An Open (Love) Letter to the Fans of Be More Chill From Star Stephanie Hsu

Special Features   An Open (Love) Letter to the Fans of Be More Chill From Star Stephanie Hsu
 
The Broadway leading lady shares her thoughts with fans and “any young person out there working towards change” ahead of the show’s closing August 11.
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Stephanie Hsu Marc J. Franklin

Dear Reader,

I am writing this love letter to you because there is so much in my heart that I would like to share with you, and I want to make sure that all the love you have given me since Be More Chill became a part of the zeitgeist is reciprocated. I am writing this love letter to you because by the time this is out in the world, Be More Chill’s last bow on Broadway will only be a few days away, and I want to send you off with one more offering and gust of encouragement.

Every day I am greeted with piles and piles of fan mail, letters, and extraordinary artwork. It is impossible for me to respond to everything. You see, people have all sorts of different love languages, and mine (beyond fresh produce and quality time) is to be as thoughtful and thorough with my words as I possibly can. Brevity and casual chat are not exactly my forté. So I hope this letter reaches you, and I hope you can feel my immense gratitude and love through these words.

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Stephanie Hsu Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Young people are constantly telling me how Be More Chill and Christine Canigula have changed their lives. I receive letters (handwritten!) from young people saying they are so grateful that there is a leading female character who is not a damsel in distress, who is “not seeking a man and is unapologetically herself.” A young woman with an incredible mind who isn’t afraid to be wild and weird. I’ve received fan art of Christine Canigula standing beside a stack of feminist literature, and I have had interactions with young, queer, POC womxn who realize, suddenly, that not only is it possible to pursue a life in the arts, but that it is even possible to stand on a stage and be the love interest, front and center—not just a sidekick. That “non-traditional” is also beautiful. That “marching to the beat of you own drum” is not only okay, but, in fact, the best beat to dance through life to.

You are constantly thanking me. But, dear reader, I want you to know that none of this would be possible, if it wasn’t for you. In so many ways, you have gifted me with a certain kind of vitality and purpose that I’ve been so lucky to get to channel into Christine as an offering.

Your love for this show, for this character, has proven to me that art is not only valuable, but necessary. You have taught me that all of my own wildest dreams of being an artist in direct service to society is possible. You have helped me grow unafraid, and have so lovingly invited me to step into my own power as a conduit for change. You have reminded us that joy can be a lifeline. That art can inspire community, and that community rooted in love is the key to resilience and creation of possibility.

After August 11, Be More Chill will live on in his/her/their story books in the form of recorded music and many future productions around the world. But the aliveness of this particular moment will be just a memory, one that I think all of us will smile fondly upon. This is the forever-thrill and melancholic nature of live theatre. But I am writing to you because I want you, dear reader, to continue carrying the torch!

The life-force that this show has brought you, that you have brought us—may that energy live on in whatever show you love next. May you continue to pour your heart and belief into whatever thing it is that you find valuable, and know that your words, your actions, your love can actually mobilize change. You (yes, you!) have the power to make impossible things possible. You can teach us the value of that which nobody else believes in. That is what you did! You as an individual, and you as a collective, have the power to resurrect a show from the ether and send it all the way to Broadway. And you have the power to love the beautiful visionaries around you, and with kindness, collaboration, and some unshakable kind of faith, build a world that celebrates all of the weird, perfectly imperfect, unicorn-ness that is you, that you found in this show.

May your actions be for good, may they be for the whole, and may you continue to believe that anything is possible.

You my friend, are an agent of change.
You are a change-maker!
Thank you!
Keep going!
Go!
(And don’t forget to listen.)
I can’t wait to see what you do next.

With love and much gratitude,

Stephanie_Hsu_signature

Stephanie Hsu

P.S. Some readings that are my guides: Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown and All About Love by Bell Hooks.

And this: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” ― Martha Graham

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