Listen To Your Mother is only days away. So close that as I write this my hands are trembling just a little because of the adrenaline that is flying through my veins. It is so close. I want to slow down time so I can savor the anticipation and keep it slow so I can feel every moment on Saturday.
It has been a long time since I have been back on stage. Actually, wait – My daughter’s elementary school does a take on American Idol for their annual big fundraiser. It takes place at our city’s high school auditorium. It has become a tradition and a big community event. Last year, I was one of the judges. I was J Lo. THAT was the first time back on stage. As J Lo.
As silly as it may sound, it was a watershed moment for me. Backstage, before the show began, there was a buzz of energy and flop sweat. When I walked across the stage, and became J Lo for the next ninety minutes, I knew there was no turning back. I was home again. I know this is dramatic – but I felt one with the theater universe, a connection.
The stage has magic – whether that stage is on Broadway or a community theater in Ohio or a high school stage in New Hampshire. It all felt right – making people laugh, staying in character, that specific sweat that only occurs in nervous anticipation. I felt like it was back where I should be. I made peace – with my absence from performing – and with honoring the power of ANY size stage. High School stage. The Majestic Theater in Boston. All of the same talents are required. All of them matter. All of these performers and stages make the world go ‘round.
As I have prepared for LTYM, I have been giddy with the entire process. Submitting my piece. An audition! It was so happy to just be auditioning – even if I didn’t make it, I was so damn thankful to have that experience – to have this affirmation that I am on the right path. (I think I have spent a great deal of energy going the wrong way with my writing…)I have never been so excited to audition for anything in my life. Because I believed in my piece with ferocious strength. Because I wanted this so damn much. Because it felt right.
I have known for a long time that I am better when I am collaborating. My strengths come out when I am with a group. I experience this when my girlfriends and I are creating songs or my husband and I team up on our parenting and collaborate on our life together. I feel it when I am teaching with someone – I am always better when I share it with a partner. When I lived in New York and I meet my friend Kirsty and we collaborated and created our show, Stephie in the Sky with Kirsty – it was pure performance magic. I am still looking for a partner to write and create magic. I know he or she is out there. But I now know I cannot put my ideas on hold until I find this creative soul mate. I have important stories to tell.
I have found a new place with my cast members in Listen To Your Mother. It has been a dream. Supportive and honest and saturated with talent. It has given my story a platform and a home and a microphone and a stage.
I am on my knees with gratitude.