Written shortly after Friday, April 13th.
It’s just absolutely crazy to even think about how our brand new writer’s group just finished our first ever performance on Friday. A dream of mine that’s been in the making for years. A dream that I never, ever thought I would ever get to accomplish.
And, I’ll forever be amazed at how [we] have a ‘things happen for a reason’ story behind how our group was formed. I will never stop mentioning it. I don’t really want to think about what would have happened if Patrick didn’t offer that one-act writing class, in return, then we wouldn’t have even been out to eat together discussing what a shame it is that it’s over….which is the very conversation that started the future of our writer’s group. It’s just still so unbelievable.
Looking at my original proposal to the board, I pretty much stuck to it with the exception of a few things because I ended up having to just go with the flow of the group to kind of see where things would be going. That’s why the first show was called “The Experiment” — literally, it was. I had an idea but didn’t know how that idea was actually going to work.
I also had in my mind how each meeting would go and how our first show would go. I will be quite honest, when I had several who said yes they were interested in joining the group from the original class, but didn’t end up joining… I was at a certain level of disappointment. And there were times when there was only up to three of us (due to other obligations, sickness, etc). That was a scary moment for me because I was wondering if I should just let it go if that was the way it was going to be… but then, something magical happened the last few weeks and everyone started showing up or we added members.
Two Sundays before our evening performance, I asked everyone if they could bring their work in so we can time everything as we read through it. When the meeting was over, I was amazed, and proud, because we were actually going to have a full program. I couldn’t believe it. It was really going to happen.
Many weeks ago I started planning party details in my head. I wanted to do a lot… and some of those ideas were so very unnecessary for the first show, so I scaled back… and scaled back my ideas some more… and changed some things, and worked on really knowing what exactly I wanted.. and what I wanted I did do for our night… but everything—and I mean everything—turned out so much better than I could have ever imagined. It was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anything better for our first show.
For weeks, I was ridiculously nervous about the show approaching. I mean, this was the first ever that could make or break the program that I wanted to keep going in our theater. I wanted it to work. That last rehearsal was stressful: we worked on time, I cut some of the original work I was going to do and switched it around, and still had one thousand things left to do. My blood pressure was sky-high.
Since I was still running around until the last minute, I had to get dressed at the theater. That was a first for me, because since I haven’t acted there yet, I didn’t know what it was to have to change into performance clothing… and well, I got a quiet moment to experience that.
Everyone from the group showed up around 6pm and they focused on getting the food and chairs set up. It wasn’t until people started coming in the door early and then two mentions of “WE NEED MORE CHAIRS” — that’s the moment I looked up and realized… we were going to be okay, and I took a deep breath… just knowing… we were really truly about to put on a show… and all of my butterflies went away and the stage was mine when it was mine.
I never got to finish what I was trying to say above, but I think that’s all I really needed to say, anyway. Yesterday (Sunday May 6th) we (GCP Writer’s Group) had our first meeting back after taking 3 weeks off. Some of the original members and attendees were there, and so I asked them what was a success and what we could do better… there wasn’t much to add to ‘better’ other than let’s improve on the lights, have a tech rehearsal or a couple of rehearsals beforehand. And the major success was…. people really did show up and even though this was my first show it didn’t look like it. I am so happy. I still smile then tear up just thinking about it. I still can’t believe it actually happened. A major dream of mine was checked off. Pinch me?
My group is growing and so are my ideas. I have so many ideas that I know I need to keep it toned back until we get stabilized enough that we can do some crazy things. All in due time, though. I am so happy with all of the writers who joined the first semester and I am so happy to have them and newer members joining me for this next semester.
Trial and error will be our teacher…and I am so looking forward to our next masterpiece.