I start rehearsals for my last College of Marin show tonight. We had our first production meeting yesterday and I was in the zone – laughing, joking coming up with utterly scandalous and inappropriate ideas ( my favorite kind) for costumes, plot, staging etc. I was on. Then something shifted and I was scared. I could feel my muscles fatiguing, my breathing getting more labored and I thought – can I do this? I mean I could barely do this when I was healthy!
I don’t know how to downshift and I need to learn fast. But in truth I’d rather not learn. I love the adrenaline rush you get from creating something from nothing, from herding unruly cats and creating something magic through sheer force of will. It’s a rewarding thing and like all rewarding things, it’s hard as hell.
Last night I likened it to having a kid – 34 hours of pain and nausea and great discomfort, years without 8 hours uninterrupted sleep, all-nighters with the croup and for what? For this walking miracle whose mere presence makes life worth living, that’s what. I would go through all of it again for just one more day with my boy. Everything worth having seems to require a certain amount of pain and discomfort. It makes the simple times so very very sweet, the hard fought accomplishments such treasures. I want to experience that again.
I want to make an audience laugh from their bellies until they leak. I want to give them a moment that takes their breath away. I want them to find themselves discreetly wiping away a tear. “You see I want a lot" said Rilke "perhaps I want everything:the darkness that comes with every infinite fall and the shivering blaze of every step up” and why not?
In the meantime, everywhere I go there is love – in places both expected and totally unexpected.