It was a strange experience. I wasn't sure what to expect. It was my first play and its first production. I sat there as the lights dimmed above the audience and the song 'there's no business like show business' started playing. (You see what I did with the title of this post. I'm so clever.)
My heart flipped, an erratic beat in my chest. Blood roared in my ears. I swallowed down my stomach that had somehow found its way into my throat. My hands gripped the paper programme so tightly that the creases in my fingers turned white. I was suddenly nervous. Why? I wasn't the one acting. I was never very good at that type of thing. I'm more the drama queen and we drama queens have the tendency to over-act.
The actors appeared and a hush fell around me. People were actually there to watch my play. Then it hit me. I had written a comedy. What if no one laughed? Can you imagine it? Lines that you had struggled over, re-written, deleted and then re-re-written and no one even laughs. My palms began to sweat. I squirmed in my seat. Breath held, I watched as the actors arrived on stage and the first lines were uttered. Two more lines passed and there was silence. Oh dear. Where did it all go wrong?
I slumped into my seat, felt the shame grow like fungus around me. More lines passed. Three minutes felt like an hour and I wanted to crawl under the row of seats and disappear out the door. Then it happened. It sounded like angels singing and harps playing. No, wait, I can't in all honesty type that without laughing. It didn't sound that cheesy. It sounded like relief. And you know what relief sounds like? Laughter. That's what.
They laughed. The audience laughed. After that I relaxed. I went with the flow. I smiled and watched the actors make the parts their own, watched them faff up their lines and recover with perfect professionalism.
As the lights brightened and my family congratulated me and I heard about the good review I had received from the previous week, I felt kind of proud. And now I'm like a little proud bunny. (I thought the bunny would be appropriate considering it's Easter. Again, I'm so clever.)
I never imagined I would feel this way. As well as putting an overdue smile on my face, the play has given me a bit of a morale boost. Maybe I can do this writing thing after all. It wouldn't hurt to try would it? And you know what else? All of a sudden I'm feeling inspired.
Inspiration. I'll take that from anywhere.