We Will Get Through This

Richard Hester Author Interview

Hold, Please: Stage Managing A Pandemic chronicles life in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic from the point of view of a Broadway stage manager in Manhattan. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I didn’t realize that I was writing a book when I began. I was trying to make sense of the remarkable events that were unfolding all around us. There was so much information coming at us that I felt was either being misinterpreted or was just untrue, that I started feeling responsible for trying to put it all into some kind of order. About six months in, I realized that in addition to that, what I was creating was a first-hand account of a time in our history that I was sure everyone was going to forget. You only need to look back to the Spanish Flu pandemic a hundred years ago to see that even though it is a monumental event, people will forget.

Are there any experiences from 2020 that you see differently now that you have had time to reflect on them?

Certainly, when we look back politically, we have a great deal more information with which to fill in the overall picture. Like Mayor Guiliani during 9/11, Governor Cuomo was a much-needed voice filling either the crushing silence or countermanding the utter nonsense coming from the White House. It took us time to be able to look back and see that he wasn’t quite the saint, to say the least, that we had come to think of him as. Then the White House, itself – wow, do we know more now than we did!

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

The main one was that we will get through this. There will be a time when it is in the past and we will have survived it. We are a resilient species, we always seem to find a way. We also have been through periods of plague countless times over our history, we’ve just forgotten. I hope that at the end of all of this we can discover that there is far more that unites us than there is that divides us.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on a book about my father’s side of the family. I am writing it in much the same way that I did the posts that became HOLD, PLEASE. I publish them on Facebook and on Substack (https://richardhester.substack.com). I find that having a series of mini-deadlines keeps me working. At the moment, I am in Europe following in the footsteps my father took during World War II. It’s been a fascinating experience getting to know him through his letters home and through the writing he did about it after the fact. I don’t have any real sense of how long it’s going to take to finish!!

Author Links: Facebook | Website | Instagram

A Broadway Stage Manager’s pandemic memoir! Winner of the 2022 International Impact Book Award Winner and the 2022 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award!

March 12, 2020
Last night, after weeks of downplaying and ridiculing the virus, we were finally told by our President, that it is, in fact, serious…

And so, it began. Broadway shut down. Instead of sitting in a darkened theatre every night watching Jersey Boys, Richard Hester, like many other people, found himself sitting on his sofa glued to the news. As the days unfolded, turning into weeks, then months, he experienced the profound seismic shift of that tumultuous year. The virus spread, infecting millions. We lost friends and family. Our economies shut down. Our jobs either stopped or changed in radical ways. The senseless murder of George Floyd forced us to take a hard look at who we are and how we treat each other. The Presidential election, drove the country so far apart that it threatened to destroy Democracy, itself.

Hold, Please: Stage Managing A Pandemic chronicles it all from the particular point of view of a career Broadway stage manager living in Manhattan. Part journal, part blog, these essays attempted to make sense of the crisis and what it was doing to us. By the end, everything had changed. What follows is a journey through one of the most fascinating periods in both our cultural and our personal histories. Written with humor and compassion, Hold, Please provides a unique perspective on this time and delivers the most important lesson of all – Hope.

“I’ve watched Richard create order out of chaos for years, so it comes as no surprise when he was able to do it again with these beautiful posts. Together they create a powerful reminder of where we’ve been as well as a thoughtful and compassionate guide for moving ahead.” – Bernadette Peters

“It is no surprise to me that Richard Hester is an exquisite companion as he insightfully guides us on the journey through the strange isolation of that endless pandemic. The Elizabethan theatre was frequently shut down because of the Black Death, and I’ve often tried to imagine how the players of that time managed to cope with the stress. Richard’s book makes it vividly clear.” – Des McAnuff, Director

“I am so grateful that Richard wrote all of this down so that I don’t have to remember it myself.” – Patti LuPone

“Thank you for taking my suggestion seriously (Imaa need you to file these and publish a book good sir.) because we are all better for it.” – Ariana DeBose

“Richard Hester is a saint as far as I’m concerned. Anything he writes I would read, however I haven’t had the time to read his book yet as my first grandchild was just born. As soon as I stop changing diapers, Richard’s book is the first thing I’m reading!” – Mandy Patinkin

“I have always been in awe of Richard Hester’s gift as a storyteller. He has beautifully crafted a diary that reminds us of the journey we have been on for the past two years, and with this book given us the courage to carry on with hope and faith.” – Sergio Trujillo – Director/Choreographer

“(Hester) describes such experiences in a warm, conversational tone in a book in which his lyrical writing about the natural world adds dimension to humorous stories about working—and not working—from home….Hester interweaves descriptions of living through Covid-19 with stories of his colorful theatrical career…” – Kirkus Reviews

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on September 17, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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