The Race

On Your Marks...

No matter what type of person you are on this theatrical journey, you will inevitably feel at some stage that you’re losing the race.
What race?

The race to “make it”. The race to succeed. The race to become known and acknowledged for the talents you have. It’s the one that you suddenly feel caught up in when you take the metaphorical look around and see all of the other people who are doing the same thing as you, all clamouring for that shot at the big league. You see the other singers, actors, dancers, writers, composers, lyricists, choreographers, directors, and so on and so forth. Your “competition”. They see you. The race is on.

Recently, I’ve been feeling like I’m in a race too. I’m a musical theatre composer. I’m trying to get what I do out into the big wide world any way I can. But I also see other composers who are in New York, or Edinburgh, or Sydney, and are pushing their way through the dreck to be heard. I get frustrated with myself. I get anxious. I get worried. I start to panic – am I really so far behind in the “race”? Am I missing my moment to push to the front? Where the hell am I in this race anyway?

But here’s the thing: there isn’t actually a race at all. Oh sure, there will be times when you’ll literally be competing against someone else for a role or a job. That’s the industry and that’s life. But I’ve come to realise recently that the race is really against yourself. Even though you sometimes feel like everyone is pulling away from you in the race to be first, fear not – because your creative path is different to others, and your race is for you, and only you.

See, you are unique. One of a kind. And your point of view on things is completely exclusive to you. Someone may have already written a play that has a similar topic to yours, but that doesn’t mean that your work is null and void. On the contrary, it may make it even more relevant. How many romantic comedy movies are there in the world? Yet, they sell. We all know the outcome, but it’s how the writer gets us there that counts. It’s the writer’s unique take on the situation that makes us want to watch.

There is a role for every actor, a song for every singer, a story for every writer, and a melody for every composer. The moment you place your own experience into it is the moment you have won your race. Some of us may never be recognised for all that we do, and some of us will. But at the end of your days, if you can say you gave it all you had, then there can be no regrets. Celebrate the successes that you have.  Build on them.  But never feel like there is a race.

It all comes down to one of my favorite quotes of all time. It’s from a 1984 sci-fi film called The Last Starfighter, and it goes like this:

“You’ll get your chance. Important thing is, when it comes, you’ve got to grab with both hands, and hold on tight.”

The key to running and winning your own race? Be ready to take every chance that is presented to you, and go with it. You never know where it will lead you.

Until next time,

Blog ya later!


Drew Lane

Andrew “Drew” Lane was born in Melbourne, and began playing piano at the age of four. At age 15, he began to write his own material, and was also introduced to musical theatre via shows such as Starlight Express, Les Miserables and Time. From that moment on, Drew was actively involved in musical theatre at a rehearsal pianist, musical director, or on stage performer. In 1992, Drew composed his first musical for high school, Back Streets, and in 1994, Drew was accepted into the Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts, where he honed his skills, not only as a composer, but also as a performer. Gaining valuable experience on stage and behind the scenes helped him to realise his next musical, Atlantis. A workshop production was staged for the Ballarat Opera Festival in 1996 and gained rave reviews. In the following years, Drew took up teaching but was also able to regularly composer and stage his own productions including Eva’s Wish (1997, Anacortes, WA, USA), Revelations (1998, Touring, Victoria, Australia), and Toys (1999, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia). In 2010, Drew's musical Marking Life was chosen to be part of the Festival of Broadway, hosted by the University of Tasmania, and was performed for Steven Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin). A prolific composer, Drew hopes to be able to take his musicals to Off-Broadway or the West End, and believes that his best writing is yet to come. He is presently completing his Master’s degree in Performing Arts, and has several new musicals presently in development. Drew is proud to be a regular contributor to and looks forward to hearing from all of his readers!

Drew Lane

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