The One Where Patti Takes On the Chat Boards

Warning: The following blog post is going to make me either incredibly popular in the theatre community or incredibly unpopular in the theatre community.

As an actor, and as a human person, I’ve always cared about what others think. Whether it was that mean girl in fifth grade who made fun of my glasses, or the boys who teased me about my braces, or the popular girl in junior high who pointed out that I wasn’t wearing the right brand of jeans, I cared deeply. And so on and so forth, until I found myself in a career where it legit revolves around what other people think. Am I good enough, am I pretty enough, am I friendly enough, etc. We get reviews written about us, which other people are allowed to, and overwhelmingly encouraged to, read when they are delivered to their inbox or front doorstep. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of people pay cash money to come sit in a dark room and watch us work. This is what we do and we love it.

Just two days ago, I was in the middle of rehearsing for a really fantastic new Broadway musical called “Nerds” when we got shut down because our financing fell through. Literally, we were singing the lyric, “Live your dream” when our producer walked in the room. You just can’t make this stuff up. We are devastated, we are in varying states of shock, we are angry. But most importantly, we laughed as we sobbed and decided to perform our show one time for family, friends and the designers who worked their asses off for this show. Because as angry as we are, we choose love.

The immediate outpouring of support and love from our fellow theatre nerds and friends and families and fans was outstanding, overwhelming, and breathtaking. A devastating moment in all of our lives was wrapped in waves and waves of positive energy and text messages and emails and pizza and a CRAP TON of booze. I found myself at home, with beautiful fresh roses from my husband (who was out of town) blooming on the table, sitting with 4 of my girlfriends who had dropped everything to feed me, bring me cookies and wine, listen and let me cry. It’s hard to sink too low when you have that kind of beauty in your life.

And that’s awesome! So why are some people going to hate me, you ask? Because there’s also an annoying, petty, gossipy, catty side to our business that seems to creep up over and over again. For all of you non-theatre peeps, there are various websites dedicated to theatre and Broadway. Playbill is one, as well as Theater Mania, Broadway.com, and Broadway World. They are all wonderful in their individual ways, and over the years I have been able to count many of their journalists and photographers as friends. They give us love, we give them love, they report the news, write professional reviews, take great pictures, and it’s all done with mutual respect and understanding.

And then there’s the Chat Board.

Over on Broadway World, there is a whole section of the site dedicated to “Chat Boards,” where fans and theatergoers and heck, even producers masquerading as Muggles can write whatever they want about theatre. There are plenty of genuine people who truly want to discuss and debate their opinions, connect with other theatre fans, and to listen to what others have to say and respond in a mature and educated manner. These people use the chat boards to learn and spread positivity. If you are one of those people, I adore you!

But then there’s also a nasty faction of “fans” who take our hard work and turn it into gossip, and pissing contests over who can come up with the snarkiest insult or meme or GIF, and bragging rights over who is the most insider-y when it comes to Broadway and theatre secrets. It’s snarky. And you know, I like some light snark. But it’s nasty snark. Immature and uninformed people are hiding behind screen names and posting incorrect information, passing on rumors as facts, and just generally being dicks. To each other, and to us.

“So don’t read them, Patti!” That’s the obvious answer, right? And you know what, I actually try not to. I found an awesome website that taught me how to block specific websites, and if I REAAALLLLY want to look, I have to go through the whole process of unlocking it. It’s like having to take a Breathalyzer before you text your ex. But every time I go to Broadway World, they’re there, just staring me in the face. And sometimes the temptation is just too great. They’re the 3rd column on the top, beating out other categories, such as “Jobs” and “Students.” Only “Sections” and “Shows” are more important. I have many friends who have gotten upset over things that are said on them. I’ve had to explain to my parents multiple times that the people posting on them most likely do not know what they are talking about. Even if I don’t personally read them, they are ever present.

So I’m going to do the only thing I know how, and I’m going to write about it. I took some time this morning, and I searched those goddamn boards for any mentions of Nerds, or of me. And now I’m going to respond to some of them. And then I’m going to ask Broadway World to shut them down. Because this is just a teeny tiny blip in the chat board map, but I think it will give you a pretty great idea of how bad it gets.

First, there was this exchange when our show got announced:

the guy who wrote the music for this show is an executive at Jujamcyn. is the longacre a Jujamcyn theater? if so, then that’s how they got it. even with such a terrible show like this. -JM 226 1/14/16

The Longacre is a Shubert house. -(screen name withheld)  1/14/16

why wouldnt his own employer find a theater for his show -JM226 1/14/16

They’re referring to Hal Goldberg, our brilliant composer who happens to work for the Jujamcyn organization. This theatre fan knows sooooo much about how Broadway shows actually come to fruition, that he/she assumed that all you have to do is work for a theatre company. Geez, if I had known that, I would have gotten a front office job years ago.

Then there was this gem:

How lucky we are to be alive right now to decide between seeing Disaster or Nerds on Broadway. What a vibrant era of artistry in which we live. -BroadwayConcierge 2/11/16

I’m guessing that’s sarcasm? And also, please note the requisite Hamilton reference.

This one popped up in a thread about the first preview being delayed by one day:

Wow, this news should be shocking to no one. This show is already a mess. Maybe it’s a simple score with simple script and staging, hence they only need 5 weeks of rehearsal.     -Gypsy101 2/12/16

Okay, so here’s some guy, who maybe saw the show in Philadelphia a few years back, or North Carolina, or the NYMF show about 10 years ago. But said guy has not seen a single moment, script page, or photograph from the current production. Also he posted this 10 days before we started rehearsals. So…..yeah. Obviously an informed and highly researched opinion.

Then we have this, which was posted before our cast was announced:

LightsOut90 said: “(Name withheld) is apparently reprising his role from the 2013 production.

I hope he’s not playing either Jobs or Gates because neither of them are mentally retarded. -ClydeBarrow 2/19/16

WOW. Wow. This is offensive for more than a million reasons. As I’m typing this my foster puppy is crying in his sleep, and I’m pretty sure it’s because this upsets him as much as it upsets me. So not only does this guy insult an actor in the most degrading, cruel way, but he disgustingly insults an entire population of people, the vast majority of which have nothing to do with this show. Ironically, ClydeBarrow lists me as one of his favorite performers. I’m flattered, and I thank you, but what I would really like is for you to be a better person.

These next few are some of my favorites! On the day the cast was announced:

I feel bad that such people like Patti, Lindsay, and Rory are attached to this. They’re all so talented and they can’t find better work? -neonlightsxo 2/22/16

It’s all about paying the bills, people. It’s a very, very short list of Broadway performers who are in a position to turn down a show of a quality they consider too low. Pretty interesting, even maybe great cast—even though this won’t be anything but a flop.             -BroadwayConcierge 2/22/16

Thank you so much for being so concerned about us and our careers. But did you ever stop to consider that the show is…wait for it….good? And that we couldn’t find better work because we jumped at the chance to do this because we loved it? And that our director, Casey Hushion, is maybe one of the most genius women to ever cross through the land of Musical Theatre? And that we would have given our left thumb to work with her? And that all of us in that cast had multiple projects on the horizon that we turned down or backed out of because this opportunity was truly incredible? And last but not least, consider this: Maybe we are REALLY GOOD at making decisions for ourselves and we don’t just work to be working, even if it’s scary to say no to something. If that was the case, we would all be working on shows every single day of the year. But we wait until the good things come around, the things that make sense for our families and careers and personal lives. And this, neonlightsxo, was a really, really good thing.

And then there’s this guy in a thread about the Tonys:

I WANT LINDSAY MENDEZ TO WIN! oh wait… too late. -Call_me_jorge 3/9/16

Okay, so you’re just a dick.

Now we got some truly loving support from Lesli Margherita, who tweeted the following:

Takes millions ($ and peeps) 2 put up a Bway show & when it doesn’t work it’s💔so think before u write assy stuff on a blog/hell board

Now I have never met Lesli, but I adore her from a distance for her insane talent and take no shit attitude. She’s beloved in the theatre community for her sharp hilarity and her big heart, and this tweet makes me even more obsessed with her. One of the responses to this tweet on the BWW message board is the following:

Lesli Margherita calling this message board a “hell board” is kind of rude. People say nice stuff about her all the time on here. -gypsy101 3/8/16

And we are back to our friend Gypsy101! So because people say nice stuff about Lesli, she doesn’t get to dislike the board? Even if posters are slaying her friends and shows left and right? She’s not allowed an opinion because people say she has a great voice, which I’m fairly certain she’s very confident in already, thank you very much?

And, there was one thing that kind of bugged me about Lesli’s tweet. I understand that no one likes it when people talk about them or what they do etc in a negative light. However, I’ve felt that if you’re in a profession where you’re opening yourself up to the public, comments, good bad and otherwise will occur. It happens in sports, TV/film politics and music etc. What makes Broadway any different? I get it, there are things that people shouldn’t say or things that get too out of hand in terms of commenting etc. But, it is going to happen. -Islander_fan 3/9/16

So because people are legally allowed to say shitty things about anyone and anything they want, you want to be an asshole too?

I love Broadway World. I have been writing recaps and blogs and features for them for the past few years, and I’ve made a few very good friends who work for them. I think they do a fantastic job of promoting theatre in new, exciting and creative ways. I will always say yes to interviews, article requests, etc from them. There is no denying that they are a major force in the Internet/Broadway connection.

But for these boards to exist on a website like BWW, one that is all about the joy and love and passion and artistry of theatre, is a direct contradiction of everything they stand for. They love and support actors and directors and creators and designers and dressers and  box office staff and ushers and the awesome people who stand in Times Square when it’s 20 degrees outside passing out flyers for shows. So I want to know why they would willingly cultivate a cesspool of ignorance and negativity? Many of these posters are mean to us, and they are just as mean to each other. I’m sure the traffic flow has something to do with it, as this is quite a popular destination, but is it enough?

I am officially asking you, Broadway World, to take down your chat boards. Create a whole new website for them that has nothing to do with the incredible content you generate. But placing that negative bullshit next to a joyous article about a Broadway show opening does not make any sense to me. To be clear, I’m not asking for them to be shut down forever. Everyone is entitled to express their opinions as loudly as they want, just like I am right now. But they should be their own entity entirely, because much of the time, they are not in the spirit of creating, and cultivating art, and supporting people who are taking real risks to do what they love.

To all of you who I have quoted, or who just want to say hello, please introduce yourself to me. I’m on Twitter. I’m on Facebook. I would love to know who you are and see your faces so I can remind myself that you are also an actual human and not just an angry, nasty Gollum who finds sick joy in other people’s failure (cause that’s kinda how I picture you). We make ourselves vulnerable every single night on these stages, and now I’m asking that you make yourself vulnerable as well.

One last random chat board gem, in reference to the high note Glinda sings at the end of “Thank Goodness” in Wicked:

CATSNYrevival said: “Don’t they just have someone off stage singing her high note at the end of “Thank Goodness?”

No. Most Glindas can hit it with the exception of a few. (Name withheld), (Name withheld) and Patti Murin couldn’t hit it and usually a Glinda understudy that is onstage in her own track sings it instead. -mailhandler777 8/29/15

Mailhandler777, I don’t know where you get your bunk ass information from, because I sang the shit out of that high C, as well as every other note in that show. So SUCK IT, and go handle your mail elsewhere.

UPDATE: Robert Diamond, the founder and creator of BroadwayWorld, reached out to me within a half hour of this posting. He was immediately open to a dialogue that can lead to change for the better (sorry, I couldn’t help it), and rolled out a new feature, a “report to mods” button that exists on each individual post. It’s been in development for a while now, and Robert rushed it through to show how serious he is about improving the boards. We have a lunch meeting this weekend, where we will collaborate and most likely hug, and see where this goes. Thank you, Robert, for being so understanding and caring about this entire community.

UPDATE: I changed some wording after realizing that I made it sound like I don’t read the boards at all. I do at times, whether it is pure curiosity, or because it does provide information. I apologize for that miscommunication, which was entirely my fault. 

CdDKAXIWAAA4waT

128 thoughts on “The One Where Patti Takes On the Chat Boards

  1. Patti,
    Thanks for writing this amazing article. I was so looking forward to working on NERDS. I think I speak for the entire technical crew when I say that as we load the last trucks over here at the Longacre, we are truly devastated.
    The chat boards have bothered me since I started in this business. What kind of people take delight in posting personal attacks anonymously and kicking people when they are down? Cowards! These toxic chat boards belong on dedicated websites and I wholeheartedly agree with your plea to BWW to remove them from their main site.
    See you on the next show!
    NB

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patti, we haven’t met (and we have so many friends in common, including many in Nerds), but I am a BIG FAN of yours now. THANK YOU for saying what we are all thinking. The hate (anonymous or otherwise) has no place at BWW or anywhere. I’m so sorry about Nerds. I, for one, was hearing NOTHING but great buzz about it. Devastating. You all have so many of us in the community sending you all nothing but love and support. xo Annbritt duChateau

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice. Tell it like it is. I’m really sorry to hear about Nerds. I was really looking forward to seeing it. Some people are stupid and just don’t even understand that they are saying hurtful things on forums. They can be educated. The trolls, however, that just want to spread negativity cannot be helped. They’re everywhere on forums, social media, and in real life. I’m sorry that you have to read some of that stupidity.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this wonderful post, Patti. As someone who had been a member of BWW for a few years now, I can tell you it can be brutal. A small number of posters are verbally abusive, horrifying assholes who stalk, harass, insult, and wish death upon other posters who dare disagree with them. I had to quit the boards because of the horrible private messages I would get and the constant harassment from insecure assholes who felt so bad and insecure about themselves, they had to take it out on strangers on the internet. I realized I didn’t need any of the negativity. I hope BWW listens to you, and I hope more users are banned from the site. Thank you for shedding light on this. You and your husband are both amazing performers, and more importantly, seem like amazing people.

    Best,
    Rose

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You go Patti!!! I’ve been a huge fan since seeing you in Lysistrata Jones and was so looking forward to Nerds!! You’re a class act, and I’m sending you all the positive vibes during this disappointing time!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the post. But unfortunately for BWW (and Back Stage) chat boards draw traffic and revenue. Back Stage is the worse of the offenders with the encouraging of negativity with ‘The Bitching Post.’ Answers for Actors will soon go live with a post though about how to track down the people behind the anonymous screen names.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Track them down and…do what exactly? I’d like to know, Paul. The mindset espoused by this post and these alleged means to “unmask” posters seem perilously close to condoning actions that could potentially open the door to ACTUAL threatening behavior.

      You all chose to lead public lives.

      Like

      • Majorly inappropriate, Paul. You have a history of making emails too public, exposing people’s names, etc. I think you need to tread very carefully with this sort of behavior.

        Like

  7. Brava! And as someone who has been lambasted on those boards more than once (as a fan of several shows), I whole heartedly agree that they belong elsewhere. We asked BWW to remove references to me & my friends b/c, as fans, we felt we were being bullied and yet nothing was done. If you can get something done, I applaud you! (Well, I applaud you anyway!) xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Also, I send you good vibes and hope you are doing okay! Must have been so upsetting. People don’t realize the connection you get to a piece when you work on it with such talent and emotion.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You shouldn’t really let them get to you.. They will be negative as they are just not successful broadway performers, and most of them probably wanted to be. You are so freaking talented as you need to be to even be considered for a broadway show, and you’ve entertained us. Thanks for a shining a light on them though, and making them feel for the first time that they are going to have repercussions for their hate.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. PATTI.

    This is brilliant.

    I created a website called thewriteteachers.com to cultivate positive information and conversation about all of the arts, (not just theatre), a positive antidote to those who just wish to spew falsehoods and negativity at a desperate attempt to seek some sort of fame.

    If you ever want a column on thewriteteachers.com – it’s all yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I say that unless one walks in your shoes they should monitor their toxic commentary. You all have basically walked through fire to pursue your craft, whatever you get paid its’s probably not enough. Sorry your show didn’t get to fly, and hope you get another gig soon. For all us nerds☺️.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nice job Patti. It seems there are a number of regulars on the BWW chat board that just like to make sexual innuendos, bully other posters, or denigrate certain composers, performers and shows, ad nauseam. I don’t post much anymore, and when I see certain persons have started threads, I don’t read them. Just a waste of time. If the board is going to continue, I think it should be stripped of anonymity. If you can’t say something using your real name, then you shouldn’t say it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A friend sent this to me. We recently had a discussion about the overwhelming negativity on a number of different online forums, and I specifically brought up BWW.

    Bad people have always existed saying horrible things about topics they know nothing about throughout history. The rise of the Internet has given these people a brand new place to flourish, and their extreme misbehavior has become normalized.

    Thanks to technology, our work is now available to a much wider audience. Drama geeks in Germany can pore over rehearsal videos. Sopranos in New Zealand can post videos of how much better they’d be at singing “The Girl in 14G.” And yes, self-proclaimed experts across America can get into virulent arguments with people they otherwise would’ve never met about the spring Broadway season.

    This is what has happened to all major entertainment forms in the last twenty years: Incredibly creative fandom fueling a new relationship between artist and admirer, widespread reporting of gossipy misinformation that boosts ad traffic, and insanely depressing comment sections that prove the death of discourse. Why should Broadway be any different? Culture evolves gradually. Taking one website won’t solve the problem.

    The only thing you can do is behave according to your own values and avoid others whose behavior you don’t value. One element of this is that as a professional actor you shouldn’t visit message boards where people are discussing your work unless you’re willing to deal with the consequences. If you visit these sites anyway and don’t like what you find there, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    Publically lambasting these disingenuous “fans” both here and on Twitter is not the answer. It might make you feel better in the short term, but the more you do it the more hypocritical your criticism of their behavior becomes. You can’t fight back against negative comments on the Internet with more negative comments on the Internet. It just doesn’t work that way.

    You are a professional actor with many career achievements to feel proud about. I wouldn’t wish your past week on anyone, but you are still in the position of power compared to 99.9% of the posters on that board. Fighting back may seem righteous, but it looks petty. Especially when there are so many better places to be focusing your energy. I urge you to focus on one of them instead.

    I look forward to seeing your work on stage in the future.

    Like

    • Patti is giving her real name. The snarky BWW posters are hiding behind screennames. That makes all the difference in the world. PLUS …. this is HER blog. Duh !

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you for this. It’s so easy for people to hide behind their computer screens and tear art to shreds. I’d like to see them spend a day in your shoes. You are so well spoken and eloquent and this post really resonated with me. I am so sorry about your show. I was really looking forward to seeing it. I can only imagine how hard you and your cast worked during this journey and I am sad that the world won’t be able to bask in this shows glory. Sending you much positivity and light during this time and *%^* the haters!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Patti! I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but I had people I know and have worked with in the past involved with NERDS and was very saddened by what went down. I’d only ever heard great things about where the show was headed and about the phenomenal cast and so my heart goes out to all of y’all right now.

    I just wanted to say, as someone who works in the industry….THANK YOU for saying what no one else has. We hear all the time from actors/actresses/musicians/etc about how to handle negative comments and not to engage but that has always seemed so stupid to me. These ‘posters’ spend their time enjoying the blatant bashing and cursing of hardworking folks because they can. I’d be willing to be these same folks would stand in line after the show for the person they were bashing to get a pic and an autograph and wouldn’t say the same shit they did online to that performer’s face. And that’s total bull.

    It’s high time the performer’s are allowed to respond and, as you so eloquently did, fight back against all the negative energy and hate these people (if you can call them that….) are spreading into the universe.

    So, again: THANK YOU. Anyone who’s in the industry who can’t back what you’ve said really must be a masochist, which sucks for them. Because I’m fairly certain we’re all right on the same page with you regarding this kind of crap.

    All the best with whatever awesome project is coming your way next! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear Miss Murin: Permit me to introduce myself. My name is Roman Castillo Jr. I’ve been a member of Broadway World since 2006 and post under the username “PattiLuPoneFANatic”. I noticed your comments under a thread posted on BWW. You do make some valid points. Some people in the site can be quite mean-spirited and snarkly. They pick on new members and also long time participants (such as myself). I’ve learned to deal with critics of my views with: a carefully crafted comment or a witty GIF. If they really annoy me, I just place someone on the Ignore List, a feature in BWW. I personally don’t wish ill on a particular artist or show. That is just not me. When I become aware that a show is struggling at the box office, I hope for the best and think of what it’s like for the cast. I think it’s ridiculous that some make really personal comments about an artist or show. That’s way out of line. I’ve been going to Broadway since 2006 and have visited NYC about 9 times already. Most recently in Dec. 2015, I had the supreme pleasure of seeing Queen Lesli in “Dames at Sea”. It was a great experience. Please know that there are many in the board who think highly of theatre artists and appreciate their hard work and dedication to their craft. I happen to follow “Chicago” very close. I don’t always agree with all aspects of the show, but I comment in measured tones. I respectfully disagree in changing the present configuration of BWW. For good or ill, BWW reflects the state of the Internet. While it is far from perfect, BWW is a necessary outlet for many out there, who follow the theatre. Finally, I’d like to wish you every success in your theatrical pursuits. Sincerely, Roman in Austin, Texas

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Roman! Thank you so much for the intelligent and respectful reply. I understand what you mean, and I appreciate you being one of two people to come to me with your comments and opinions. I don’t want the message boards to go away, but it seems to me that Broadway World is allowing a small handful of posters to trash the very shows that they are trying to promote. So whether it’s moving the boards, linking everyone’s accounts to Facebook pages, or some other compromise, I feel that something should be done. You will notice that I didn’t talk about All That Chat, because that is what that entire website is for. But BroadwayWorld does so many great things for the love of the theatre that I hate to see these few people deter others from posting at all because they’re afraid of the response. It’s bullying, no doubt about it. And I was taught to do, not sit. Thank you so much for being such an excellent theatre lover, and for supporting us. It’s people like you who I want to have a place to share and connect with other people such as yourself.

      Like

  17. 35 years ago, I was in a pre-Broadway show trying out at The Kennedy Center. One evening I received a call from a “friend” who said while laughing snarkily “we’re sitting in Joe Allen’s waiting for your poster to go up!” For those who don’t know, Joe Allen’s walls are covered with posters of flops. These small, sad people have been around forever; it’s just so unfortunate that they enjoy so much larger a forum. Stay strong, sweetie. What memories you”ll have while those who revel in schadenfreud will be empty.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Right on to everything in the essay. As you know, this drek has been going on for years. Producers even pay attention to it!

    The solution might be to not bring down the boards, just eliminate the anonymity. Require verified email and full names and the flavor of the discourse on the boards will change immediately

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you for calling attention to this. I stopped going to the message boards several years ago because every single thread devolved into the hateful type of commentary you quote above. There are plenty of times I wish I had a place to talk about theater and get answers to certain questions from fellow theater goers but it isn’t worth being subjected to the horrible behavior that you encounter.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your post! I appreciate the hard work and dedication it must take to put on a show. I’m not familiar with your work (I’m a Broadway fan but also a mother of littles from Texas. And now I have to go through my playbills to see if I’ve seen you perform.), but keep working like you write – with spark, integrity and honesty, and you will go far. Thank you for opening the door a bit to your world and sharing your story. With social media these days, everyone’s a critic and an expert!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Nothing encourages positivity like wishing death on others. I know I feel warm and fuzzy. Maybe that’s just the flames of hell licking at my heels. Who knows?

    Like

  22. Dear Patty, as a friend of yours from back in the days of Broward Stage Door Theatre, I am thrilled for your every success, and know the huge commitment that you have made to our profession. To have to read such drivel from those who have not one inkling of what it takes to put on a show — the talent, drive, and determination that you and your Cast Mates have given to this and every project on their resumes, fills me with anger, but not surprise. Small minds will always look for some reason for their failure, and sadly it is usually someone else’s fault. I can only tell you that, as difficult as it may be to say, such wastes of humanity don’t even deserve to be read, or acknowledged. Please know that as a friend, and fellow performer, I revel in your every success, and pray for your quick return to your next project. Blessings to You and Yours, Always!! xoxo!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I am a huge fan of musical theatre, and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have written here. The actors pour their heart and soul into each performance, taking those of us lucky enough to be in the audience on an incredible journey. I really hope that Nerds will one day come to broadway (and a national tour since that is how I see most shows). I have never seen you in a show, but hopefully one day I can. Thank you for what you do, I for one truly appreciate it!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Patti,

    Rob Morrison and I went to school together, at separate times. My entire alma mater was so excited for his debut, and we were collectively devastated for him (and your entire company) when this bummer news was announced. I can’t imagine the sad you must be feeling, especially in lieu of the dicksnorts online who hide behind keyboards. Anyway. As a member of the community I salute you — and this post. Totally cool of you to pen it. Hope you find some solace and privacy during this shitty time.

    Love,
    Blake

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Love your post, Patti! And I feel so bad ‘Nerds’ isn’t happening on Broadway! As far as the nasty chat board you want in a separate place, I have a suggestion for what it could be called: “The Schadenfreude Board.”
    Loved you on Broadway and at Goodspeed and look forward to whatever else you do next!
    -A fellow Syracuse Alum who is delighted you are one of us

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I almost never read message boards or comment pages but I remember one time reading a comment that someone posted on YouTube about Nikki James in Les Mis. This person went to the show and illegally filmed and then posted it online (and yes, I’m ashamed for even watching but it was Nikki James, how could I not?!) but their comment about her performance was beyond cruel and heartless. It brought me to tears that she might have read that comment.

    As audience members we have the right to our opinion but that doesn’t mean we have to share it. At the very least have compassion and remember that these are human beings that you are judging. Imagine if someone watched you work and then posted scathing comments on your performance.

    True members of the theatre community support one another not tear them down.

    I recently discovered Patti Murin through Twitter via her love for rescue dogs and Andrew Rannells. I was really looking forward to seeing her in Nerds so I am disappointed this show has been cancelled. But I wish her great success in the next show and will continue to enjoy her tweets.

    Thank you for your article. It’s about time someone brought this issue to light. I hope this is the beginning of a new era in the message/comment boards.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Dear Patti – I feel you have overstated your case. You’re not 100% wrong, but you’re not 100% correct either.

    It’s like writers who remember every bad review they ever got, but never the good ones! There are a lot of passionate theatre lovers on that site who inform, entertain, and share their knowlege enthusiastically. I’ve learned a lot about theatre history from them. They post pictures, reminisce about shows from long ago, etc. etc. They also give detailed reports about shows, down to little details.

    For someone like me who lives very far away from NYC, it’s nice to live vicariously through them as I rarely get to actually see a Broadway show. I’d hate to see the boards shut down, because then where would I get my fix?

    Best wishes to you.

    Like

    • Hi Jacob! Thank you so much for your respectful, intelligent reply. I absolutely agree with you. I did state in my post that I adore these people, the theatre fans who want to connect and learn. That’s the kind of message board I want to see! Heck, I don’t care if someone doesn’t think I have a good voice! But there’s a huge difference between saying “I don’t think she has a good voice” and “Her voice makes me want to curl into a ball and scream at the top of my lungs until she stops singing.” That’s not a real quote, I made it up. I can take criticism, and I deal with rejection multiple times a day. But cruelty is different. If there was a board where people posted their opinions openly, honestly, and respectfully, I would probably frequent them too.

      Like

      • Thanks for responding to my post!

        Well…a few days have passed, and as the dust begins to settle – I’ve thought more about your original blog post, and am in a better place to say now that you do have a point. I guess I was a little blind to it originally, because I felt you were lumping us all in together.

        I’m sure when you walk around New York City you are in awe of what a wonderful place it is – and yet you probably don’t notice the grit and grime on the sidewalks, or the rats scurrying about, or the cockroaches! After a while, it’s easy to tune the bad things out and I suppose I may have become blind to them. I will definitely try to be more aware in the future.

        Equally, I hope that you have learned a little more about the BWW community and that you realize that maybe the folks over there aren’t as bad as you and your colleagues imagine.

        I hope this whole episode hasn’t been stressful for you, and that you can shut your computer off and not think about all this for a while!

        Again – good luck, live long and prosper.

        Jacob

        Like

  28. Very well said, Patti. And especially timely given the sad and sudden demise of NERDS. I do read the BWW chat board from time to time and am sometimes astounded by the nastiness of some of the contributors. You have succinctly but passionately pointed out everything that’s wrong with it. I often ask myself if some of the regular posters would be quite as vitriolic if they had to put their own names to what they’d written. Anyhoo, very sorry to hear about the show. It was on my “to-see” list for my June trip actually. I hope you heal soon and I’m sure it won’t be long before we see you in something else fabulous soon. And, for the record, *I* wouldn’t take on Ms Margherita. She = FIERCE! (Gorgeous, stunningly talented and with a heart as big as her mouth…..but definitely fierce). All the best, and lots of love xxx

    Like

  29. I just came across this. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. I’m so sorry for what you all are experiencing with your show. I have myself Gotten so wrapped up in the bile spewing from that board that I ended up getting into arguments on several occasions with commenters. I am embarrassed to this day that I ever got involved. The problem with trying to explain that their negative comments are hurtful is that that is exactly why they do it. The greatest validation you can give them is to let them know they got you. They are miserable cunts who hide at home behind a computer waiting to be noticed. Broadway world will never move the board. They love it. They know exactly what goes on there. It drives traffic to their site. I wish all of you the best. Onward and upward🤘

    Like

  30. I understand everything that you said and I do think there is a special place in Hades for those ‘critics’- I frequent imdb (I don’t even know why anymore) and that place is as negative as you can get- there are people who just love to be mean- and the internet is a cowards way of ripping talented people apart. I’m very sorry the show won’t go on, I’m sure it was great!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. You are absolutely awesome–I’m behind everything you say here! And heck, I’ll just say it, I love your blog posts, your Twittering not to mention your mega talent on stage. I am so sorry about Nerds and I hope another door will open very soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I work in television, and I have worked on shows that have been canceled, and it always blows my mind when people are celebrating the cancellation of a show without any regard for the fact that hundreds of people’s livelihoods depend on it. Theater is very much the same. People are certainly entitled to their opinion of the work once it is made- I myself have a blog where I review theater, and television- but there is a line between constructive criticism and freedom of speech and celebrating the loss of people’s employment. Anyway, I always really enjoy your blog posts, especially this one, and I wish you and the rest of the cast and crew involved with Nerds nothing but luck and success.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Great post. I 100 percent agree. Broadway World is made for for supporting and encouraging the creators, people who DO. Message boards are for critiquing and judging creators. It takes only one to do while many, many more sit on their butts and judge. Both parties are better off without the negative energy.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I teared up this morning, reading about how the cast handled the aftermath that afternoon and then came together and performed the show the next day. It’s moments like those that fully show how theatre people come together and how a lot of us got drawn into it in the first place.

    I will never understand the absolute joy some people take in a show closing, especially in such a messed up situation like what happened here. Do they realize that what they’re saying is “WOOHOO actors and stagehands and the creative team and company and stage managers are out of work and may not get their weeks in for their insurance! YAY!” Hey, a show may not be your thing, but it is someone’s (or a lot of someones) labor of love. At least respect that. Or respect the fact that this affects real people with real bills who just want to do what they love.

    I’ll get off my soapbox, but I just wanted to make sure to comment. It blows that this happened in the first place, and it doubly blows for people to be assholes about it. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Very well stated, Patti! I’m over at that site to catch some info as well as opinions on shows as they hit previews and transition into opening. Yes, it can get ugly over there, indeed. Sadly, this isn’t just discussion boards, we have become an ugly and bitter society.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Ahhh very well said! I’m not involved in theater (just love it!) and always wished that board was a more positive place with real discussions. I was sad to learn it was a place to wish failure on shows, actors, writers, etc. If you don’t like a show, move on, but don’t start threads and add negativity to threads where people are discussing their love for said show. Pathetic. Be better than that, people. Anyhoo, go Patti!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. This is my favorite thing you’ve posted on this blog – which is saying something. Thank you for saying something that needs to be said and encouraging positivity. You are awesome. Please continue to be you. 🙂 #spreadthelove

    Liked by 2 people

  38. I hate that people think they can be rude and hateful because the people they’re directing it towards are in the spotlight. People are people, and hate is hate. Thank you for taking a stand against it!

    Liked by 1 person

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