Come So Far, Got So Far To Go...

After a fantastic run of almost four years, it's finally time to say goodbye to the baby I created when I was only 14 years old. Across these four years, Shaun's Musical Musings really has been the making of me and if I hadn't have embarked on this journey, I would be nothing in comparison to what I am today. And I have all of you readers to thank for that immensely.

SMM really has been the making of me, so far, as a person. While I'd dabbled in blogging before this, it didn't ever become serious until I really delved into the avenues that this could take me down. While I knew from the very beginning that being a theatre critic was not my career aspiration, I was wise enough to recognise that doing this for some time would teach me a lot of valuable life lessons and open many doors for me, which is exactly what it has done. Without blogging through SMM, I would be 10,000 steps behind where I am today.

From a career perspective, SMM has given me the opportunity to bask in a vast wealth of theatre, thus informing me in great detail about the art form that I am most passionate about. It's led me to some amazing opportunities like working with other companies and branching myself out, giving myself a voice, a decent space to write regularly, and a presence in this world, a presence that will continue to grow in many other ways. As a fan though, it has given me the delightful opportunity to see as many shows as I humanly could without feeling guilt ("it's basically like homework" I would always tell myself) as well as giving me access to a wonderful community of people and friends, some of which I know I will be cherishing for many more years to come.

I feel like I said my "goodbye" piece back in my closing notice post a few weeks back, so if you haven't already read that, I will loop you back round to over there because that's probably the kind of post you were looking for. But to say a proper goodbye, I think I'm going to give the first blog post I ever wrote on here - "Musicals and Me" - a re-hash in a bid to come full circle:

The world of theatre has fascinated me for all of my life and will continue to do so until the day I die. For as long as I can remember, I have constantly surrounded myself with the melodies of cast albums and the visual joy of movie and stage musicals. When I was younger, I could only ever get access to stage shows via an adult chaperone who would take me (always my Grandma) and it wasn't until I was a teenager that going alone became an option. 

If I could go back to the version of me a decade ago whose dream was to see his favourite film Hairspray on the stage (which I did, my first West End show) and tell him how that passion has developed over these years, I think he would cry with pure joy.

In my time as a theatre blogger, my burning passion for the theatre was really given the opportunity to blossom and to grow. Having seen hundreds of shows over my tenure, not only have I been giving the chance to simply see a lot of shows, but I've been given the chance to properly digest them as well. Becoming an avid theatregoer and disector of the art form, my artistic vision has been influenced and educated heavily with the kind of practical experience that only someone doing what I have done could benefit from. I knew from a young age that seeing a lot of theatre was the only good way to become a good theatre worker and that is exactly what I subscribed to from the start. As a result, I have developed a good taste for what I consider to be strong and weak in the theatre and I have SMM to thank for that.

So, if you want to see where this education has taken me, be sure to keep up to date with everything I do following my time over here. You can follow me on Twitter and on Instagram where I post about literally everything, or you can check out my website for more from me. Currently, my main creative venture is my web series so if you haven't already, be sure to go and check it out.

While I may be saying goodbye to this little part of my life, I'm really not saying goodbye at all. I am so eternally grateful that you decided to take your time and listen to what I have to say over these past three and a half years and I sincerely hope that you continue to want to listen to what I have to say in the future.

And to paraphrase the movie musical that really made me love this crazy world of theatre: I know I've come so far, but I really have got so so much farther to go.

*bows*

Shaun x

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