This is what I wrote to a friend of mine, who contacted me for a pep talk before going on stage to perform in a play.
I’m sharing this with you, to help you get through your own big show, which might be anything from a date that you’re nervous about, a project you’re working on at work, boarding that plane despite your fear of flying… anything that you choose to do that calls you to stand taller, to bust through your fears and shine the best you can.
First off, my congratulations to you! Whatever fears you might be swimming through, it means you are landing in new territory, crossing bridges, taking the opportunity to stretch yourself.
You know you have talent – and I know you do, I’ve seen you. Know that your talent goes beyond being the seed with potential, waiting to be refined. At this point, your seed has already received some nurturing.
That seed in you carries within it an inner guidance and inner knowing, to grow towards the sun, to reach and leap into that beautiful sky. Whatever higher powers that gave birth to the seed put plenty of magic inside it, constantly pulls it, constantly guides it.
Just like a plant receives support from soil and rain, tonight, use the show to your advantage. Use the energy of your show-mates as fresh air. Use the energy of the audience as sunlight. Use the humanity expressed in the play to provide you with yummy soil. Convert the energy into a usable form. Be creative, your mind is powerful.
You say you didn’t rehearse enough. Use whatever you have in your system in the moment, be it fully rehearsed or not, and have fun! Be glad that things aren’t over-rehearsed, because that can have its own trap too! I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of plays where they rehearsed plenty, but had no spark.
You can rehearse all you want, but life has funny ways of operating. There are many shows where unexpected things happen that weren’t in the script. Sometimes those become the best shows. Sometimes they become the best playground for spontaneity, for new possibilities and discoveries.
The ultimate experience for the audience comes when the actors are feeling, living, and enjoying the magic of each moment. Don’t tell the playwrights, but the play itself is just a fantastic structure that’s hosting the real show.
Maybe you didn’t do the character work you say you should have done, but you are full of character already, so use it.
You say this show is a big one. Big show, little show, real show, fake show, in the big scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. Some of the most precious of gems in my life have come from what appeared to be small. And the big moments, in the end, become one of many.
In a way, every moment in life is a big show, an opportunity to show up and shine to our fullest, knowing that we’re enough as we are. And every moment is a small show too, an opportunity to keep things in perspective, to know that life will go on, and there will be more amazing opportunities if we allow.
Now go be the girl that brings life and light to wherever you go; stop worrying about the you that you don’t yet know how to be, and go be the amazing you that you already know how to be!
What was the big show that YOU got through, and what helped you get through it?