Persist! (yeah, sure, but how?!?!?)

If I hear one more person say “persistence furthers” I’ll scream.

I need to know that magic word “how”.

HOW do I persist when my performance sucks, or 9/10ths of every sentence needs a make-over, or when America’s Next Top Model + carton of ice cream = no rehearsal?

Generally the day before a performance, I go into the DARK ZONE (and I do mean DARK). I declare, “This is it. I’m done. I’m toast. I’m through. No more. This is the last time I perform. This time is the last for sure. Really.”

Right? Have you been there?

Lily climbing on chair

My family’s heard me say this stuff so much it’s a joke.

To change this horrible state of affairs, I wrote on a 3 X 5 card every reason I wanted to do a kick-ass performance. Then I used it to remind myself why I really-really-really wanted to do a great performance.

Some reasons were petty. (I’ll show you Miss Rama, my evil fourth grade teacher who cast me in the chorus as Bookworm 1 instead of a glam role in “The Merry Bookmobile.”)

Some were the obvious reasons. (It’s fun to emotionally transport an audience.)

Some reasons were Berkeley-style socio-political. (Solo performance is a highly democratic art form. It makes the world a better place. It deserves our support!)

Every reason went on that card. It was fun. Like throwing a tantrum with a cookie afterward. And it worked. I read my card before rehearsing. It fueled my writing, rewriting, rehearsals, and performance. Most of all, it kept the light on during the dark zone.

If you try this method or other motivational methods, please share.

Next Tuesday I’ll write about permission slips and include one for you to download.

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