If you follow me on Twitter or we’re friends on Facebook, you probably know I just finished a show in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. The show was called “Happy Hour,” and it was a collection of dances inspired by different drinks.
I was thrilled with the show. I was thrilled with the pieces in it, I was thrilled with the overall arc of the show, and I was thrilled that it was received positively. I also found I didn’t quite know how to deal with how thrilled I was.
I like doing dance shows in the Fringe, partly because there is a different audience there than at regular dance shows. It’s an easier time to get non-typical-dance-audiences to see dance, and that’s something that excites me – trying to get people to see a show and in return, giving them a show that they enjoy, whatever that may mean.
It wasn’t that I had a hard time hearing compliments about the show. I was genuinely happy to hear that people liked the theme and found it an accessible way to approach dance. Since the majority of the show wasn’t choreographed by me, I felt like I was accepting compliments on behalf of the concept and curation as much as my performance or choreography. Plus my face was on the postcard, so I was easy to find. But I had a hard time knowing how to process the compliments, or more specifically and vaguely, how to deal with the little light they lit up inside me that also hurt a little.
Maybe it’s partly a combination of being on the outside looking at other people’s shows lately (since I’ve been doing a lot more producing than performing) and having a show that elicited a strong response in the moment.
My husband and I were chatting after the Fringe, and he commented that we were both so proud of our Fringe shows this year, we wanted as many people as possible to see them. I think that’s part of it, but more than that, I was delighted that something I liked so much brought enjoyment to other people. I’ve produced a few other shows in the Fringe, and some people have liked them and some people haven’t. I’ve performed in shows that people loved and that people were uncertain about. This wasn’t a runaway hit, there were certainly people who said it wasn’t for them, but the general feeling from the audience at the end of the show was that they were happy. And it feels good to make other people happy.
I guess I feel like a little kid who made up a game, and to my surprise and delight, other people were happy to play the game with me. Or to put it in the theme of the show, I felt like I had a little glass of champagne inside of me. Every time someone told me they liked the show or a specific piece, the champagne bubbles effervesced a little. It’s a nifty feeling to have champagne inside of you. Like champagne, it’s fleeting, and I am humbly thankful for experiencing the happy bubbles.
p.s. If you read my mumble post, I did include the mumble verse in the show:
Listen if you mumble I’m not gonna hear
Mumble-yell or mumble-cheer into your beer
Whatever you want, I’m not here to sneer
Just leave a gal and her whiskey alone.
(Yes, no surprise, whiskey was my drink. And I learned to play the ukulele for the show, because in some weird corner of my mind, whiskey and ukuleles are a natural pairing.)