We're All "That Kid" Tonight

Chris Peterson

  • OnStage Editor-in-Chief

Well tonight is the night. After months and months of guessing, discussion and debating, the Tonys are finally upon us. With all the story lines that will be talked about tonight, the biggest story line might not be discussed at all. And that's what the Tonys can actually do for young aspiring performers all over the country. 

A couple years ago, Neil Patrick Harris said it best. With lyrics written by Lin-Manuel Miranda himself, he said, 

“There’s a kid in the middle of nowhere who’s sitting there living for Tony performances. Singing and flipping along with the Pippins, and Wickeds, and Kinkys, Matildas, and Mormons's. So we might reassure that kid, and do something to spur that kid, ‘cause I promise you, all of us up here tonight, we were that kid.”

And he's absolutely right. I know that because I was that kid. For me the Tonys became an annual event in my house. I would record them on VHS and watch the tapes over and over again throughout the summer. The dream: To obviously be on that stage someday. 

I'm sure my dream has been shared with millions of others watching these telecasts. My best advice, go with it. Let that dream spur everything you do tonight going forward. If you have a friend who is mildly interested in theatre, force them to watch tonight's telecast with you. It might change their life for the better. 

The Tonys gave me direction when I had none. I liked theatre but I admit, I didn't love it. But watching the performances, acceptance speeches, afterwards I was hooked. Since then, everything I've done theatrically had been a step towards being there. And tonight, I'm covering the Tonys from the red carpet. 

I won't say that "if I can do it, you can do it". But I will say that if you work your tail off, don't give in to doubt, set lofty goals and then set even loftier ones, you'll get to where you want to go, one way or another. 

So enjoy tonight, it's going to be an amazing night. And who knows what tonight will inspire, but I'm sure it's going to be amazing.