Foreclosed: The Show Must Go On

Just when I thought I had nothing left to learn in this whole maddening adventure, life stepped in and once again said: “Hey lady, the joke’s on you.” A wonderful friend took all of my blogs and edited them into a play. Woo-hoo, I wrote a play! Well actually I wrote of series of blogs that a very bright and savvy guy was able to piece together like a jigsaw puzzle and with the help of a dollop of sweat, a little scotch tape and some ingenuity he created a show! So now this friend shows me the show and says, “I’ll direct it for you if you agree to present it.” I’m a yes girl so of course I say “YES”! But I soon found saying yes and actually acting in a one-woman show that airs all of your dirty laundry publicly to an audience of your friends, peers and a few total strangers are two entirely different nuts to crack. Add to that a series of truly crazy unfortunate events that led up to the opening and you pretty much end up with me being the brunt of my own joke. What else is new?

A week before the show my director came to me and said, “Don’t freak out or anything, but there is going to be a BIG wedding until 8 pm in the same venue where we are doing the show at 8:30 pm on the same night.”

Me: “Um … OK well, there’s no going back; we have already put out show cards and publicity, started a Facebook page and created a whole art installation with multiple artists around this show.” So “the show must go on”! Wedding- schmedding, we have got a whole half an hour to take over the space, set the stage, clear out the wedding and … sure, we can do this, no problem.

We quickly down scaled the show. Our set became just one moveable dollhouse, a chair and an end table (it was going to be a desk but desks take up space and are hard to move). I planned on getting into costume, doing hair and makeup at home, having someone at the door to greet any early comers and we are a go.

My director and I both work and have families, so we only scheduled four rehearsals of the show in the actual space. We saved most of the sound, lighting and even a bit of the staging for the final dress rehearsal. But when we got to the church the night before the show we found that the BIG, BIG wedding had already taken over the space.

So we wing it.

I get to the church at 7:45 pm opening night and surprise, surprise the BIG, BIG, BIG wedding is still very much “IN” the space. Photos are being taken; gifts are in piles from one end of the church to the other. The church is in full lavender and white bloom complete with arbors, flowers and massive tufts tulle. The radiant bride and the dapper groom along with their arbors and tulle do not appear to be in a great hurry to depart. And … whole walls of art have disappeared from the show, artists are on their way and their $800 pieces are gone!?! And oh yeah, I have a show to put on.

OK, I can do this.

But then my director’s wife calls. “Gabby, I don’t want you to worry but we might not make the show.” WHAT?!? (My director is also in charge of sound, lighting, the backdrop photos and movie that were in the show, yep basically everything.) It turns out that they were in an accident (not their fault) on the way to the performance and someone had quite literally BROKEN A LEG. They were being held for police questioning when she made the call. Really!

And it’s now 8 pm.

A few friends arrive; one agrees to do the sound, another lighting. We all send out good vibes to my director and his wife and pray that everything is going to be OK for them. The rest we can just do without and once again we are back on track. The artwork has been located, the walls are back up and the BIG, BIG, BIG wedding is magically wrapping up and they have even agreed to let us keep the chairs that are set up for the show.

8:15 pm: My Director and his saintly wife arrive. OK, yes, there is a god!

8:30 pm: We have an audience seated in the lovely (and comfy) borrowed wedding chairs and it’s better than anything we ever hoped for. A full house! We are a go with show! By this time all of us are thinking ahead to the after-party and really looking forward to a few beverages after the show. But then … my mother calls me.

“Uh mom, I’m about to start the show, aren’t you here?” I ask. Mom: “My car just got towed from the BJ’s parking lot … with the wine for the after-party in it.” Well, of course it did.

And I went on … as in on stage … from there. The show got a standing ovation, my mom and the friends that helped her get her car out hock made it back for the show and even the wine came through in the end. The really big wedding sent over the left over really big wedding cake and we all survived. Heck we did more than survive; it was an amazing evening.

For the past week or so, I have been reading about and watching Occupy Wall Street, and our own local Occupy JC and I have really, really wanted to get involved and help out in some way. But I keep making excuses, like I have to pick the kids up from school and get them to their various activities. Homework, dinner and high school entrance exams are my priorities right now and so on.

But as I reflect back on the play I am beginning to realize that these really are just excuses. I could have given up at any time during the course of that crazy evening and no one would have faulted me for it.

Homework, dinner and high school exams are all things that I am doing for my kids. They are important and they really do have to get done. But I know I can do both. And becoming active in all of this may mean more to them and their future than any of the other stuff.

In the end, “the show must go on” and this is a BIG, BIG, BIG show. This is “show” Wall Street, “show” corporate America, “show” the politicians and — yes — “show” us that we have a voice and we will be heard.

This has been a long, painful journey for me and I realized quite some time back that all of this is not “their” fault. It’s my fault. I bought into whatever it was they were selling lock, stock and barrel and I made one hell of a mess out of my life and my family’s life in the process.

But this isn’t about placing blame (at least not for me). It’s about addressing the white elephant in the middle of the room and “calling a spade a spade.” If I don’t speak out then I run the risk of leading my kids down the same path that has derailed my life and led me astray.

I definitely do not want this for them.

So obstacles or not, the show will go on. I’m part of the 99% and I am ready to be heard. How about you?

Gabby Creery

a tissue toting, minivan driving, sword wielding, camera ready, swim savvy, double twin rearing, soccer mom. Her blog is all about one mom's journey through hard times.