My head, my heart, and my soul are all still swimming from it all.
About a year ago, I created some short, cute scenes involving dating and break-ups with a sock monkey playing the other character. They were entertaining and well-received. An audience member came up to me after one of my performances and asked if it was part of a bigger project–if I had any intentions of creating an entire show out of the idea. I didn’t think that would be possible. I mean, I had thought and dreamed about doing a one-woman show. But based on talking with sock monkeys? No way. It’s a unique idea, but I didn’t think something like that could sustain itself for a whole show.
Months passed and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I wrote a couple of more scenes and was really liking what I wrote. After performing some more of these vignettes in front of audiences, I was starting to become convinced that maybe it was possible. I approached Jen Ellison, a theatre artist who I greatly admire, and asked her if she would be willing to direct me in this weird project. Thankfully, she accepted and after a summer of rehearsing with her, I had a show! A show when an actor is on stage talking to sock monkeys–under someone else’s direction–could’ve been disastrous. But Jen is a master. She understood my vision for the show from the beginning and fostered the depth it needed to sustain itself.
It’s still amazing to me that I did it–that I wrote a one-woman show and did a whole run in Chicago. The irony about doing a solo show, is that you can’t do it alone. I had a fabulous director, a wonderful producer, and a fantastic crew of people who made the show possible each Thursday for seven whole weeks. And, of course, the show STILL wouldn’t have been possible without an audience each night.
In my show, I say to one of the monkeys, “I can’t do that. I can’t promote myself. I don’t know how to market myself–it’s just weird.” In the scene, I’m referring to online-dating. But I can easily apply it to being an artist. I felt weird about sending out the countless emails–practically begging folks to come–not to mention the abundance of facebook invites, messages, and postings I sent out on weekly basis. But I did it. And I’m glad I did it. Because people did come (even when the weather was super crappy).
So, I want to thank everybody. Thanks of course to Jen, Don, Dominique, Speedy, Jessica, and Sophie for helping make this run possible. But thank you also to everyone who supported me during the creative process (you know you you are) and to everyone who came out to the show and told people about the show, and came again and brought others! (Again, you know who you are)! Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I am proud of the show and will definitely perform it again. But in this post-run, hazy time, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around booking shows and filling out applications. For now, I will just don my comfy pants and have a good rest.