Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

“Ambition is the last refuge of failure.“  – Oscar Wilde

One of the most amazing lessons of this adventure of producing my own show,  is how to not only accept but enjoy every moment that comes my way.  The Bahagavad Gita gently reminds us:

“You have a right to your actions only, not to their fruits.”

My continued practice is one of surrender. I have to put everything I have — time, money, energy, belief — into the show, and then: release it all.

*     *     *

Last night I had 7 people in the audience, which was a little bit of a shocker after the full house of 70 in Santa Fe. As time for ‘curtain call’ came, I couldn’t help but feel a knot of disappointment, and hear a little whiny voice:

…but I want a SOLD OUT HOUSE!!!

[sound of hissy fit]

And then it hit me: I get to stand up on stage and do exactly what I love more than almost anything in the world: act. Entertain. Feel. Express. Provoke. For the next hour and a half I get to run around and act out characters and tell funny jokes and do cartwheels — and people are paying me to do this!

And then, on that train of thought, I realized that every single person in that 7-member audience paid their $15 for a good show, and by golly, I was going to give it to them. Now was not the time to think about how much money I was losing on the production, or how many empty seats remained in the theater — now was the time to hop up on stage and make sure that I, and they, had an amazing next hour and a half.

“Oft expectation fails, and most oft where most it promisis; and oft it hits where hope is coldest; and despair most sits” – William Shakespeare

And it was great! One of my most relaxed, enjoyable performances. I got to make eye contact and engage, improv and riff on some scenes, and feel like I was telling a really great story to a bunch of old friends. At the end of the show, I just took a simple bow, and then sat at the end of the stage, and chatted with the audience for a bit.

(None of that fancy ‘exit stage left’ shit for me)

How easily I could have clung to the disappointment, the sense of failure, the expectations. Instead, I was so grateful that I chose to remember the true purpose of why I do this show: to do this show.

§660 · September 26, 2009 · Narrative, Performance · · [Print]

Leave a Reply