As performers we are always in pursuit of something. It is sort of the nature of the beast. When we book a job or start work on a project, it has a limited life span, after which we have no choice to begin the search again, and/or to deal with that weird in between state where we are done with our previous project but don’t have a new project to focus on (yet).
This is the exact state that I find myself in this week. I just finished producing and acting in Ordinary Days to benefit the Autism Theatre Initiative, which was definitely the most consuming project that I have yet to be a part of.
In its early stages, when I just started to reach out to get the rights and began to dig into the character of Deb, I was able to maintain some semblance of balance in my life. I was meditating and exercising on a regular basis and able to stay on top of the tasks before me. I was regularly planning goals and tasks for the week, and then able to fulfill those tasks, reflect on my progress, and then repeat. There was space to breathe and an on-going feeling of being in control and having ample time to make decisions about each and every aspect of what I was creating both inside and outside of the project.
Then came the fast and furious bit. The part where there was increasingly more to do and less time to breathe, and I had no choice but to put my seat belt on and go for the ride. My priority lists became a thing of the past, as did a lot of my personal time for meditation, exercise, and reflection. I began to realize that there is always more one can do and maybe my initial thoughts that I could produce it solo were extremely misguided. So I had some choices to make, a lot of them faster than I would have liked, about where to focus my energy. I didn’t always make the right choice, but nonetheless made one. Because that was what was required.
At times I was incredibly exhausted, but the excitement of what I was doing fueled me. We performed twice and raised a very nice sum for the Autism Theatre Initiative. Could I have done more, given the right circumstances? Sure, but given the actual circumstances, I feel incredibly fulfilled. I put it all out there on the table.
And now, here I am in the calm after the storm once again. I used to hate the lull after a show. It was always so depressing to me, in part because I didn’t have the answer to the dreaded question “what next?” But this time, I am grateful for so much. The opportunity to rest and reflect. To re-evaluate my goals and make new choices from a state of space and calm. I’m in a place of complete possibility. And that is a wonderful space to live in.
How do you navigate the downtime between projects and goals? Do you find this space welcome or daunting? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Have a wonderful week!