Saturday, April 15, 2017
Two performances down, two to go. Performing on the road is a whole new ball game. What to pack, how to keep gowns from wrinkling, how to juggle staying with friends and keeping the focus, how to keep nerves intact while eating weird food and not having the luxury of exercise routine and balanced diet.
I have a whole new respect for entertainers who perform their concerts night after night with the excitement and stress of getting acclimated to the venue, the accoustics, the instruments, the air. . .
How do the big names do it night after night, week after week? I now get how they need alcohol and drugs to keep their stamina and sanity, which of course will bring them to their knees if continued long term.
The last six days have been a whirlwind of adjustments, excitement, thrills, frustrations and dream-come-true moments. The reception I have experienced from friends and audience members has been humbling and exhilarating. From lovely compliments to friends with tears rolling down their cheeks, I have learned why the big names continue to put themselves out there and share their talent. I am no "big name," and I am certainly no concert pianist, but I have had a small taste of the "high" of "a job well done." This is not an activity for the thin-skinned or the feint of heart. It takes stamina, courage, a lot of positive self-talk, some serious meditating, constant discipline, incredible focus and a good sense of humor. All of this will drain a normal person's energy very quickly, so a good night's rest is crucial. (Imagine sleeping on a different bed in a different hotel every night for weeks on end).
I have spent almost a year preparing my George Gershwin one-woman show. The journey/process has been the motivator. I love the research--finding fascinating facts and funny stories about famous people that no one would have imagined. I love taking all the information and molding it into an entertaining/educational script that will engage my audience. I love adding my own touches to it to give it my own unique perspective. I enjoy creating a voice with which to tell the story in a humorous but informative way. Performing the 6-7-page script and playing the pieces is the icing on the cake. With every kind word comes an ounce of energy to launch me into the next project.
Thank you to all who attended. Thank you to all who encouraged me along the way. Thank you to my father who taught me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it (even in my 70s). Thank you to my close friends who love me no matter what, and thank you to my daughters who seem to be proud, not embarrassed. Of course, thank you, most, to Mr. Wonderful, who has to listen to the endless practice sessions, endure my angst before performing, read the script and tell me if it makes sense, endure the fear of my crashing on my face. Thank you, my love!
Whether I am George Sand, Emma Bardac, Kay Swift or ????, I am always happy to tell a story that will continue the appreciation of the talented composers who enrich our lives with their music.
Sergei, here I come.