By Alyssa Haddad
hen I was looking at colleges, I was adamant about studying history. What kind? Didn’t matter. I’m a Gemini with the stubbornness of a Taurus, so no matter how many times my parents begged me to go into something I’d be good at – like English or Communications – I pushed back. At the old age of 18, I had the wisdom and life experience to know what was best for my future, and nothing was going to stop me from going to law school so I could live my lifelong dream of becoming Elle Woods.
By Junior year, the Elle Woods dream was dying. I was still a brunette who had no control of her hair. I was on the cusp of failing all my history classes and I was filled with questions, like why was there so much history and when does it end? I was spending my time skipping classes to binge-watch all 40 seasons of SNL. Late into a Tina Fey/Amy Poehler Weekend Update classic and a thesis procrastination, it finally clicked. People created this. This was their career. That night, I called my parents and told them that I was giving up law to pursue writing. That making people laugh was more valuable to me than a 401k (I would still like a 401k). My relatively traditional Middle Eastern father was relieved that I was pursuing a career in the arts, further proving that I would’ve made a Guinness list for worst lawyer of all time.
Me with the famous “Went With The Wind” Carol Burnett sketch costume, at the 50th Anniversary Carol Burnett Show Special. By day, I work for Bob Mackie, who designed this.
I’m now a playwright and screenwriter living in Brooklyn. Apparently I’m also a columnist. I may not be Elle Woods, but I get to be Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. Like every New Yorker, my existence requires a personal brand. Mine is if Carrie Bradshaw’s column was actually written by Miranda Hobbes.
Allow me to be your New York ambassador where we’ll discuss anything and everything as long as it makes me laugh and I think it might make you laugh too. Maybe we’ll even answer some of NYC’s biggest questions along the way. Is brunch without a mimosa just a late breakfast? Is the subway actually run by Mayor Pizza Rat? What’s it like being a woman in the city that never sleeps? Woof, honey, take a seat. Welcome to New York. Walk fast.
Alyssa Haddad is a Brooklyn-based Playwright and Screenwriter. Her plays have been presented at the Capital Repertory Theatre, Theater for the New City, Sundog Theatre, Kraine Theater, and The Midtown International Theatre Festival where she was the recipient of the Playwright’s Award. She is an alumna of Living Room Theater’s New Play Incubator Lab and a current member of New Perspectives Theatre Company’s Women’s Work Play Lab. She is also an Artist-In-Residence at Adams State University’s Rare AIR program. Connect with Alyssa at AlyssaHaddad.com, on Twitter @AlyssaSwagdad and on Instagram @AlyssaHaddad.