Many who have been around awhile know that I lovingly refer to performance season as going through labor and delivery (the birth of a "show"). For those who can't relate, we could also think about the first big dive on a roller coaster. That long, uphill climb. Some of us are thrilled with anticipation, and some with dread. From "I can't wait" to "Let me off, I'm going to DIE!!" I feel that thoughts like that spoken and unspoken are floating around in the air at the studio these days, like the little ghost dust particles we see on the infrared cameras when it's quiet and everyone has gone home.
After all of the work and preparation - we are still not ready. News flash: You will never feel ready. Not completely. You MAY know lines, notes, choreography, entrances, exits, blocking...have your costume changes down to 6 seconds flat, have your personal props and costumes organized, labeled and in perfect order. Or you may not. You may be stressed over every detail of not only your own part, but the parts that other cast members play and their own preparation, or lack thereof.
If you feel you've got YOUR act together, then you have learned a valuable life lesson. Now the next lesson - not all of us CAN or WILL do what you do. Or maybe you're one that struggles to keep it together. Need help? Ask. Who will answer? I don't really know, but hope and pray that part of what is learned here is that to work as a team, you all have to work as a team. Profound, huh? Probably no surprise that I was never very good at sports, but I always hear how important it is to work together. Some of these hot-shot athletes try to be humble and say stuff like, "it takes a team." Well, I don't know sports, but I get that! You can't do it alone. God has indeed given us different strengths and talents - and even, yes, weaknesses. Work together.
Why are you doing this? For glory? I hope not. It's fun to be on stage and delight and entertain audiences. That is truly a gift. To offer wholesome fun, laughter and entertainment is not to be taken lightly. What else? You offer a story. We laugh when we recognize ourselves and our situations. Tell the story well and sometimes it offers a little life lesson - or just a good laugh that momentarily dries someone's tears. In the process hopefully you've learned to appreciate what it takes to be on stage or on film; to write a good story or put together a good song with harmony. Hopefully you've gained some confidence and learned some skills. More importantly, I hope you've discovered gifts that God has given you. Not just "singer, dancer, actor" (certainly, those are great!) but also "peacemaker, helper, encourager, organizer, director, writer..." there is no end to the list.
So we're on this roller coaster...going uphill...and the fact is, it's GOING to go over the top - ready or not. After the first big plunge, there will be more ups and downs. Some big, some small, some unexpected turns. And when it's all over, some will say, that was great! Let's do it again! (Even some who were terrified at the climb, and will be so again.) Others will say, "OK, now I've done it. Don't ever ask me to do that again!" That's OK. But we're going to do it! Together! Hang on to your seats and hold hands and pray! Most likely, you will live through it. :-)