The first day of our diva’s residency had arrived! Our diva felt adrenaline coursing through her body from the moment she woke up. She had been dreaming that morning about driving a car that kept sliding on the road. The dream had her in this perpetual state of feeling the tires begin to drift and seeing a guardrail much too close to her driver’s side door. She didn’t feel any impact in her dream. There was just a sensation of spinning on the highway or the way it feels when the traction gives way to the reality of black ice.
All of her rehearsals with her collaborators had gone well. There were the normal pitfalls and troubleshooting aspects. Isn’t there always a feeling of wishing everyone was prepared just a bit more? Wouldn’t that make the process feel smoother or somehow more choreographed? She wanted people to forget their cares for these three days and just focus on building their mental health resilience.
The Day 20 challenge on your journey is to formulate a pre-concert ritual.
During the day she talked to her cousin for a few short minutes on the phone. Our diva’s voice came out shaking. Her cousin picked up on the trembling and asked her if there was anything she could do. “No,” our diva replied, “I just need to stay connected to my breath all day and not let the nerves start to take over.” Her cousin knew exactly what she meant. She also offered to help our diva talk through the last-minute details of the plan. Our diva thought that would be great and she said, “I’d love that, but I also need to move. Any chance we can take a walk on a late-lunch today?”
Day of the Concert Plan
They walked to a park near her cousin’s office. Her cousin had more corporate event experience than musical event experience, but she was happy to throw out suggestions. “Okay let’s run through the list:
“Introduce yourself to operations staff”
“Right, I already know Nick. He’s the owner and manager. We’re going to meet at 5:30 to go over the set-up. I’ll make sure to ask if he’ll introduce me to anyone else that’s working tonight.”
“Establish a work room for activities.”
“Okay, well, there’s the green room for the musicians to keep their stuff while they’re performing and for us to set up the supplies for the activities. I’m going to take the goodie-bags over when I go over early.”
“Good. Good. How about all signage? Like do you have sponsor banners? Or, a registration table?”
“Ha! Not this time. But, people can show their tickets at the table just inside. That reminds me, I’ll print another copy of the tickets purchased to have at the front table just in case. Or, buy tickets at the door. Nick has someone that runs that since it’s all through the venue.
“Okay, but do you have brochures or anything so that people can get in touch with you if they like your thing?”
“Oh, I didn’t think about that. I could print some little table flyers with the website and stuff. Is that okay?”
“Better than nothing, I would say. Okay, next I go to set table centerpieces, programs, give-aways, table numbers stuff like that. That could be more of your little flyers. Or, the supplies for your activities. Speaking of, what kinds of activities are you doing? Oh, will you have nametags for people?”
Performance Space Set-Up
“Well, I guess I could have nametags on the table. For the activities, I have some speakers from my volunteer days that are coming to talk about different aspects of mental health: warning signs, mindfulness activities, coping strategies, etc. So, they’ll talk for a minute and then they have exercises for the audience members to do while the musicians perform different repertoire.”
“Oh neat. I’m going to really enjoy that.”
“Don’t sound too surprised…”
Our diva’s cousin laughed heartily and said, “well, I wasn’t sure… Okay, after that I think you’d have to set the stage. I usually do positioning of tables, podium, back-drops, water on lectern for speakers, flowers, etc. But, I guess some of that would work for you. What else would you need for the music part?”
“Well, I need to make sure there are enough stands and chairs on or near the stage for the musicians. Then, we’ll have to make sure to do a soundcheck for everyone. I already sent out the schedule for that in backwards performance order and Nick has his sound guy ready to check everything starting at 6:00pm. But, you make a good point, I think I could also move through the audience space and check the seating and how I want the tables and chairs to be set up. I want people to definitely feel included and not too far away from each other or the stage.”
“Oh good. Okay, test all lighting and AV was next on my list. Do you have more than that?”
“I’ll be on hand to just check lighting for each aspect during the sound check.”
“Hmmm, set coat check?”
“It’s not that kind of place.”
“I didn’t think so.”
Honor Your Intuition By Doing
Our diva felt much better after talking to her cousin. It was a quick walk but it helped her work through some of the details that just felt a little “stuck” before the event started. She was now able to focus on getting warmed up and getting over to the venue. She had already planned out her performance wear a day ago and had it hanging in its go-bag so it wouldn’t get wrinkled. Her music, print-outs, and backup copies were all in the go-bag as well. She knew that there would always be something that comes up at the last minute. She didn’t want to be worrying about things like clothes or replacement copies if she didn’t have to.
She felt a little nagging fear about the fact that this was just about to happen. Would people be receptive? She had sold enough tickets to each evening that she had already proven the concept to herself. But, making sure they enjoyed the actual event loomed large in front of her. Our diva was worrying about the fact that she was stepping forward and following her intuition about her own artistic integrity, whether or not she knew it. It was scary to think about how she could be so passionate about this project and people may never validate it in the way she wanted. But, there was no turning back now. This was her go time.