An actor, a choreographer and a costume designer visited the Firm to discuss the value of non-conformity and lessons from LGBT+ struggles.
At Morgan Stanley’s seventh annual Out on Broadway event, accomplished stage and screen personalities talked about LGBT+ pride and the importance of PRIDE support. Choreographer Mia Michaels, Broadway performer Brandon Uranowitz and scene-and-costume designer Clint Ramos were among those who shared share their experiences and inspiration.
Spectrum News NY1 entertainment host Frank DiLella moderated a discussion about how Broadway was early in addressing the difficulty of coming out, the evolution of staging LGBT+ characters and the often lonely-but-rewarding realities of being unique.
“Pride is about celebrating your true, authentic self and standing in your glorious uniqueness and not conforming, ever,” said Mia (“So You Think You Can Dance”). Pride is standing true fearlessly with who you are in the world, because that is the most important thing: living a life of true fearlessness and authenticity so people can hear you.
“I had a very colorful upbringing. My father was the original Marlboro Man, my mother was a Playboy Bunny and I was born on a boat in Coconut Grove, Florida. I had no chance to not be a unicorn - the ones that are super colorful, super-fearless, super-unapologetic and stepping into their life knowing their life is their own.”
For Brandon (“Burn This”) pride is about survival…“and living your true, authentic self to get through the day. It is about celebrating who we are,” he said. “And it is an act of resistance, raging against the machine a little bit to say, we are here, we have always been here and we are not going anywhere no matter how hard you try to push us into the shadows. And no matter how hard you try to tell us that the rights we have fought so hard for are temporary. If you try to take them back, we will continue to fight for them.
“And it is about community. As someone who grew up feeling marginalized and feeling like an outcast or other – it was very isolating and lonely for me. Pride is about getting us all together and celebrating a community of people that felt isolated and lonely for a big part of their lives.”
Clint (“Eclipsed”) shared his commitment to raising funds to educate more people of color in pursuit of careers behind the scenes in the theater and on Broadway. Referencing his faith, his husband and their daughter, he noted they are “living a fight our ancestors did not live,” but that “we cannot cower and hide.”
“Pride is about celebrating, love, and being and looking at where we are as a community at present, and acknowledging the deeds or fought fights and who fought for them. It is about having the courage to look at a brighter future.”
For a third year in a row, the American Theatre Wing was the non-profit partner of the event.
Managing Director Sandra Richards and Executive Director Nadine Wong, in partnership with the Pride & Ally Network, first hosted the event in 2012. Richards is Head of Global Sports & Entertainment and Segment Sales & Engagement; Wong is a Private Wealth Advisor and Director in Sports and Entertainment, and is a board member of the American Theatre Wing. Serving as co-host of the gathering was Jacqueline LiCalzi, Managing Director in Legal and Compliance and co-head of the Firm’s Pride & Ally Network.