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three lessons from the big show

In A Booth At Chasen's

1) Let your project out of the house.
People can’t support what they don’t know about.

2) Allow your project to become as big as it needs to be.
You are not necessarily in charge of the scope of your success.

3) Relax. Breathe. Everything is fine.
Just because you are out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean you need to be uncomfortable. Stay centered in yourself no matter what.

On October 15, 2018, was the first full rehearsal for my show, In a Booth at Chasen’s: The Real-Life Hollywood Love Story of Ron and Nancy Reagan.

Over the course of the day, Andy, our Emmy-award winning set designer, explained to me how he got the historically-exact measurements on the wainscoting for the set…

The orchestrator pointed out a hidden musical “joke” in the score that I had no idea was there…

The director/choreographer showed me how one of the characters could convey a panoply of emotions in a series of deceptively simple dance moves…

It was so exciting knowing that I had helped create the vehicle for all these people to bring their best work forward.

I loved hearing about how working on our show had brought out their creative genius in new ways, and how much fun they were having bringing the show to life.

And so I thought of a few take-aways that might be useful to you:

1) LET YOUR PROJECT OUT OF THE HOUSE

It’s time to quit putting on shows in the living room. It’s time to get your work out of the closet, out of the basement, out of the drawer, out of your head, and into the light of day.

The world needs your art.

So today – untie the emotional knots that are keeping your projects trapped, and explore some simple ways to set your work free out in the world.

You never know what amazing collaborators, clients and fans have been waiting for exactly what you have to offer.

2) ALLOW YOUR PROJECT TO BECOME AS BIG AS IT NEEDS TO BE.

You are not 100% in charge of the success of your project. The world may need it to be far more successful than you ever imagined.

I’ve never worked on a show with a budget this big, and while it’s a bit intimidating, it’s also thrilling to see what happens when a lot of A-list talent gets free rein. (Think: 5 rear-screen projectors, custom video and hand-crafted costumes…)

3) RELAX. BREATHE. EVERYTHING IS FINE.

Everyone is going through something right now. Everyone has financial stressors, health issues, family concerns and grave self-doubt.

Everyone.

So relax. Breathe. Make eye contact. Be a place of rest, of calm, of cheerful good humor. Don’t get caught up in the petty dramas.

Look – right now – just do some 4:7:8 breathing (inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, exhale for a count of 8) and notice how your body reacts.

You can choose peace.

*************************************************

My friends Phil Swann and Academy-award winner Al Kasha wrote a gorgeous score, and I worked hard on our script, and together we came up with the sweetest, most charming show ever.

It’s a love story.

Just two characters.

It’s set in Hollywood, 1949-1952.

And it’s called….

In a Booth at Chasen’s: The Real Life Hollywood Love Story of Ron and Nancy Reagan

Yep.

And now, thanks to some generous backers and a brilliant production team, our little show enjoyed a GLORIOUS full-scale production at:

The historic El Portal Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
Nov. 9-25, 2018

We are powered by an insanely gifted team:

– the director, Kay Cole, was the original “Maggie” in “A Chorus Line” (!!!!) as well as in the original Broadway casts of “Hair,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and about a zillion other shows.

– the set designer, Andy Walmsley, has won Emmys for his work on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

– the orchestrations were done by the brilliant Luke Hannington (my sweetheart).

INTERESTING QUESTION: What project of yours are you willing to let out of the house today?

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