So, I’ve always loved acting. Always. Even when I was little and shy, the stage thrilled me.
To me, acting is a gift of love to my audience. Because acting requires vulnerability–one never knows how the audience will respond. Acting takes courage. Acting takes selfless gift and commitment and honor.
And, mostly…love. When I act, I think about sending my love to my audience, like rays of invisible light, cast into their midst.
I didn’t act in this play, though, even though I could have, I guess. But, acting in a play requires a heavy amount of commitment, and with a new job and also being in charge of directing the play…I decided against that life.
So, instead, I sat in my all-black ensemble (stage hand life, ya’ll) on the side and watched the show.
It was a good show. My cast poured themselves into this. They were good and talented and, really, I think I got goosebumps every time I watched the thing; laughed out loud every time I watched the show.
One of my friends, after the first show, said to me, “I think the tagline for this should be, “Espresso Yourself | A very Nell musical.”
I laughed. I guess it was. As director I could make decisions like, “I want a funny song, with audience participation, here. I want a dance, here, to bring up the energy levels. I want the audience to be sitting around us, as if they are in a coffee shop. I want flowers on the tables.”
As director, all of this is under me. Directing, too, is an act of love.
But, what struck me most about this process was the fact that other people were performing things that I wrote. I’ve never had that happen before. Heck, besides one retreat of, what, ten other girls, I’ve never so much as read any of my words to a crowd.
I feel like I stepped into another realm of vulnerability. Because I had to entrust other artists with my work. When I act, I don’t know how my audience will respond/ interpret/ react. As an author, I had no idea how the artists entrusted with my work would turn around and present that to an audience.
While I feel like “control” is an illusion anyway, the act of writing-performance-pieces-for-others was another step into the unknown.
It’s a fragile process, no doubt. But, one that I’m grateful that I was able to be a part of.
Happy Thursday, ya’ll.
(Also, pray for me. I caught a cold.) 🙂