Day 9 2014 – An Idea Sparks…

It happens the same way, almost every time. You are sitting minding your own business, maybe doing an innocuous task and…

An idea sparks…

You stop what you’re doing, and listen to the idea…

It’s small to start, but it gains momentum. It grows in you as it comes into focus. Then, when it becomes clear, you write it down.

You look at it. Examine it. Change it slightly here and there. It’s just an idea…

“Naw…. that’ll never work”… so you put it away and get back to your innocuous tasks because that laundry isn’t going to do itself.

… the spark doesn’t go out… it keeps gnawing at your mind…

You go back to it… “Maybe this could work”… you build on it.

A week later you have forty pages that stem from the idea. It’s a good idea… you think…

You gain some opinions from others:

“That’s Great!” “I don’t get it” “It’s kinda long” “It’s kinda short” “It’s really funny” “It’s not funny enough”….

You listen to some, ignore others…

You come to a resolution… let the fates decide.

You enter the Fringe lottery, if you get in then you’ll do it, if you don’t then it wasn’t meant to be.

You’re the fifth name drawn… you don’t know how to feel about that… are you supposed to feel happy?

You pay the fees, and start working on the idea more and more. You ask for some help with sets, costumes, props, people to be in it, people to help.

They all have opinions too. You try to weather the storm and remember your idea.

Some of the people quit… you find others… they quit too… you find more…

When they quit, you take it all on yourself… you can do it on your own…

Soon the idea picks up speed, becomes it’s own force… first it takes all of your spare time, then it takes all the rest of your time, then it demands time that you don’t have.

You lose sleep, you lose hair, you lose friends…

Handbills, posters, facebook, and tweets…

You try to find just the right music…

Rehearse… and rehearse some more…

You memorise…

The idea goes through three hours of technical rehearsal…

“No, this is the light we have, we don’t have purple. If you stand there, I can’t light you. I can’t play two pieces of music so close together”…

You compromise… change the idea to fit the space… and then memorise again…

Media interviews, pictures on Twitter.

Then the big day… you perform the idea for the first time… all the people in the audience you know, except for the two on the end of the aisle taking notes.

They clap at the end… they liked it… they heard your idea.

“That was….. great!” “I’m so proud of you!” “That was….. great!”

Relief… the idea has been released to the people… you sleep for the first time in months.

Online the next day… thank everyone on social media… and then, with your heart in your throat… you check the reviews…

…. one star….

………………….

“A confusing account of an idea” “Not worth seeing” “A terrible idea”

………………….

You despair…

You try to “fix it”, cut that music, bring up that light quicker, change the words, change the costume, change the props…..

… change the idea…

You lose more sleep, more hair, more friends….

….you lose faith…

A week and a half of single digit houses… whispers in lineups about your terrible idea… looks of pity…

…you try to put it behind you. When it’s over, you’ll discard the idea…

And you swear you will never ever let yourself be controlled by an idea again…

Back to innocuous tasks, back to life, back to normal…

Out of the blue, while sitting at a table in a coffee shop… an elderly hand touches yours…

“I thought I recognised you! I saw your idea. It was so lovely, I identified with it so much. Thank you for sharing it, it was a marvelous idea… …the same thing happened to me.”

… your spirit soars… your idea touched someone… your idea lives on within someone else… your idea has been validated

… a weight lifts… your despair disappears…

… you smile…

… and then it’s back to life and laundry and innocuous tasks… but with higher spirits…

…until…

…out of the blue…

…it happens again…

… and an idea sparks…

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About JBJ

John lives in an abandoned toolshed behind a fake rubber vomit warehouse in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada with a squirrel named Peanut Hoarder, where he steals an internet signal from the Kung Fu school next door. He is a little "off". View all posts by JBJ

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