The best reason why you should be really, really busy.

When people ask how you are in this biz, you’d think the normal answer would be “Good,” or “Fine.” (Side note:  try saying “Great” when people ask you how you are…you end up feeling what you say you’re feeling.)

But instead, the stock answer to “How are you,” tends to be, “Well. I’m really busy.”

Funny, since that isn’t even what you’re being asked.

I try not to say I’m busy anymore.  It’s become a cliche.  And frankly, you know who’s busy?  This leading cancer researcher.  Or the single mother of three who has three jobs (and is wondering what’s going to happen with healthcare).

Those folks are busy.  The rest of us just have a lot to do, that we choose to do.

Honestly, I like it that way.

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a bit, then you know I am constantly adding stuff to my to-do list.  Why?  Ok, I admit, I’ve got a little Entrepreneurial ADD at times, which can be an asset as well as a liability (sometimes I need to focus on one thing to get the most from it before moving on to the next).

But in addition to wanting to do a lot of different things in a lot of different areas, there’s a much bigger and better reason for doing a lot of stuff and being the “B” word.

In a business like ours, things go awry on projects all the time.  Someone drops out.  A theater isn’t available.  A director IS available…and your star isn’t.  It snows on your opening weekend.  Your shows fail more often than they succeed.  A reviewer doesn’t like your show…or worse…doesn’t show up.

There are more bumps in the road in the theater than there are bumps on that metaphorical log.

But here’s the fun part, and why I rack and stack my projects like canned corn in a bomb shelter…when something does go wrong, and you’ve got other things to do, there’s no time to dwell on it.

When I was starting out, and only working on one show, I thought my whole life was that show.  And if one thing went wrong (and a billion things went wrong every other day), I thought that my whole life was over.  I obsessed, second guessed, and got depressed.


Who has time for that? My other babies need my attention.

So my advice to you…do lots of stuff.  You’ll up your chances for success just based on the numbers, and you won’t waste energy on something that you can’t change.

Keep busy.  Just don’t tell people you are.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.