Quick! What do you think when you hear the word “Nantucket”? when I put out a call to my Facebook community for clean-minded Nantucket harp limericks.
And tomorrow I’ll be up early, pack the van with harps, CDs, costumes, makeup and head down to Hyannis, at the nether-end of Massachusetts where I’ve never been before. We’ll get on the ferry and get off in the middle of “Daffodil Weekend” in Nantucket.
The minute we pull down the driveway, I’ll start obsessing over what I might have forgotten. I’ll stop two blocks down the road, run to the back of the van to ferret down into some bag to make sure I have something-or-other. I’ll find it. I’ll be frazzled.
Then I’ll mentally sit myself down, stare in my eyes sternly and say, “Look, what are only three things you really need? And I’ll say: My harp, myself, and Shelley*” and we’ll drive off.
(Shelley Fairchild is one of performers I’m coaching in my 6-month “Harness Your Muse” program. She’s in Boston with me this week for one-on-one intensive training — and … don’t tell her this, but I’m hoping I can get her on stage with me at the “Dreamland”)
I Sweat the Details
The details that lead up to a show are what I stress and obsess over, from ticket sales to my equipment, my set-list and whether there will be food when I need it. The minute I stop obsessing over whether we’ll sell enough tickets, I start obsessing over what happens if we sell out and people can’t get in. I just worry.
It’s like Chipmunk Central in my head.
But the minute I walk on stage, all the chatter stops. It. Completely. Stops.
My Safe Zone
The stage is my safe zone, the zone of focus, the zone of NOW. There is no preparation left to do. There are no mistakes to fix.
Once I’m on stage, any mistake, any mis-step, mishap or disaster gets folded into the show itself as if it were a lucky break. The things that do go ‘wrong’ often end up being the special, funny moments that one audience and I will always share.
I don’t know how I learned to do this: to be completely ‘OK’ with everything that happens on stage. I wish I could do it in other places of my life.
But it just ‘happens’ when I walk on stage.
It’s like an island. Each performance is a glorious escape to that island, where I feel truly alive and completely present, utterly happy in my body and my life, like I’m doing what I’m meant to do.
What’s your island?