I Finally Felt Like I Made It (Ep. 180 - Andrew Lloyd Weber)

This Week's Guest: Jonathan D. Lovitz

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What role does confidence play in reaching your goals -- is confidence as important as skill, or more, or less? My guest this week is Jonathan Lovitz, senior vice president at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Before he stepped into that role, Jonathan enjoyed a successful acting career on stage an screen. But then he found his enthusiasm turning to LGBTQ advocacy, and now speaks out to improve economic opportunity for queer people. An funnily enough, in both roles, a lot of success comes down to the confidence people allow themselves to have in themselves.

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This Week's Recommendation: Assassins

He mentioned wanting to play the role of the Balladeer in the show Assassins, so for my recommendation this week, you might want to check out a performance from the revival at the 2004 Tony Awards, available with an easy YouTube search.

I say "might" because it is an upsetting song in an upsetting show. Standing on stage, we see presidential assassins from throughout history, holding tight to their guns and singing about how they're all entitled to dreams. They're alarming, sinister, urgent dreams. All that death and disillusionment exacts a heavy toll on an audience.

There's also a lot of relevance to extract from the show, much of it in the eye of the beholder. To me, the show is about the dark side of ambition, a cautionary tale about confidence. Yes, of course, by all means believe in yourself. The funny thing about beliefs, of course, is that they are often wrong.

But that wrongness is a double-edged sword. As crushing as it can be that  confidence can be misplaced, so too can self-deprecation. If one were to search inside Assassins for any sign of optimism -- and it would be a lengthy, difficult search yielding just scraps of evidence -- the silver lining might be that our own inner assassins, the ones who steadfastly believe in our own failure, might be the one who's misguided.

Stuff We Talked About