Once before I go: A farewell from Editor Erin James

Today marks the end of my time as Editor in Chief of AussieTheatre.com after nearly 9 years at the helm of the company. Brimming with emotion doesn’t even begin to describe my current state: just ask the ice cream container I’ve been delicately weeping into – She Loves Me style – for the past hour.

Editor Erin James. Image by Blueprint Studios
Outgoing AussieTheare.com Editor, Erin James. Image taken early in her tenure by Kurt Sneddon

Despite knowing it was an inevitability, I’ve delayed writing this piece for months, because letting go of AussieTheatre.com – the business which has shaped the past 12 years of my life – and coming to terms with how it would feel to say goodbye to it seemed like something Future Erin would deal with much better than Present Erin. Procrastination at its finest: my specialty when it comes to doing something for myself.

You see, even today, when I should have been spending the waking hours writing a piece from my heart, I spent the time formatting, editing, culling images, promoting and answering questions for others. But I’m not mad or disappointed about it – it’s actually the reason I loved working on the website for so long. In fact, it’s right on-brand for me. Since I was young, I have always said that as long as I have a voice, I want to use it to help people. So, in helping to cultivate opportunities, introductions, connections and curating the melting pot of knowledge amassed on this site in pixel ink, I hope I have achieved that in some small way during my tenure as Editor of AussieTheatre.com.

Before I go any further, it would be remiss of me not to thank all of the people who have assisted me during this crazy journey: My parents, who have watched me forgo social events, dinners, breakfasts and afternoon family time to stay home and write, edit, interview, transcribe and publish; My husband Matt, who has tried desperately to keep me on task since the birth of our son 3 years ago and who has ended up running the business almost singlehandedly this year; My brother Rowan, who has penned countless pieces over the years, and my entire family, for being so understanding and generous.

To all of the publicists, producers, artists, marketing managers, theatre managers, performers, contributors, coordinators, team members, columnists, digital strategists, videographers, photographers and long term writers I worked with in my capacity as Editor – thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have learned so much from every interaction and I will take it all with me into the next chapter.

Erin James and Matt Edwards farewell AussieTheatre.com in October 2019.

To all of my AussieTheatre.com team over the years (you know who you are) thank you for everything you did to help make this little theatre website a hub for artists and the arts. Thank you for the emails, the draft reviews, the opinion pieces, the time sensitive announcements, the photos, the red carpet specials, the live tweeting sessions, the instagram takeovers. Thank you for changing with us (and the ever-changing internet) embracing new procedures, running with new technology and taking it all in your stride.  Special mention to Cassie Tongue and Anne-Marie Peard whose passion and dedication to theatrical criticism, critique and development was unparalleled and who looked after the site when we were indisposed.

I don’t know if I can pinpoint a favourite event or a specific moment which stands out as my “most memorable”, but all of the important milestones feature Matt and I, working side by side with a joint interest, passion, love and intensity which balanced out all of the crazy. As I write these words it dawns on me that this is what I’m most thankful for: the opportunity to work next to the man I love, on a project we were passionate about, in the industry that we adore.

From now, Peter J Snee and Sean McLoughlin will be steering the ship, but Matt and I aren’t saying goodbye – not really. We are part of the history of this website and we will always be. This industry is in our blood (even our 3 year old seems at home on a stage!) and we aren’t disconnecting from it. We are simply shifting our focus.

If you need to contact either Matt or myself, you can do so through via the Australian Musical Theatre Database (amtdb.com.au) or on our dedicated AMTDB email addresses ([email protected] and [email protected]), as we begin to build this resource further. We have other projects on the go, including another small human due in January, which need a focus and attention that simply isn’t possible while maintaining the beast that is AussieTheatre.com.

In true musical theatre fashion, I could quote a host of lyrics about my current #mood (much of my random general knowledge comes from my knowledge of the world via musicals and there really is a showtune for every occasion). But I’d be here all night.

So instead, I’ll leave you with the indomitable words of Peter Allen and Dean Pitchford

Once before I go
I want you to know
That I would do it all again
I’m sure we’d make the same mistakes
But we could make it
Through the pains and joys and aches
We knew back then
I would do it all, I’d do it all again

It’s been a blast, AussieTheatre.com. Thank you for everything.

Until next time,

Erin James


Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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