I May Not Be Where I Intended To Go
I have just created an event on Facebook and now I feel all weird. Ben isn't here, so I can't rush up to him, shake him by his surprised shoulders and scream "I feel weird!" into his increasingly horrified face.
Instead I am writing a blog post.
I feel weird!
(Consider yourselves shaken by the shoulders.)
Yours with the ever-looming spectre of mania,
It isn't just the act of creating an event that has tipped me over this particular edge, although I think there is a certain dogged madness in the act of clicking on invitees. By the end I was saying each name aloud in a (probably totally impeccable) Brooklyn accent.
No, the weirdness has arisen because the event in question is my solo show.
Somehow the Facebook-ness of it has made it seem all real and scary. More real than the meetings, than the contract, than the funding applications. More real than the writing, even. Definitely more real than the theatre brochure with my name in, which doesn't feel real at all.
So far I have been thinking a lot, and writing. In Edinburgh I did a twenty minute version of an idea, and now I am taking that idea and changing it, making it longer and (hopefully) better, and putting it in a theatre. Rather than, as you may or may not recall, on the top of a bus.
I put in some funding bids, firstly to PRS and then to the Arts Council, but both of them turned me down, saying I "looked really rich" so clearly didn't need it*.
*This is not true, obviously. I don't look rich. All my clothes have holes in them and I have a hunted look in my eye.
So I decided to go ahead with the R&D and the sharing of the work in progress anyway. In a scaled-down way, of course: I can't afford to work with the people I had asked; I can't afford to have all the clever technology made for me; I can't afford the six male dancers in six giant disco balls.
However, it seems to be working out alright so far.
This summer, when I was working on the piece for Edinburgh, I realized that loads of my friends are really, really good at this sort of stuff. Like, plays and theatre and things. So I devised a cunning plan involving a careful mix of flattery and blackmail, and, lo and behold, loads of them gave their time and energy to help me create my show (for which I then took all the credit, obviously). I've done loads with Eggs Collective recently - weird, wonderful, Lambrini-filled performances - and my fellow Eggs have been rallying round. They are basically doing this show. I am but a puppet.
I am really nervous, obviously. It might be awful. What if it is awful? What if someone comes out saying "Hmmm, I can see what she was trying to do?" What if someone says "Hmmm, I can't see what she was trying to do"?
I have moments of elation, normally followed by moments of sheer terror, normally followed sharply by moments of stern self-tellings off. "Stop whining, idiot. No lives are at stake here. It's just a show".
Anyway, it's happening now, because Facebook says so. It may just be a show, but it's my show. And I really, really want it to be good. If it isn't I just won't mention it ever again and we can all go quietly back to our lives.