Mitchell Maxwell's LITTLE DID I KNOW

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mitchell Maxwell, a Tony Award-winning producer, director and 35-year veteran of the entertainment industry, has come out with his new novel, LITTLE DID I KNOW (Prospecta Press; October 5, 2011; $25.00) written in classic roman á clef style. This is a daring coming-of-age tale filled with romance, laughter, heartbreak and applause about a young entrepreneur who sets the stage for fledgling artists while living a life so many aspire to but never realize. Told with compassion and the kind of detail only a Broadway veteran like Mitchell Maxwell can provide, LITTLE DID I KNOW is a novel about being in the spotlight and embracing destiny in a single season.


Only a handful of us remained now that the late hour had become early dawn. My best friend, Secunda, who had acted confidently, brilliantly in many of our shows lamented, “Now what do we do? This ride can’t just end. Figure something out, Sammy.”

“Yeah, we need to keep that torch burning,” Secunda’s younger brother James added. He had been part of the journey, building great sets, solving problems only he knew existed, and always remaining sane.


I have worked in the theater my entire adult life. I took a few detours into making movies (which went well) and two into the sports world. My baseball experience was expensive but really fun while my sojourn into the international fight world was a disaster fiscally as well as almost ending my life in a melodramatic scene between me and some Russians with a gun. But that story should be told in it its entirety while drinking Vodka.

Yet the theater keeps bringing me back-- actually never letting go. I have experienced glory and magic the apex of anything anyone could hope to accomplish and I speak of little things not what you'd expect like gobs of cash or Tuxedos or shiny black limos. I have also been at the nadir of my life where getting through the next twenty minutes was a challenge so painful it was tantamount to labor (well I can only project on that), when I wondered where my next dollar would come from let alone how my next show would get financed. Yet even at the worst of times I find it hard to think about pursuing another path.

When you win and your cheeks are red rosy with adrenaline or when you believed what you saw in a draft of script or an idea scribbled on the back of a napkin months ago that silences an audience or makes them howl with guffaws or causes them think or be kinder well you are in a good place. A place to hold onto. But it is as if you are grabbing a handful of mist and so you begin again.

How do you start such a journey? There is no road map and the younger you are the less you know where to begin. There is no road map to fulfill an ephemeral impossible dream. Except passion and perseverance, the ability to accept disappointment and fly without a net. A blind insanity to figure it out along the way till you find a way home.

LITTLE DID I KNOW how little I knew. Still thirty five years after the story in my novel takes place I am amazed how little I know. I am more experienced of course, driven by the desire to soar again and to continue to find and create good work. I am wizen and yet still full of good well and there are times when my enthusiasm is so high I feel it will make my head explode. The whole thing is sort of like a wild rollercoaster--screaming your way through promising you'll be good if you can just live through it all and then when the craziness ends you're first in line to buy another ticket. Along the way I'll come up with the next great idea and jot it all down on the back of the ticket of this crazy whiplash funhouse ride. SO better buy your tickets now!
As this tour continues, don't forget to visit who will be posting the next portion of the excerpt.

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