Every time I take a trip to New York I’m reminded why I love the city, Broadway and why it’s great to be a Broadway fan and BroadwayCon is the ultimate reminder of this. It’s a reminder of the expanse of the Broadway fan community. It brings the fans and the professionals together but at BroadwayCon, everyone is a fan. That’s one of the great things about Broadway. You know that everyone onstage is also a fan. So often when the stars are talking about BroadwayCon in interviews, they say how they wish there had been something like it when they were growing up. They understand where we (those of us attending BroadwayCon as fans) are coming from. On top of that, they all seem genuinely excited to be there.
It’s such an inspiring community to be a part of and witness. Hearing everyone at BroadwayCon speaking so passionately about everything, whatever their “thing” happened to be, made me so glad to be there and reminded me why I love that world. I left feeling inspired, which you can see has led to me posting on this blog five times this week!
One of the cool things about the Broadway (fan) community is that there are so many types of fans: actors, singers, dancers, technicians, designers, directors, writers, amateurs, professionals, students, teachers, kids, adults, play lovers, musical lovers, creators, observers, and just straight up fans. You could be any of these things or any combination of them or something else entirely (there are so many facets and elements that I can’t list them all). There is a place for all of it and everyone- just look at the variety of programming offered at BroadwayCon. You could be someone who know’s every show that’s played at every theatre, you could have stacks of Playbills, or you could have just seen your first show, or maybe you’ve never seen a Broadway show. It doesn’t matter. Other years at BroadwayCon they’ve embraced the line from West Side Story, “There’s a place for us” and that’s so true. It’s true about BroadwayCon and it’s true about the Broadway (fan) community. Broadway brings people together. Just look around BroadwayCon where you’re never far from a sing-a-long!
And there’s no denying the Broadway fan community is a vital part of the Broadway community as a whole. That’s one of the unique things about it. The audience (and therefore the fans) are an integral part of its existence. This is something else that came up multiple times when the stars were talking about why they love the theatre and Broadway. There’s a connection between the audience and the stage. You don’t really get that anywhere else!
Huge thank yous go to Melissa Anelli and Anthony Rapp for creating BroadwayCon in the first place and creating this wonderful place where we can gather (fans and professionals alike) to celebrate this things we love and publicly embrace our theatre geekiness! (And everyone else actually gets it!)
Every “fandom” has it’s own community but I think there’s something really special about the Broadway community, just look at the fact that Broadway itself is in New York but the fan base extends worldwide. Yes there is theatre around the world and Broadway shows make it outside of the city with tours and other productions but there’s nothing really like Broadway. Broadway is special. I’ve talked before about the drawbacks of this and it’s easy to focus on those (I know I do) but other times it’s nice to look at the positives and just enjoy being a fan!
Even outside of BroadwayCon, as I’m writing these blog posts this week and listening to SpongeBob and Once On This Island on repeat, I’m reminded of all the things I love about Broadway and theatre and being a Broadway fan. I love seeing show then going away and learning whatever I can about it, watching all of the YouTube videos, memorizing song lyrics and dancing around my apartment to my new favourite songs. When I went to the Drama Book Shop on this trip I wrote down the titles of the books I was interested in and I just got a bunch of them from the library here because I want to keep learning and I want to keep this Broadway mood going. I’m currently reading and really enjoying Bill Berloni’s book, Broadway Tails, having attended his panel at BroadwayCon. I’ve written before how I keep Broadway as a part of my life and just the fact that I am able to do so is a reason it’s great to be a Broadway fan. And I hope that with this blog I can continue to share my love of Broadway and the excitement that comes with being a fan, not just for those of you who read this but for myself as well!