In 1993 when I first came to New York, I was trying to meet as many musicians as I could. I was walking up Broadway near 51st St. and I saw a man with what looked like a saxophone case on his back.
I ran up to him and said, “Hi, my name is Clayton Craddock. I just got here to New York recently. I just want to introduce myself. I see that you are a musician and I wanted to ask you what kind of things are you doing for work in New York City?”
He told me that he plays Broadway shows. I said, “What show are you working on?” He said, “This show right here, Cats.” I asked him what it’s like working on a Broadway show.
He said, “Hey man, it’s like a job…you might not really want to do something like this.” I said, “OK, thank you!”
Then I left.
I wound up working at a bank a few years later…and hated it. I tried to be just a full time musician, but I realized very quickly how high the cost of living can be in this city. I wasn’t making the kind of money to sustain myself from the gigs I was getting at the time.
I don’t know what the guy’s name was, but I immediately dismissed playing Broadway shows as an option for a young hungry musician coming to try to take over in the New York music scene and become a rockstar.
Well, seven years after that meeting him, I began playing Broadway shows for a living and I really haven’t looked back.
To me, Broadway shows are the best gig to have as a full time musician in town, other than maybe being on a TV show like Jimmy Fallon or something like that.
it’s funny how I wound up playing Cats l after all, even if it was just subbing like I did today.
I’ve been subbing for the drummer of this show since last fall. It has been great because it is challenging music to me.
It looks like this week might be my last time subbing at the revival of Cats that is currently because I’m leaving for California next week to work on a new musical. Also, this production is closing at the end of December of this year.
I think after playing the show about 20 or so times, I figured out what a Jellicle cat is!
I would tell you what it is but it is a secret they only tell the employees of the show. It’s like the nuclear code. That’s just how deep it goes-LOL!