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Self-Producing: A Solo Adventure #6 – It’s a Wrap

June 12, 2013

As the proverbial curtain fell on View from the Pews last week, I felt victorious – I had done it! A journey that began six years ago finally found its footing and launched into an exciting new phase of its life.

It was a small house, made smaller when four people walked out in the first ten minutes – the first ten minutes are rather inflammatory, and designed to be so. Fortunately, the festival producers were excited that the show generated a response visceral enough to prompt multiple walk-outs.  They had forgotten to arrange a talkback, but asked that I scurry out to the lobby to chat with the audience because they were eager to talk to me about the piece. Boy howdy, were they. I had forgotten how much this piece inspires people to tell me their own stories about feelings of rejection by the church and/or its people. I got an earful about Vatican II, something which helped inspire the direction for some of the changes I want to make on the script. It was a lovely and encouraging reception.

And then I packed up the show, got in the car and —

Well, when you are the solo person in a solo show, there is no cast with whom to get a celebratory drink. And I was out-of-town, so there were no friends to call to go out with me. I was the only show in the festival that night, so no other performers were around. What a total bummer! I headed towards my accommodations, figuring I would stop by a dining establishment and sidle up to the bar for a solo celebratory beverage, but by the time I got to the part of town where I was staying, everything was closing down. It was kinda disheartening, to have spent so much time and effort in the past five weeks to get the show ready, and then have no way to fete that accomplishment. Note to self: make party plans next time, or at least scout out a place on urbanspoon to have a post-show bite & beverage.

In the intervening days since the festival performance, I have ridden a roller coaster of “F— Yeah! I did it!” and “What the f— have I done?!” I am now dealing with the stark reality of what to do next. For so long, my prime directive, as it were, was to get the show up on its feet. Well, it is that; it’s up, alright. And I have some edits that need to be made. But, what else? What kind of life does this show have?

These are questions with which I will be wrestling in the coming months. I have given myself one month to catch up on other projects that got pushed to the back burner and to let the experience settle in my psyche. In one month, I will open the script back up, re-examine the notes I made about future changes, and decide what happens next.

But in the meantime, I have decided to choose this mantra: F— Yeah! I did it!

Have you ever produced a solo show? What were your best accomplishments/fiercest challenges? How do ensure that you stop and celebrate your accomplishments? Comment below!


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