Last night was the second of my two preview shows, and I’ll be honest, I think I did much better Wednesday night. I was definitely more “in the flow” and I know exactly why. Three things happened yesterday that pissed me off (beyond my usual state of perpetual annoyment) (just made up that word) and I’m simply not yet such a polished performer that I can separate my own emotions from what I project on stage.
It’s not like anyone said to me afterward, “Gee, Linda, you seemed a little angry up there” or anything like that. On the contrary, lots of people told me they really enjoyed it and one woman named Patty, whom I never met before, positively gushed with praise. But I could tell I just wasn’t hitting my mark.
I’m know I’m being hard on myself and what pisses me off the most is that I let those three things—let’s be truthful, I’m actually talking about three people—get to me to the point that I feel it affected my performance. I let them fuck with the thing that’s most important to me right now, and I’m madder at myself than any of them. How dare I give them that power?
Believe me, it wasn’t a total disaster or anything, and after the show I was thrilled to meet two people from the blogosphere: Donna B, who writes Mystical Journeys, a beautifully touching chronicle of her father’s (and her family’s) struggle with Alzheimer’s, and Tricia, a blog reader from Champaign, Illinois, who is here visiting Vegas with her friend, Diann. Yes, thrilled is the word.
In addition to the fact that I need to find someway to find my flow even when I’m not quite feeling it, I realized something else last night: I’m not going to hit it out of the ball park every time. I hate that realization. I want a home run or nothing and that’s just not realistic, is it?
I think that’s why it’s easy to talk ourselves out of working toward a goal; we expect perfection right out of the gate and get overwhelmed by that prospect, and so we give up before we take the first step. We need to remember that all creative endeavors evolve over time; I know that my show will be tweaked some more before it starts its regular run next month, and it will morph more and more with each passing month. (God willing it runs for many.)
The nicest comment I heard last night was from that woman Patty. She said something like, “You’re doing God’s work,” words that made me well up as I remembered them in bed last night. And that’s what really matters, right? When you’re doing God’s work, you’ll totally be forgiven if you flub a line or two. It’s more important that you just do it.