The next step is often the hardest.
The writing phase of the as-of-yet-untitled-new-tap-show* was an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding experience. However, the now completed first draft has come with a new set of challenging decisions to be made. The first and most obvious two:
1) Will it be produced on stage?
2) If so, when?
‘Yes’ is the answer to the first. While I cannot be 100% certain, that’s what my instinct is telling me.
The second question is a little tougher.
Freedom & Reality
When writing the first draft of a new creative imagining, I feel it’s super-important to remove any and all barriers (real or imagined) and let the idea be free to go where it wants to. In this emergent phase, the idea must not be stifled. If it wants elaborate sets, costumes, lighting and sound design, then it all goes into the first draft.
This particular idea wanted all these things. It wanted to be big and beautiful.
At some point though, we creators have to come back to reality and confront a daunting task, where many (if not most) ideas come to an end: the budget.
Now that the first draft is complete, the next phase begins. Yes, that includes a budget…one that has to be realistic and achievable. It also includes a detailed plan, and a schedule, and probably at least another 2 drafts. No doubt, there will have to be many compromises along the way, while remaining as true to the idea as I possibly can.
And that’s okay. If it wasn’t a challenge, then it probably wouldn’t be worth doing.
In the end, it’s all part of the fun.
Soon after completing the first draft, I had coffee with my friend Cienda McNamara, who has been my go-to theatrical-guru/acting coach/dramaturgical-whiz for all my previous theatre offerings. Whenever I’ve produced a show, Cienda has walked with me throughout the planning and production process, ensuring the concept stays within the realm of reality (and affordability). Then, once the plan is in place, I move my focus to choreographing and performing, while she brings the work to life in the theatre.
We brainstormed the next steps to take, and agreed we first need to map out a plan, and solidify the date of the first performance season. Originally, we were considering an opening of June 2018.
I was tempted. I’m anxiously excited to get this show out to the world, and know that I shouldn’t let the grass grow under my feet. But a 10 month timeline felt immediately pressured, and stressed; the two things that I am most trying to avoid with this experience.
Aside from that, a 10 month timeline would involve me giving up every other project in my life. In the past, I’ve been willing to do this, but I’ve learned enough to know that it’s not a good idea. Being a multipotentialite, I know that in order to remain a happy non-cranky human, I need the variety…and I need the sleep.
We’ve since decided that a potential opening season of September 2018 would be a more realistic way to go.
It’s not concrete, but it’s the plan for the moment. Hopefully, by putting it out to the world, it’s more likely to eventuate. Time will tell.
Mind Expansion & Renovation
Show work aside, it’s been lovely to emerge from ‘hermitude’ to reconnect with the world, post writing-phase.
Last weekend, I attended the Problogger ‘Evolve’ conference in Brisbane, where I had the opportunity to work with a number of influential rockstars in the world of writing, blogging and online business, including Pat Flynn, the creator of Smart Passive Income.
I’ve followed Pat for years, and like so many others, I was immediately gobsmacked at Pat’s transparency around his income (that number in the top-right corner of his website is his gross income for the last month. Yup. $184094.67 USD), his generosity and his willingness to freely share his strategies for making similar amounts on a month-to-month basis. It was an incredible, invaluable experience to talk to Pat directly about my own online business pursuits.
My passive income for last month was a mere $1804.80 USD (which, just quietly, I’m damn chuffed about), but with what I’ve learned, I’m hoping to see that number move upward in the near future. I’m looking forward to sharing more about this particular adventure soon.
Attending an event like ‘PB Evolve’ reminds me of the immense value to be found in quality professional development. I am almost always intimidated going into these events (the ‘imposter syndrome’ gremlin loves them), but the happy brain-fried feeling of having had your perspective challenged is well worth it (in addition to an exciting action plan moving forward and a myriad of new perspectives, tools, contacts and skills, of course).
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
Finding Flow through Piano
My Kawai ES-110 and I have already become well acquainted, and I’ve loved the process of re-imprinting some favourite, previously accomplished pieces into my muscle memory.
When I was a child, I discovered flow through playing the piano. For me, flow is that magical place where you’re so focused on what you’re doing (and enjoying the process) to the point that time seems to disappear. I am thrilled to be capturing this feeling through music once again.
While I did once burn-out when the pressure of playing piano outweighed the enjoyment gained (ultimately resulting in not playing for 12 years), it is my hope that I have learned enough about the importance of balance to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
Life, as always, continues in up and down phases. It’s a tumultuous, sometimes overwhelming mix of both scary and joyful moments. Whatever the next step is, there will inevitably be tough times ahead, venturing forth into the unknown.
Yet, I cannot help but feel incredibly grateful to be a part of it all.
I hope you feel the same.
* It does have a title by the way. I’ll share more with you soon.