We’ve all been hearing since March 2020 that we need to be cautious.
We need to wear masks around people from outside our household, we need to stay six feet apart, we need to wash our hands for the duration of “Happy Birthday," and, heck, we all just need to stay home where it’s safe!
Don't take unnecessary risks!
I’ve been following these directions (for the most part) and, thankfully, I’ve remained healthy.
But my subconscious has begun to rebel. The other day, I found myself far less cautious in one of my dreams.
I was at a local mom and pop specialty shop that sold high-quality Italian meats and cheeses. I saw other people in the store not wearing masks. Why aren't they wearing masks, I thought? Wait, I'm not wearing a mask either. Why am I not wearing a mask? Did COVID "end?" Am I dreaming? Is that gorgeous-looking sample of sliced steak that the deli owner is proffering -- fully exposed to human respiratory droplets -- safe to eat?
I ate it. It was delicious. And I woke up to tell about it.
After my room came into focus and I got my bearings, I quickly reviewed the scene before it evaporated. As I delved into the meaning, a realization surfaced:
Has the abundance of caution I've been taking to protect my health seeped into other areas of my life?
Am I currently not taking risks that I should be taking?
I decided the dream was a wake-up call.
Nothing is certain. That was true before COVID and it will remain true when we emerge from this surreal chapter. We delude ourselves whenever we believe we have control over future outcomes. But, at the same time, we need to take action toward our goals in order to make any progress.
And going for goals, well, that involves a measure of risk-taking. Always has, always will. And, if we don't go for our goals, we don't get to enjoy the small wins along the way.
And that’s what life is ultimately. A path paved with potential risks and potential small, happy wins. That's how I see it anyway.
My dream reminded me that, while I need to be mindful about COVID risks, I need to be conscious about inadvertently allowing "an abundance of caution" to serve as a blanket template for how I live my life.
An abundance of caution does not provide space for abundance.
You, too. Remember the goals you’ve stayed healthy for. Keep on keeping on in your quest to make them a reality.
A thrilling path filled with risks -- and abundance -- is before you.
Check out this book by Danielle LaPorte and this podcast hosted by Ilise Benun for awesome inspiration about taking risks in your creativity and work goals.
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1/25/2021 0 Comments
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to see Brian Stokes Mitchell and Robin Rothstein listed together in the same show notes.
But we are living in wild times!
Thrilled to be a guest on the latest episode of Dr. Nancy Berk’s popular podcast, “Entertaining Insights” where I talk a bit about my background as a playwright and theatre professional, and the appeal of the 10-minute play.
Stokes is a tough act to follow, but hopefully I hold my own!
Check out the episode on iTunes, Spotify, or iHeart Radio when you get the chance!
And be sure to subscribe to “Entertaining Insights” and browse through Nancy’s other episodes. They’re full of engaging interviews with Broadway notables and other stars from throughout the entertainment industry.
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11/21/2020 0 Comments
Excited to announce my latest bike tour video highlighting some of downtown NYC's coolest landmarks, public art, and monuments!
This is the third video in a three-part series that I produced for Village Preservation.
In this final episode of the series, discover the history and delights of Astor Place, St. Marks Church in-the-Bowery, Charlie "Bird" Parker's Residence, and Tompkins Square Park.
The video also includes interviews with local experts: Village Alliance Executive Director, William Kelley; Reverend Anne Sawyer, the fourteenth rector of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery; and professional saxophonist and "Bird" expert, Jason Marshall.
If you like this video, please check out here and here for the first two videos in this series.
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While life has been difficult in one way or another for just about everyone lately, I was recently reminded that it can also deliver nice surprises right when you need them.
About six weeks ago, I answered a call for submissions from a theatre company in the United Kingdom called INK. They were seeking two-minute duologue plays designed for radio.
I've certainly written very (very) short plays before, but not specifically geared for the radio. But I thought, what the heck. I'll give it a go.
I had a premise for the play, and the first draft took me roughly 30 minutes to write. I then returned to it the next day, made a few edits and then fired off my brand new two minute duologue, Finding Balance to INK.
To my surprise and delight INK selected the play for broadcast on BBC Radio Suffolk!
I don't believe any of my work has ever been performed by a U.K. theatre company before, so I was especially excited by the news.
The artistic team at INK and Jon Wright of Radio Suffolk who interviewed me after the play live (eek!) could not have been kinder, and the actresses, Jill Freud and Esther Freud (yes, they're related to THAT Freud) who performed the piece were terrific!
If you'd like to hear my very (very) short play followed by the interview, just click on the BBC Radio Suffolk logo at the top of this post. After a few seconds of earwormy dance music, Jon segues into his intro of the play.
Hope you enjoy it! 🤞
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I'm a HUGE fan of LinkedIn. I've been a member for close to 10 years now, and I'm pretty active on the platform. It's way more than just a place to hunt for jobs and it's definitely my favorite of all the social media platforms out there by far. It's a place to network, learn, meet people from all over the world, and yes, job hunt, but it's also where I get the most promotional bang for my (free!) buck.
In fact, here's an article I just published there.
I otherwise post on LinkedIn in my regular feed pretty often. Let me know you found my website and send me a connection request!
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New York City and its people have a long history of heroism and resilience.
In this video I produced for the highly respected non-profit Village Preservation, I take you on a special bike tour that highlights downtown public art and landmarks that honor our past and resonate with our times today.
If you enjoy the video, please give it a “LIKE!"👍🚴🏼♀️
I recently went on an amazing two-week adventure in Europe. What made it amazing is not as obvious as you might think. Yes, I saw beautiful sights, ate delicious local cuisine, and savored that sense of freedom and perspective one experiences far away from the day-to-day cares and concerns that typically feel sooooooo important. But it was the totality of the trip, and all the creativity and diligence I invested in planning it, and what I learned (and re-learned) about myself by traveling solo that brought the greatest joy and rewards.
This isn't the first time I'd been a solo traveler. The first time I traveled alone was on a 10-week backpacking trip through Europe in my mid-20's. All that I had available for guidance and communications back then was a dog-eared Let's Go book and an AT&T phone card: no cell phone, no social media, no widespread internet in those days. And certainly no WiFi. Email existed, but I wasn't an early adopter.
That backpacking odyssey helped to shape a core part of me. While the overall trip went really well, some things happened to me that were less than ideal, or I made less than ideal choices that got me into a couple of less than ideal situations, and I had to figure my way out of them, language barriers and all.
And I did. And everything turned out fine. I learned how to adapt when a plan falls through. That there's no point in getting upset. You can always figure out a Plan B, C, D, E, or F, and then you just make the best of that new plan. And more often than not, that Plan C or Plan F? It often turns out to be just as good -- or maybe even better -- than Plan A would have been.
I've traveled solo to some foreign places since that epic backpacking adventure. However, the last time was back in 2010. A weeklong trip to Paris, a city where I've traveled numerous times over the years, and have some command of the language. So, as this latest trip finally approached, despite my previous travel experiences, I was admittedly a little anxious. I was going to be staying with family in Vienna, so I knew I had support there, but for the other two legs of my trip -- Budapest and Prague -- I knew no one, and certainly didn't know the languages.
And, again, everything turned out fine (even with a handful of mishaps along the way). Better than fine.
Like my backpack excursion all those years ago, I planned everything on my own. But now, with cell phones, the internet, social media and email, everything was a lot simpler this time around. Although, there is also a lot more information out there to sort through, so it's easy to get overwhelmed. I soon learned to do research up to a point, and then just make a choice, and be okay with the results -- end of story. (Another traveling lesson that will now apply to other areas of my life!)
Perhaps the most surprising thing I discovered about myself on this trip was that I am not addicted to travel. I thought there would be a good chance that I'd be despondent when I got back to New York City. But when I arrived home, despite all the experiences I will remember for a lifetime -- I was really glad to be home. Glad to get back to my life, my family, my friends and all the mysteries and messes that lie ahead.
I love travel and experiencing new adventures -- especially on my own. This trip reminded me of that. I've begun making a list of cool places around the world I've never been to, and I plan to visit at least one new place every year. Just knowing that I have the freedom and fortitude to travel solo, if and when I choose to, well, that was this trip's most valuable souvenir.
My interview with Matt Williams is now one of my new favorites.
In our in-depth exchange, the veteran sitcom writer-producer -- and playwright -- opens up about his career path and his widely publicized "epic battle" with Roseanne Barr back in the day and how that ultimately led him to his next best thing.
Williams seems like he will always be a playwright at heart, though, despite his massive success with Roseanne, Home Improvement and other popular shows. And, as he prepares for the Off-Broadway world premiere of his latest play, Actually, We're Fu**ked at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre, he describes the impulses that drove him to write the piece and why this "old white guy" thinks he has the perspective to tell a story about four potentially "fu**ed" Millennials.
Thrilled to announce that I have been hired as an editor and contributor for the Clyde Fitch Report! I will be writing about leaders at all levels in the arts and politics who are making a difference as arts advocates, supporters and innovators.
Check out my inaugural post on the 2017 Spring Road Conference where I interview two top leaders in the Touring Broadway biz! And if you'd like more insights and info on the world of Broadway theater touring, please check out my blog, The Road 101 that I managed from 2009-2014.
And be sure to look for my next post on the CFR at the end of June! It's gonna be awesome!
ROBIN'S NEWS & VIEWS!
Recent news and latest updates on my writing and artistic projects. Also check back here for occasional tips and observations on creative writing and theater!
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