Someone asked me a question that freaked me out a bit the other day.
It was very simple.
‘So, what’s your overall aim with writing a musical? Where do you want it to go?’
Short answer: both everywhere and nowhere.
Does anyone else ever feel this way?
You’re working on a creative project. You love it, you think it might actually be good, and you start to hope it might succeed…
Then you freeze. Because for it to succeed, you need to be willing to share it. As I noted in an earlier post, it is really quite hard to tell whether your work is actually good. As the creator, you are both hyper-critical but also blind to some flaws in your work.
I have shared my music in the past. I have had concerts, I have performed… It’s not like it’s anything new to me. But almost every time, I have the same strange mixed feeling inside me. I don’t want people’s criticism OR approval, because both of those are actually scary.
That’s right, you heard me.
People’s approval can actually be a scary thing.
One of my favourite songs from a musical is ‘Hard To Be The Bard’, from ‘Something Rotten’. Listen to it. It’s absolutely brilliant.
‘Hard to do something as good as the last thing I did that was already great’
After concerts, I’ve had wonderful people coming and telling me how much they liked what I did. I’ve had fellow students ask me to write work for their voice-type. And the pressure begins. Because once you start on a creative journey, and you succeed, there is an expectation on you to keep going. More than that; there’s an expectation for you to do something better or as good every time.
I know that I’m overthinking it. But when you’re creating something it’s like you’re carving out a piece of your soul for the world to see. And the world gets to tell you whether that whole process has been worthwhile.
But I need to start somewhere.
Even though it’s not my musical (that is still very much an embryo), here is something I wrote a few years ago.
I hope you enjoy it.
And, fellow creators, a favour. Keep being as brave as you are. You encourage me and others to continue to learn to do it too!