"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity."
TENACIOUS: persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired
~ Merriam Webster Dictionary
A few days ago, I was a "Doubting Thomas." I was calculating which of my freelance checks I could sign over to Robby to put into our Kickstarter fund and still pay rent, I had my family give me my Christmas present early in the form of a Kickstarter donation, and I had convinced myself that we should be thrilled with what we had managed to raise, and cut our losses with a smile.
But, something inside me shifted on Monday night, between watching Patti, the Millionaire Matchmaker, find true love for her clients and my Tuesday morning power smoothie. I realized that I was holding myself back--maybe out of exhaustion, or frustration, or possibly insecurity and the fear of rejection.
You see, when you are developing and producing your own musical, you are a walking paradox. You have to both let go, and hang on for dear life. You've got to have a strong enough ego to confidently promote yourself and your "product," but you also have to swallow your pride if it keeps you for asking for help...or money. You've got to constantly have your eye on the big picture, but also be entrenched in the minute details. And above all, you need the ability to know which side of the coin to be on at any given moment, so that you don't lose your mind. (Mine's still here, thank you.)
Ultimately, what helped me to overcome the hesitation and fear I felt about pushing myself to do a second Kickstarter "push," was my tenacity. I never realized just how tenacious I was, despite the fact that my mother claims, "you've been that way, since you were a baby!"
She's right. I really do hate to give up. I have been known to drive around Park Slope for close to two hours trying to find a Thursday parking spot if I know that "Alternate Side Parking" is suspended that Thursday and I won't have to move my car for two weeks.
I was an actor for most of my life. I went on eighty-five auditions the first year that I moved to New York City.
I taught myself how to play the piano.
I recently opened a bottle of wine without a wine opener.
I hate leaving things unfinished.
And I hate that nagging voice in my head that says, "Could I have done more?" When I answered that question in regard to Kickstarter, I realized that there were avenues that I hadn't gone down yet. (And I've still got a few to explore.) So, even though the last thing I felt like doing on Tuesday was reaching out to more people and asking for money, it was what had to be done, so I did it.
And to be honest, if I didn't immediately get such a positive response, I probably wouldn't be writing this blog. The initial victories-- the theatre buddies from college, my co-star from my CYC production of Cinderella, the friend I helped get a job that got her her Equity card, and so many others, encouraged me to keep asking...and asking. And now we are almost there.
And just like I'm positive that we are going to put on a beautiful and moving show in the spring, I feel pretty confident that we will raise the remaining $1600 we need before December 31st. Because while I walk the producer's tightrope, one thing that will keep me balanced is my tenacity.