Stage managing this musical has been an utter nightmare.
Long story short, my lighting guy is completely useless. The director orders changes, and I schedule for them to be done in time for me to come rewrite cues and when I arrive, the changes aren’t done. And the director yells at me. This went on every day all through tech, dress, and even into the first couple of shows. Ugh…
I’ve been at that theatre all day, every day and most of it was spent sitting on my hands, thinking about all the productive things I could be, should be, and would rather be doing.
I tell you this because my teacher really got on my case this week. I got a lot of grief for cancelling lessons due to lack of practice time. In the narrow scope of things, he’s being unreasonable. This week, I was down to the choice of sacrificing sleep or my one meal of the day that wasn’t beer if I wanted to find time to practice. And you’ve probably gathered by now that I’m not one of those people. My well-being comes first, always.
But in the bigger picture… he’s right. I don’t practice enough. And more importantly, I don’t practice aggressively enough. I have a very passive and Zen attitude about my practicing… I do what I’m instructed, how I’m instructed to do it, so it should work. And if it doesn’t, I try not to beat myself up about it, and I keep at it. In some ways I think that has served me well. It’s kept me from getting frustrated and quitting early on. It’s given me permission to be patient with myself.
But I think I’ve out-grown that.
I need grit. I need drive. I need to get angry with myself. Because my teacher is not going to do any of these things for me. He’s going to patiently sit and listen to me play piano once a week. And he’ll tell me funny stories about composers and performers. And when he thinks that I’ve gone as far as my passivity will carry me, he’s going to break me to the point that I never want to touch a piano again. His words, not mine.
And now is a great time to be deciding to change my practice habits. I still have four shows to do this weekend (one’s a double), plus a lot of other catching up to do as well on things like laundry, my church job… but if I wait until I “have time” it’s not ever going to happen. No one ever “has time” to do anything ever. We make time. Those are his words too.
So here we go. Piano practice 2.0. Every day. For as long as it takes. No excuses. No whining (okay… maybe a little whining). More anger. More drive. More shit getting done.
Because I’ve come a long way and it will not be for nothing.