In My Own Little Corner: A personal reflection before tomorrow’s Tony Awards

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Stage Door Dish is going to the Tony Awards.

Almost a week after receiving our confirmation email and days after picking up our official press passes, the fact that we will be on the red carpet still has not sunk in. The awards are an obscure thought that has not been fully realized in my mind yet. Last year I watched the awards on a friend’s television while I babysat her children. This year I’m going to have an opportunity to see some of the people who have impacted my life in huge ways. Perhaps even more baffling is that I will be on the red carpet representing something I created.

I never expected Stage Door Dish to become what it is today. My intent was to create a small blog that would feature some interviews, random thoughts about Broadway and my favorite performers, and occasionally I might host a giveaway or contest to draw in just a couple more readers. I remember the first few days of the site and being over the moon that I was receiving a couple hundred hits per day. I genuinely thought the site reached its peak when Celia and Andrew Keenan-Bolger tweeted the first story I ever wrote about them. However, in the almost six months since I created Stage Door Dish, I have watched this small idea blossom into a huge endeavor. I have been blessed to meet some of the greatest people in the world and people who I had on a pedestal are now friends.

When it comes down to it, I am a Broadway super fan and that is why the site’s motto of “bridging the gap” is successful. I relate to a fan’s perspective, I live and breathe for my favorite musicals and eagerly wait for news about the next show my favorite performers will be in. I almost always visit the stage door after seeing a show and I am always humming a showtune. (Right now there’s a weird mix of “Whatcha Gonna Do?” from Chaplin and “Two Kinsmen” from The Mystery of Drood.) I encourage my staff to bring their own passion into their writing. It’s my greatest hope that the articles on the site are accessible to both the fans who love Broadway and the stars we write about.

Every day is a new exciting adventure. Whether I’m chatting with a fellow Broadway fan about the shows and people they love most, discussing upcoming coverage with my staff or making a connection with someone I respect and admire so much, I am so grateful for the support and love the site has received. It humbles and surprises me when someone I meet says they are familiar with the site. What started as a little blog that was going to be a side project for whenever I had spare time or a thought but it has become my entire life. I have enormous pride in the site and I have a clearer vision for its future every day.

This website has completely changed my life. I have always been a girl with her head in the clouds when it came to my perfect vision for my future. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to make my mark in the entertainment industry. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it but I had faith that one day, if I worked hard enough, it might happen. And I’m not saying I have “made it” because there’s still so much mileage for the site to cover but now I have a clear vision for what I want from life. I have never been more exhausted since starting the site but I have also never been happier.

My stomach is in knots about the next 24 hours. Today I finally get to see Jennifer Damiano perform live. (Side note: I could go on for days about how the Next to Normal cast and crew have inspired me to become a theatre writer.) After seeing Venice, Claire and I are hopping over to the for the Tonys Eve Cocktail Party and we’re finishing the night by visiting the Cinderella stage door to wish them all the luck in the world at the Tonys. And then tomorrow I will be standing on the Tony Awards red carpet with my camera and two of my staffers who have been with me the longest.

It all feels so surreal and like a dream that I don’t want to wake up from. So, before I lose myself completely to the next magical 24 hours, I want to pause and say thank you to everyone who has shown support for my life’s most happy accident. This site is for its readers and the incredible people we write about. I’m so happy and grateful that so many special people, performers and fans alike, appreciate the work we do. Thank you for being part of this wild, crazy and spectacular journey with me.

About Samantha S.

"I found the theatre and I found my home.” ― Audra McDonald

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