“A career in the arts is scary and it should be,” says Lucio. “Trust in your instincts and take a leap of faith.”
Meredith Lucio, a Texas Tech School of Theatre and Dance alum, has made quite a name for herself in New York as a highly sought-after producer.
Like many young theatre graduates, Meredith had designs on being a performer when she first arrived in New York. She soon found her niche, though, in the world of producing. While on a trip to visit her family in Houston, Lucio was contacted about becoming a producer for the 2012 revival of the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. This production was not only Lucio's Broadway debut, but it later went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. She recalls that, by the time she was asked to join the project, she had only six weeks to raise her portion of the production's money. She attributes her success to two reasons: her ability to create and nurture relationships with investors and luck.
"In reality, I won the Tony by betting on the right horse," said Lucio. "Jeffery Richards, our lead producer, is masterful. I feel like it had more to do with luck than skill."
When asked what it felt like to win a Tony with her Broadway debut, Lucio explains: "To quote a very well-known musical, 'it is awesome to be in the room where it happens.' It was surreal -- the awards, the after party, and the energy of all those creative people -- just so energizing."
Lucio remembers watching the Tony Awards as a child, at the time her only real link to Broadway, and feeling like New York was so far away. Making it to Broadway seemed an insurmountable task.
One of the main hurdles she faced as a producer was "the big ask."
"I come from humble beginnings, and Broadway demands a lot of money. I had to learn quickly how to become comfortable asking for big money," says Lucio. "Each show is a risk. On average, 3 in 10 shows actually recoup investment -- a 30 percent break even rate. Of the shows that breakeven, maybe 30 percent actually make a profit. This is a very small success rate and investors know it. Broadway is ripe with tales of grandeur but also tales of abject loss. It's a high-risk world."
Lucio urges anyone who is thinking of pursuing a career in any aspect of theatre or arts to set a goal and define the sacrifices she or he is willing to make to reach that goal. When she leads workshops on producing, she tells aspiring producers to set actionable goals.
"Being a success is not an actionable goal," says Lucio. "But, setting a goal to be a part of 3 different productions in the next year is tangible and can be marked off of a list."
One of Lucio's career goals is to bequeath an award to each of her nieces and nephews. "I have six nieces and nephews and only one Tony Award," jokes Lucio. "I have to win five more!"
Meredith Lucio is currently working as a producer for the National Tour of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.