has been taped to my fridge:

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Triad, NYC, October 2012

Who are these two guys and where did I find them?

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Jerold Goldstein, to my left.  My tough-love, hard-core musical theatre director when I was 13 years old, a family friend (well, basically just plain old family) since then, my parents rock and anchor when I was in a coma, and now, the director and raison d’etre of my one-woman musical, Gutless & Grateful.

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(He’s also the guy I talk about in Gutless & Grateful who had the nerve to bring my parents a dozen of bagels when I was starving and was still waiting six years to get a real digestive system…)

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To my right, Mr. William Finn.  My mentor from afar since the day I discovered his Tony-Award winning musical, Falsettos at 15 years old.

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I was obsessed with Mr. Finn’ eccentric lyric choices and infectious musical compositions, that I mailed him a 12-page analytical essay that touched on every note of his Broadway musical’s score.

A month later, Mr. William Finn himself called me while I was practicing ballet in my basement on a Saturday night.

(Yes, I was a pretty dorky 15-year-old.)

He said, “I don’t usually do this, but I was really touched by your letter.”

Musical Theatre Dorky Teen’s Dreams: MADE.

Then, my coma ensues and…well, you’ll have to see Gutless & Grateful to hear all the crazy details, but long story short, he came to my high school graduation, which happened to be held in the middle of the surgical ICU.

I’ll share a little excerpt from my upcoming book, My Beautiful Detour:

“So here I was receiving my high school diploma in the middle of the ICU, and in attendance were my parents, my headmaster, my six best friends, and William Finn.”

And as if this wasn’t full circle enough, he showed up at the premiere of my one-woman musical, Gutless and Grateful at the TRIAD Theatre in October 2012.

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After seeing it, he was so impressed that he asked me to perform my show as part of his “Mr. Finn’s Cabaret Series” at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA the next year.

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And of course…Jerold was there too!

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Couldn’t do it without him!

A Very Musical Detour

Let’s just say, that as a 15-year old Broadway-Obsessed Theatre Ham – (a “BOTH?”) this was never the way I would have anticipated meeting the mentor of my musical dreams!

When life takes an unexpected detour...

Detours were also the subject of my TEDx Talk!

But that’s the nature of a detour, right?

Life never goes as we expect, but we CAN expect lots of unexpected paths and detours.  It’s the twists, turns and difficulties in your path that can transform you and your journey.  Those fears, hardships and detours are what makes you human and…YOU.

More importantly, those detours can bring amazing people into your life…

Without this detour in my life, I’d be missing the precious relationships that have made me who I am:

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See Jerold over there? We all Love Our Detours!!! Get involved with #LoveMyDetour here!

  1. Jerold and I would not be working together on a musical about a near-death crisis that he watched me and my family go through.

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2. I never would have met Detourists from all over who have reached out to share their stories with me (you can too!)

If life's taken you down an unexpected path, you're a Detourist

3. And I am pretty sure that Mr. Bill Finn wouldn’t have such a compelling reason to go to my high school graduation.

And another “Flower” from My Detour…Mr. Broadway Himself!

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4. And bonus person, for all of you musical theatre fans – I definitely would not have met my musical theatre obsession/crush, the amazing Seth Rudetsky, or get to perform a song by Mr. Finn himself and chat about the crazy journey that this detour has led me on.

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(It’s a pretty funny interview – listen to Seth Speaks here!)

Recounting this whole crazy ride to Seth on a Broadway Sirius Radio Channel I’ve idolized as a musical theatre dork made me stop in my tracks, take a deep breath, and exhale a major sigh of gratitude.

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The Unexpected Road…Is Quite Musical

This wasn’t a road I expected...and I’m still pissed I never got to play Eponine in Les Miserables on Broadway… (Never say never…?  Hey any casting agents reading my blog…)

…But I’m here, and stomach or not, I’m still singing about it.  (Still holding out for Les Miz though.)

The Power of Sharing Our Detours

That’s why we share our stories.  We share our “detours” instead of running from them.  We share to cheer each other on in our journeys. We share to encourage our fellow Detourists to reach that beautiful clearing – perhaps a different one than they planned for themselves, but perhaps an even more beautiful sight to see.

What The Flowers On Our Detour Teacher Us

We meet all different types of flowers on our detours.  Some…aren’t so nice.

But there are four different kinds of beautiful flowers I’ve met along the way.

1.) The familiar flower that takes on a new role in your life. (Jerold)

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2.)The quirky flower you admire from afar but never expect to get as close to. (Bill Finn)

3.) The flower you discover in person unexpectedly and with much giddy joy. (Seth Rudetsky)

4.) And…the flower that steals your heart. (My husband, of course!)

Which ones have you met?

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So, thanks Bill Finn.  You showed me that with some humor, determination and a good old musical theatre vamp, anything is possible!!!

BONUS CLIP!

Here’s the story of how I met Bill Finn, in my show, Gutless & Grateful…and the sound cues didn’t work…fake it till ya make it 🙂

 

(On a side note, the opening number of his Tony-Award Winning Musical Falsettos is a hilarious upbeat number: “Four Jews in a Room Bitching.”  That title pretty much sums up what my family must have been like all living together in the ICU while I was in a coma for months…but that’s another story.)

(Actually – it’s the story of my new full-length drama, IMPRINTS!)

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Okay, but that’s really another – Huffington Post – story.)

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Read the article here.

Who are your flowers?

Today, think about any “detour” in your life.  Think of ONE person that you met, just because of that detour.

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Today, thank that person, who you never would have met, had your path been straightforward and simple.

Thank them. They are the flower on your detour.

Sign up for more ways to find the “flowers” on your detour…

Freebies

Bonus Section for Theatre Geeks Like Me:

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See where I’m performing GUTLESS AND GRATEFUL NEXT!

 

 

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