I read something once about how, when we try to realize a new idea we create a cosmic clash of energy and matter as our ethereal thoughts take on a material dimension. The material world, being made of clunky atoms and taxicabs and melted cheese and fingernails and such, resists new ideas (it’s busy, thank you) fiercely when they try to break in. This is called “trouble at the border.”
I’ve pushed enough new ideas into this world to know this. So I expected trouble. I had a continent to cross (with a child in tow) in the middle of the night, a new city to navigate, a limited bank account and a pile of information to juggle, and NO EXPERIENCE doing anything like this, much less being in charge of it!
When my favorite actress and biggest helper (Kim) found out her doctors had scheduled her for surgery a few days before our rehearsal, I took that in stride and thanked myself for casting understudies. I called Cesar, our assistant to the whoever could use him, to see if he could pick up the 30 t-shirts I’d ordered and had shipped to her, he said he could work something out. When my printer failed to print out the scores, scripts, and feedback cards they had promised me (each of the three times I had called), I figured okay, we can do that in New York.
When the kid said he was feeling a little queasy, though, getting off a sleepless night on an airplane, I didn’t consider that a major roadblock… until he started throwing up (both ends, actually) when we needed to be sleeping, causing me to wonder if we’d make it to the rehearsal at all. Then I got two more phone calls from two more favorite actors: one who had a death in the family, and one whose mother had suffered a massive stroke. Good lord! More calls to understudies.
At the last possible minute, good news: my son rallied and we made our way to the subway station. We got out at Times Square, lugging our suitcases and bags at top speeds, and got a call from Michael: the box office could not locate our keys. At that point I assessed all that had happened and told the universe: KNOCK IT OFF! I expected trouble, but this was ridiculous. I stormed in with a smile (thrilled to identify all of my cast members lolling about on the floor) and didn’t take no for an answer. My contact was on vacation across the country and they couldn’t reach her. But I booked the place fair and square, and finally we found our way in the back door of the studio. (The keys had been mis-sent to the warehouse.)
There was only one last roadblock: the actors didn’t know the music!