Monday, November 1, 2010

The night before

Tomorrow is the official birth of my play.  As of 9pm tomorrow night, my play will no longer just be my own -- it will be out in the world and beginning to take on a life of its own.  Some of that has already begun -- my director has already shaped the work for this reading, and even the actors have had input during rehearsals for some small line changes and tweaks.  Though I still maintain creative control, I am no longer the only influence over my play.  And this will only get more and more true, the further along in this process we go.

I am remarkably calm at the moment -- I finished my to-do list about a half hour ago, so my metaphorical bag for the hospital is packed.  To draw out this metaphor, I'll go into labor at 10:30am tomorrow, as the final rehearsals begin.  The first delivery will be at 4pm, then another at 7pm (so am I having twins?).  75 people have signed up to bear witness.  It will be a long, exhausting, exhilarating day -- which, unlike an actual birth, will be followed by a big party to celebrate. Thank god for that.

My emotions swing from excitement to anxiety, from hope to fear.  My fears and anxieties are not from wondering how it will go (I have utter confidence in the amazing talent assembled), or even if people will like it (I am confident enough that the play is good) -- but whether or not the big producers who said they will come will actually come, and whether or not anything will actually happen after tomorrow.  Will someone get excited about my play and join me and Steven in trying to get it produced?  I never expected to get this far -- never expected this reading would turn into what it has -- and thus the specter of hope has reared its head.  Hope never comes alone -- where there is hope, there is always the risk of disappointment.  I've tried to protect myself from that somewhat since I gave up my opera career, having suffered so many years of hopes being dashed.  Every time I thought something major might happen, it never did, and I grew weary of it.  Yet here I am again, daring to hope.  It's scary.

But it's also exciting.  And, as I tell my voice students all the time, the physiological response to fear is exactly the same as excitement -- your heart races, your breathing gets shallow, your arms and legs tingle.  When you feel that, it is up to you to decide whether you are about to get in a car accident, or if you are riding an exhilarating roller coaster. 

So, I choose the roller coaster.  Look out world, here comes my baby.  I can't wait for you all to meet her.
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