Friday, October 06, 2006

A Memorable Evening

It's like the day after Christmas ... so much excitement, the build-up, the planning, preparation, practice, and then ... it's Showtime!

The night took my breath away. Is this any hint as to how one must feel on opening night on Broadway? Maybe just a little, I suppose ... but for me ... it might as well have been ...

The stage was a church altar, the music pit only one piano with a very accomplished composer. The audience ... friends--family. The crew--Michael, and Steve the light and soundman. The cast ... (sigh) just me. And, of course, Rose at the piano.

And yet ... the night was the most memorable evening of my life.

I felt swept away ... up and away into the stories, the music, and then I sang. Oh yes, you heard me right. I sang. A cappella, no less. But in order to do that, I had to go back in my mind ... into the dim mists of time to a place of tabernacle and tent revival days. And though Rose said I'm a Contralto, a voice range many singers would LOVE to have ... I just sang in the manner of my childhood. The days my sisters and I would play church on our back porch steps ... sing our hearts out. To the only songs we knew. Gospel.

And ... it worked. At least that's what my critics said. A few asked me afterward at the reception who my voice teacher was. I laughed good and hard.

Rose played like an angel. Her performance--flawless. She glided across the piano with the skill of those who play at Carnegie Hall. The result was a tearjerker.

"Not long enough!"
"A professional performance of the highest quality!"

.... some of the comments afterwards. Ah, shucks, folks. I'm speechless.

And then came the invitations ... to perform at Southern Pines, and other notable venues. It’s something to think about.

And then from an all-time high to arriving at the Jamestown Library this afternoon to an audience of 0. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nobody showed. So, Mike and I toured the historical library, bid farewell to the gracious and sweet librarian who booked us, offered to return on a better day, and headed home. To prepare to speak again tomorrow. To hopefully, a room full of beating hearts.

Oh, the highs and lows of a being an author who speaks. You just never know. One night the place is packed, jammed to the rafters, the crowd is amazing ... and then the next day ... you wonder if the world has come to an end.

Who knows ... memorable evenings carry you through good times and bad. Abundant fans and sparse crowds of two. It's always a risk ... every word you write, every time you step out the door. But it's worth every second of it.

I wouldn't trade this life, this series of memorable evenings for anything ...

Blessings to you and yours.

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