Forgive me for taking a few days to recover from the insanity that was the lead-up to and happening of the Gumball Theatre launch.
Seriously, at some point there it hit me that the only time I’ve put more effort into something was my wedding.
However the one thing about my wedding that disappointed, was how because I’d spent so much time, thought and effort on planning the whole shebang, when it came to actually experiencing the day, my managerial mind kind ruined it. You know, the part of your brain that’s interrupting your wedding with commentary like “We’re running behind!” and “Can everybody actually hear the music over these crashing waves?” and “Oh dear heavens, why is there an 80 year old man wearing Speedos walking through our wedding?” True story.
Anyhoo, point is, because I’d been so focused on managing the day, I fell dismally short of experiencing it.
So I was perhaps understandably concerned that I might meet a similar fate come this launch. i.e. that I’d be so consumed with the logistics that I wouldn’t actually enjoy it. Which you know, wouldn’t be the end of the world, except that where improvised comedy is concerned, if you’re not enjoying yourself onstage, then chances are, nobody else is either.
Enter a conversation with my 6-year-old.
“Mum?” he said, eyeing off the golden gumball machine we’d painted up for the show. “Can I have that?”
“Sorry honey,” I said. “That’s for Gumball Theatre.”
“Awwwww! But I want it. It’s awesome!”
“Sorry mate. We need it.”
“When you’ve finished the show can I have it?”
“We need it for all our other shows too, buddy.”
“Awwww,” he said. “When you’ve quit Gumball Theatre can I have it?”
“I’m never quitting Gumball Theatre.”
“Never?” he said.
“Never,” I said.
“You mean it will still be going when you’re an old lady?”
“It will still be going when you’re dead?”
“I hope so!”
A pause. Then: “Can you make me another one then?”
I wish I could really communicate what that chat did to me. I’ll try.
Up to that point I’d been putting a ton of pressure on myself for the launch to be, well, you know, the BEST THING EVER. But after this conversation with my pint-sized Mister Miyagi, I realised something I hadn’t known before: just how committed I am to this in the long-term. I guess what I realised is that my vision for Gumball Theatre is a marathon, not a sprint.
Meaning that we’ve got a lot of time to build the company and the shows up to what we want them to be – the launch was exciting, absolutely, and I hoped it would rock, naturally, but was it the be all and end all in terms of marking our chances of success? Nup!
With the pressure off, I made up my mind just to focus on what I could control on the night: having fun.
Wow oh wow.
We had a beautiful, buzzy and up-for-it crowd and we had a blast. It was such a fun, silly, playful show – cream pies and all – followed by a rocking time hanging out at the after-party up the road. We got many awesome comments from folks in the audience, including many of the “we’re SO coming to the next one!” variety. So all in all, rock.
We already have pages of notes of stuff we want to make better for next time, but for our first show, I was completely and utterly stoked. (Seriously. It’s now four days later and I’m still on a high.)
I shall post proper show pics soon – and some video! Our official launch photographer is getting her stash sorted out and I will post more here the moment I get them in my hot little hands.
In the meantime, thanks for listening to me rabbit on about all things Gumball. This truly is a momentous chapter in my life, I know it already. I’m so completely and utterly pumped. Not just about the launch, but about the future.
Now excuse me while I brace my glutes for this long distance thang.