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Meet The Writers: Myron Genyk

In our "Meet The Writers" series, we're learning more about the participants of the CMTWC Writers Workshop. The Toronto Writers Workshop meets every two weeks where, under the guidance of Leslie Arden, writers learn and practice the craft of composition and lyric-writing.

What was your introduction to the theatre?

My mother was trained as a vocalist and pianist, and performed in and produced many shows. As a grade school music teacher, she staged operettas every year. Watching her lead rehearsals and viewing productions was enormously fun.

When was the moment you decided to write for the theatre?

I played piano and bass guitar in the pit band for high school musical productions. I played piano on Godspell in my last year of high school, and two of my closest friends also played music and was in the cast, respectively. We had such a good experience, that immediately after the show closed, we started writing our own musical!

Whose work do you admire and why?

I admire Lin Manuel Miranda’s work the most. My kids have the Hamilton cast recording memorized, and there are so many reasons why those CDs have gotten so much play in our household: the music is accessible to most people (regardless of whether they appreciate MT), the story of the characters and the founding of America are immensely interesting subjects, and the wordplay is so, so interesting.

How do you like to write? What is your process? Where do you find inspiration?

I write both music and lyrics, and so my approach writing a song is to first figure out the purpose of the song, and what is its arc. I then write pages and pages in my notebook of “what I want to say”, and then once I’ve exhausted ideas, then “who I want to say it”. When it comes to music, I like just being alone at a piano (knowing that there are no dishes that need washing, or laundry that needs folding, or bills that need paying) with nobody around. I tinker, and sometimes ideas come quickly, and sometimes not at all.

What do you want to see more of on stage?

For the continued future of MT, I think more multimedia and special effects could make MT more accessible to folks who normally wouldn’t attend. On a personal level, comedies are my favourite genre of musical (or TV show or movie), and I’d love to see more shows like, say, Forum.

If you had to pick one musical cast recording to be your "desert island record" which would it be?

Hamilton, because assuming my family is on this island with me, it’s the one show that everyone enjoys and could listen to ad infinitum.

Complete this sentence: "I write because...”

I love storytelling and I love writing songs!

What's a tip you have about collaboration?

Be 100% honest and 100% respectful 100% of the time.

Why did you join the Writers Workshop?

I took a couple of classes that were led by Joseph Trefler, and he recommended this workshop for anyone who wanted to improve their skills. And I definitely fall into the camp of people who know they need to improve!