Right before Broadway closed down on March 12th, “Un-Block the Music” had the great fortune be part of “Women’s Day On Broadway” (WomenOfBroadway.com) at the New Amsterdam Theater. The event, presented by Disney On Broadway, touted the success women have achieved in the theater community. I had conflicting emotions of hope and disappointment about women’s continued struggles in the still male dominated field of music. That led me to come up with a plan to do my part in highlighting amazing women in all jobs and all genres music. Read on.
When the Broadway conference ended, I met up with my daughter who said, “Why are you in a bad mood?” Admittedly, I was cranky. I just saw the most amazing array of women talking about their successes on Broadway, but then I heard the staggering statistic…92 percent of the Broadway shows were designed by men last year and only 5 percent of the shows had women composers. It’s disheartening, and the only way “Un-Block The Music” can help change things is to write about it, and highlight women who are aggressively moving things forward.
Tony winning director Diane Paulus (Pippin, Waitress) was the conference’s keynote speaker. She, of course, has done it her way. One quote from her speech that stuck with me was actually a quote from Abagail Adams who told her husband, President John Adams, “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.”
Until I started “Un-Block The Music” two years ago, much of my career was spent in recording studios. I was young and often one of the only, if not the only woman in the room. Without going into a lot of detail, it was not always easy. I worked for one guy totally obsessed with my panty hose and my hair. He didn’t care if I was a good writer, just cared what I looked like. Men often got the better story assignments just because they were men, but when they failed, the stories got tossed to me. One of my bosses, in particular, was an actor, not a journalist, and he supported a wife on his salary. I could barely support myself. However, I am not going to bash men, there have been several who have helped me. And, I am not going to whine. I am going to take my experience and my blog and highlight women of substance in all areas of music, composers, producers, music directors and anyone else I can find.
My goal is to run a story every Wednesday that is focused on women. I already have a few stories ready to go. Few people have been answering my calls or emails since this virus has quarantined us, but I am going to take the time to come up with a list of Women in Music I would like to interview. If you have any suggestions, message me! Let’s make Women’s Wednesdays happen!!!!