I can't believe I took a small piece of my first play and had it staged. The experience was unbelievable. As I watched it unfold at rehearsal, my anxiety level skyrocketed from zero to sixty. I couldn't comprehend what was happening and all I wanted to do was sink into the floor and disappear. I call this my first near death experience, minus the harps and angels.
We were a few days away from opening night and I had no time for rewrites. I even thought of pulling it out of the festival but so many great folks had worked so hard to get it there.
Then I came to the conclusion, I would be the laughing stock of my town. I could see it now, fingers pointing at me as I walked by. Whispers of "that's her" and "she really doesn't get it", and it got worse from there.
On opening night my anxiety feelings vanished for no apparent reason and I sat back and just observed. Someone mention once that my play "was my baby". I didn't understand this term until I witnessed it walking and talking on the stage that night.
As I continued to watch, some of the parts did not speak as well as it did on paper, and it bumped into things, I was so afraid it would fall and not get up. Then it suddenly burst into knowledge, wisdom, humour and strength.
Back and forth this went for thirty minutes; similar to labour pains. I noticed with the next two performances, I didn't judge the awkwardness, or the mistakes, because I finally recongized it was a piece of me up there. " My Baby"and I was learning to let go!