I think Tom Wojtunik is a brilliant director and the "next big thing" and not just because he's cast me in two shows.
But yes, he has indeed cast me as a leading lady in two shows (Ragtime and The Who's Tommy), but there have been many shows he hasn't cast me in, and rightly so. He is that good of a director, and that good of a friend. We actors can have really ridiculous egos, and to know that a director appreciates and admires your work, but also appreciates it enough to know what you can excell at and what someone else might be better in, and NOT cast you, is also a compliment of some sort. I know if Tom calls me about a project, it's because he really thinks I'm right for it.
Tom cast me as Mother in Ragtime when I had no New York credits and had barely been here for a few weeks. And he told me the best advice that I've ever gotten in rehearsal. We were blocking and staging "Back To Before", Mother's big 11-o'clock number, and after a few tries he said something along the lines of:
Stop trying. You're doing it. Just do it.
And I did.
There was an artistic director of a theatre that shall remain nameless who told me that I "wasn't really an actor", I was "just a singer". Now, this man was wrong. But as a young kid right out of college, it broke my heart. There have been many directors who have said otherwise, but it hard to let go of that Negative Tape! But when I feel it creeping back, I remember one of the reviews of Ragtime: