Last weekend I hit a wall (not literally). I didn’t quite have the ‘mean reds’, and I promise I didn’t shred my pillows Audrey Hepburn-style, but I was starting to lose a little bit of the oomph needed to tackle the task in hand. There just didn’t seem to be enough days in the week to finish our script, which would finally allow us to put our show into 3D (unfortunately not the kind with the glasses, though we could give it a try?). The reality of producing a successful show seemed to be a distant dream and my chocolate intake was getting bigger by the second.
I must admit that this may have had something to do with bumping into a friend from Uni who I hadn’t spoken to in ages. As lovely as this was, it of course brought round the inevitable and often dreaded question of “what are you up to at the moment?” She had been around the world and was now making a very promising start to her directing career. My stomach did a nose dive as I began to list the (interesting) theatre things that I had been up to. Although I felt like I had spent the past few months working my behind off, the list, in comparison to hers, seemed a little… well… small. Out loud, the list of projects didn’t quite equate to the work I actually put in, and when speaking about my show I felt the terrifying fear of rejection creeping in. A bit like going on a first date and feeling a little inadequate. I suddenly became an 18 year old fresher again.
So there you have it; I was hit with a wave of self doubt and inexperience, feelings not too useful for the aspiring producer, and ones I hope you will forgive me for. In the back of my mind, I knew I was just being a bit of a drama queen: a product perhaps of my days sat watching musical theatre stars cartwheeling out of rehearsals rooms and bursting into spontaneous song. Nothing puts me more on edge then a full musical medley at 9 am.
In my previous blog, I mentioned momentum, that scientific wonder that keeps everything rolling, a force that is vital to all producers and their productions, and the energy that I was perhaps lacking. This momentum can often come from the encouragement and enthusiasm of others ,and of course believing in yourself and your project. I apologise if I am sounding too High School Musical. But without this you might not have an audience and I hear ‘rent a crowd’ is quite pricey. So how can you get yourself out of a theatre -related slump?
My answer to this was to do two things: first, go see a show, not for research, although I admit I took some mental notes, but purely for pleasure. So off I went to Hammersmith to see Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales at the Lyric. And what a pleasure it was. From the first glimpse of the eerily glowing clock to the hilariously sinister ending, I genuinely enjoyed myself. Although the show didn’t break any boundaries, it reminded me just how much I enjoy going to the theatre. And secondly, I had a fantastic script meeting with my Co-Producer, Nikki, whose enthusiasm for our project reminded me just why we were doing it. I am pleased to say all our hard work is starting to pay off. The read through we did of our completed scenes has definitely got me thinking about casting which, fingers crossed, will be starting soon. I can’t wait.
And just like that my faith in both the theatre and my show has been restored. The depressing list has been dismissed as an adverse reaction to morning musicals and although I may still need to learn to talk the talk ,I do hope I am starting to walk the walk. Therefore if anyone else is having an attack of the mean reds or the January blues get yourself down to the theatre, you’ll be cured in no time. And in the words of Journey – “Don’t stop believin’!’”
You can read more of Pippa’s State of Play blogs here. Image by Miss Minx.