Unicorn #2 – My first production

Its already June and I am not entirely sure where the first half of the year disappeared to… maybe it had to do with my working 12 hour days for the past couple of months, but given half the chance, I would do it all over again tomorrow… I have never been prouder of anything in my life: I directed my first ever musical production. It was quite the Adventure.

Its easy to look back in hindsight and simply smile and say it was a breeze, forgetting all the challenges and sacrifices… but to be honest, despite being completely overwhelmed and acutely aware of my inadequacies and inabilities, it really did seem like a breeze (that may have picked up in force once or twice).  So many people kept remarking on how calm I seemed and that’s mostly how I did feel: Calm.  At peace. From the start I asked Holy Spirit to walk this path with me, to be with me in every moment, to guide each decision, to be my strength and simply surround me with people who valued Team.  He did that and then some.

The reactions to the production were great and I know it had so much to do with the people who became Family. I was so blessed to be surrounded by people who cheered me on and worked alongside to make it a shared success; people I could trust to do their jobs, which let me run ahead and chase the vision. I am so grateful for these people.

And then there were the kids… I have no words to describe how proud I am of them and how much I have loved them.  Yes, there were moments when I questioned why we ever cast them or if this effort was really worth it – moments when I wanted to throw things and have a complete tantrum, but then I remembered I was the adult and they were a bunch of teenagers who were being asked to carry an extraordinary responsibility.  And every time I thought I had pushed them too hard or asked too much of them, they left me amazed by digging deeper and giving more.  I am honestly in awe of what they achieved.

And this is what I learnt:

As a drama teacher and director, I am constantly working with the Bigger Picture and yet having to make moment by moment decisions that could derail it at any minute.  Being flexible and open to problem solving is essential.  Its also mentally exhausting.  I loved it.  And I loathed it.  Drama teachers do not work with achieving outcomes; we work with people – children who have lives that are complicated and the inability to juggle their own commitments and the immaturity to handle the pressure. And we love them; enough to rework everything for just one because we know how desperately they want to be a part of this and how much they have given already.

Dealing with nay-sayers is just a waste of energy; in the wise words of a matric boy I once taught (who was probably just re-quoting Taylor Swift): “Haters gonna hate”.  I couldn’t please everybody and there were enough people hoping to see me fail.  The pressure was very real, but if I allowed their opinions to sway my focus, I would have indeed failed.  So I learnt the hard way to toughen up and shake off those opinions; mean people are always going to be mean, I can only focus on what lay ahead and push forward.  And trust in God for His Grace to be sufficient.  And it was.

I am so grateful for having had this experience; for being entrusted with this huge responsibility and for God carrying me through it each step of the way.  I’ve classified it as my second unicorn of 2017 because this Adventure unlocked something in me – it showed me aspects of myself that I didn’t know existed and hadn’t dared to consider; it gave me the opportunity to live out my dream and chase a God-given vision.

I got to live Life in Abundance.


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