Hey everybody. This is Colin blogging again for the second time on this page for the Odyssey scholar program. I said in my last entry that I was going to start out the year with researching all the possible aspects of autism and the affects of the performing arts on those on the Spectrum to gain a complete understanding of it. However, because in the spring of 2016, I was given the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall, in New York City and I'd like to share what I learned there.
To make this experience more amazing than it already was, I was afforded another opportunity to meet, interview, and discuss my project with J. Casey Barrett, a member of the ensemble in the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon.
When I interviewed Casey, he and I discussed many things, but the first thing that we agreed upon was that theatre-and the arts in general-are greatly under appreciated and the exposure to them is vital to becoming a well rounded human being. The arts are very important to lifestyle and some people do not support the connection between education and the arts. I disagree profusely with this idea. As does Casey. We also talked about the differences between Broadway Theatre and local community theatre. The main difference is that Broadway theatre is, generally, corporate theatre and it is there to make money while local community theatre-which is generally on a much smaller scale-is there because the artists creating and bringing the shows to life are pouring their hearts and souls into the production for the sheer joy and love of the art.
We talked about many other things, but these were the two things that stood out to me at first thought. I was honored to be able to meet this wonderful actor who has "made it" and who has not let the thrill of Broadway go to his head. I was pleasently surprised when I found this out about Casey because my first thought -- before I met him -- was that he was going to be a stuck up actor who would not have any time for me whatsoever. Turns out, this wonderful Broadway actor, who I found out about through a local actor from Duke City Repertory Theatre named Ezra Colon (who I will blog about later) was a very kind, gentle, and honest man who was big hearted, yet small headed. He gave me loads of advice but, most importantly, in Casey's words, "make sure the small audience you are performing for is served and make sure you are doing it for an artist, creative reason." My time with Casey (as he's known) was an eye opening experience. I have loved to act for as long as I can remember but Casey put acting Into a real form for me.
I leave you with these words. . . . the words that I intend to live by:
"Make sure that your brain is being creatively enriched". J. Casey Barrett. April 30, 2017.
Thats all for now. Be sure to follow my blog these next two years!