I started writing plays in Middle School and then "encouraged" my classmates to perform them during lunch period. I was voted the next "Ron Howard" of my senior class.
I am unable to discount any of that period, because I learned so much. When you have to write and produce, I believe you learn a lot about how words look on the page versus how they are "heard."
I didn't realize it, but I was actually was following a similar "curriculum" that Oscar Hammerstein III put Stephen Sondheim through without knowing...
I continued to write plays and musicals through High School and while in the US Navy.
Then, life got complicated. I was told writing for the stage was a dying art - and I believed them when I got to see Times Square which was all porn theaters at the time.
There wasn't a curriculum for writing theatre - you just moved to New York and did it hoping you'd get the chance to see your show on stage. It's almost the same now, except colleges offer courses for "musical writing" and organizations offer writing workshops.
And there's always the internet.
I was forced to start a career, which fortunately allowed me time to participate in local theater - which I did. In fact, I may have put more hours in with the theater than my job and learned pretty nearly everything there is to know about producing theater.
Now, 25 years later, I've quit my job, packed up and moved from Columbus Ohio to Orlando Florida and scored a work from home, writing job. I'm writing daily which affords me a lot of time to work on my personal writing as well.
Yet, almost weekly, someone says "You're kinda late to the game of writing for the stage aren't you?"
Well no, not really - I never stopped writing, it just slowed down at various times...
I think what they mean is that I'm late to writing "professionally."
I disagree with that too.
Yes, I've missed all the "youth" writing contests and opportunities - and unless I haven't see or heard of it, they don't usually offer many opportunities for "Old voices"...
But I'm not going to be happy with myself if I don't try.
And with the ease of getting your work out there via internet, social media and youtube, maybe it's easier today than it was during the golden age of musicals.
I've met quite a few of you in the same boat - too old to participate in "new voice" contests and not old enough to have several professional productions under your belt. We're just hobby writers aspiring to do more...
So I thought why not document my journey in the writing industry and maybe it will help someone else too. Along the way, I'll write about tips, tricks and how-tos that help me with my writing.
Who knows, maybe there will be a nugget of gold in there for you too!
Alan Saunders, WRITEineer.com
Friends told me I was late to the game for writing musicals, even though I've been writing them almost my entire life. so this blog is my journey into writing professionally for the stage.
Check out WRITEineer.com for how-to articles and resources for writing your own musical for the stage!