You Can’t Make Fast & Great Theater

You Can’t Make Fast & Great Theater

by Brian, August 11, 2014

This past weekend was to be the premier of a new magic-centric stage show that I have been creating with the help of some of my friends.

So, why are you just now hearing about it?

Well, to be honest, it’s still not ready. Thinking I had enough time to write and produce a new show in less than 2 months is not ambitious, it’s just plain stupid! I have been a theater professional for over 20 years and as soon as I was given the opportunity to use a theater space I reverted back to that college mentality of “we can totally pull this off!” Oh, I forgot to mention that in that 2 month period, my friends and I were also working on other various projects some of which were enormous. We can totally pull this off!!!!!

I’m reminded of this Venn Diagram:

Photo Credit: RoadieWarrior

Photo Credit: RoadieWarrior

While it is meant to be funny, there is some truth to it. You can’t have fast and great theater, you just can’t, and if you think you can, you are deluding yourself.

Suddenly, at the beginning of July, my body stopped me completely and I fell into a depression that lasted 5 days. The looming deadlines and multiple projects had caught up with me. I have struggled with depression since I was a teenager. My major symptom is having no energy to get out of bed, take care of myself, or leave the house. I just hibernate and avoid interacting with the world. I have tried medication, therapy, all kinds of things to wake me up and get me out of bed in the morning, and nothing has helped.

Hibernation had always been a burden to me until I read “The Year of the Flood” by Margaret Atwood.  Here is what she says about a character with depression:

The Gardeners believed that people who acted like Veena were in a Fallow state — resting, retreating into themselves to gain Spiritual insight, gathering their energy for the moment when they would burst out again like buds in spring. They only appeared to be doing nothing.

Just like that I gained perspective. There was a reason I had retreated into myself. When I finally came out of my Fallow state I realized I was taking on too much and stressing over something that is meant to be an enjoyable process. The decision to postpone the production was not an easy one, but in the end it was the right decision. You can’t make fast and great theater! The production will still happen, but on my own terms. I want it to be great.