One thing I am most grateful for as we move into the final throes of Helen's"birthing," is that both Robby and I have managed to hold on to our sense of humor thus far.
And it really, really helps.
Of late, every time I'm doing some absurd Helen-specific task that has absolutely nothing to do with being an artist or writer or lyricist, I imagine famous musical theatre writers doing it.
Because, after all, Robby and I are writers. He writes gorgeous, complex melodies and I try to match his brilliance with my lyrics and book scenes. And when we write, there is nothing on earth I would rather be doing. Writing is fun. Producing...well, it can be unpleasant.
And writing and producing at the same time is like spending your life walking around on stilts while the rest of the world is trotting along in their Converse sneakers and Jimmy Choos. Sure, we can walk, but it's a heck of a lot harder with the stilts on.
So, play this little game with me and imagine Lenny Bernstein sitting at his computer at 11:00pm emailing parents to see who has a truck for transporting sound equipment. Or Lerner and Lowe running around the city trying to find a small bottle of Ouzo to mail to a Kickstarter donor. Or Comden and Green in the checkout line at Target behind the crying babies and mothers with packed carts as they purchase Oreos and Goldfish en masse for rehearsals. Or Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber spending three hours at the paper cutter in Staples making tickets for Cats.
Yes. This is the game I play with myself when I start to teeter close to the edge.
A final note: To all you writers out there who have grants and commissions; those of you who have non-profits funding and supporting the development of your shows; you writers out there who are independently wealthy or provided for: Stop your whining, procrastinating and dilly-dallying and WRITE. Write and write and write and be grateful that you are being supported while you create. Be cognizant of how lucky you are to be able to do what you love unencumbered, because that is a gift.
As for me, I'll be envisioning Sondheim baking baklava as I get these stilts back on.