Wendy Federman is an eight-time Tony Award winning Broadway theater producer who’s numerous credits include the Tony Award winning shows The Band's Visit, Dear Evan Hansen, Angels in America, Hello Dolly!, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nigh-Time, All the Way and the revivals of Pippin and Hair among dozens of others. This fall on Broadway, Wendy is coproducing Network with Bryan Cranston, Lifespan of a Fact with Daniel Radcliffe, The Waverly Gallery with Elaine May and To Kill a Mockingbird with Jeff Daniels, and in London, a revival of Company with Patti LuPone. In addition, Wendy is an investor in Hamilton, Mean Girls, The Cher Show and The Book of Mormon UK. Wendy began her theatrical life intending to be a performer but when her father suddenly died, she gave up her theatrical dreams: following the motto, “family first,” to help run her father’s business. In this episode, Wendy shares an important lesson that she received from her father.
The Lesson That Changed My Life
Wendy: In order to get anything accomplished, whether you're in business or you're a performer or an athlete, you have to pace yourself. The sky should be unlimited.
Grew up in Westchester. My father, World War II veteran, very hard worker, you know, great work ethic. I used to love to go down to the factory, and I used to love going to the trade shows with him.
It was three months after I graduated my dad passed away. He was young. My business role model was gone, but my brother and I had to take over and run the business. You know, we were a kind of business where you would give your prices for the year, and we'd get calls and I'd give the prices, and they'd go, "Well, that's very nice, but now let me talk to the man in charge." And I'd bring my brother back in the plant, and eventually he said, "I'm busy back here. Handle it." And eventually, the conversations and the things that I had to say, "Well, you're dealing... this is the man in charge."
The last time that I saw him, one of the things he said to me, "Pace yourself." Which to a 22-year-old, didn't quite resonate. But I realize now, at this stage in my life, the brilliance of that statement, because it really is all about pacing, timing, knowing how to divide your time. It's not even just delegating, but even in your own life, delegating your hours, and your time, and prioritizing. And as every year passes, it resonates even more, because it really is, in order to get anything accomplished, whether you're in business or you're a performer or an athlete, you have to pace yourself. Take care of yourself, you know, make sure that...it's not only time management, but it's our health and our well-being, and making sure that we're giving enough attention to our hearts and our families, our inner soul and our inner spirit.