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Book brings theatre journey home

Local News

A new book by Rochester based theatre director Eric Johnson examines how dreams of Hollywood stardom led him to pursue his passion here at home.

Johnson discussed his book “My Quarter-Life Crisis” Monday during News 8 at Noon.

“For many years growing up in Pittsford, I really thought all of my life I was going to go off to Hollywood,” said Johnson. “I was going to go off to New York. I was going to go off to one of these big cities where they have so much art, they have so much with movies and with Broadway shows, and I was going to become the next Steven Spielberg. Throughout all the role models and teachers I met along my journey from high school, college and everywhere in between, I found out that may not be the right path for me. Maybe being right here in Rochester, I can make difference locally. That’s kind of where the book started and where the idea kind of came from.”

Johnson added, “There’s many different crises along the way that are mentioned in the book. The main one is is now being 25 years old — being mid-way through my twenties — saying, ‘Okay, what could have happened? What might have happened? What should have happened? And what did happen?’ – and is that right? Is that what should have happened?”

Writing the book, offered Johnson the chance to reflect on his choices. “I work with a ton of students every year, from all the schools I’m in, to RAPA, to the other organizations,” he said. “Maybe something that I’m doing and giving in these schools is impacting the next generation.  And what would have happened if I didn’t have one of those role models in my life? Would I have ended up somewhere else? Would I not be doing what I’m doing today? It’s all important.”

Johnson hopes readers, young and old, will take some inspiration from his experiences. “I hope that they realize that it’s never too late to changed your mind, right? I could change my mind tomorrow and say, ‘I’m going to pack my bags, go to Florida and try something new!’ It’s never too late to change your mind and say, I’ve enjoyed what I’m doing but it’s time to take that next step forward, do something different and try something while you have the rest of your life in front of you.”

At 25, the journey continues for Johnson.

A book release party will be held this Wednesday, July 18 at Writers & Books beginning at 6:00 p.m.

To order a copy of “My Quarter-Life Crisis” click here.

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