Almost Here! The Bomb Shelter
Horton Grand Theatre, San Diego June 28, 2016

I’m so excited!  The Bomb Shelter, written by Me : ), will be playing at the 2nd Annual Memoir Showcase at the Horton Grand Theatre, in San Diego, June 28, 2016.  It will be acted out live on stage, along with fifteen other pieces.  It’s the first time that I will have my work shown in public.  It’s time to take a deep breath, and celebrate : )  It’s just an appetizer of my book that I’m writing about our true life vacation in Israel, when we found ourselves at war.  This piece is about the first time we were in a bomb shelter.  Nothing can prepare you for this kind of situation, nor the affect that it can have on you.  I like to say that the missiles coming at us blasted me out of my complacency to work on Peace.  Our trip seemed like it belonged in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, more than a family vacation. We would tour incredible, sacred and historical sights only to find ourselves later in bomb shelters.

It was an interesting gestation period creating this baby.  The showcase was looking for memoirs written as monologues, with a theme based on a moment in time that changed your life.   I felt certainly my experience fit the bill.  But then there was the matter of five pages…being succinct is not my natural forte.  That was a hill that definitely took a bit to climb : )

I knew I had a compelling story, but was I good enough to get in? My story was a taste of my first chapter modified to speak about how feeling the percussion of the missiles began to change my life.   I wondered if it would be accepted.  I had been practicing meditation and taking all kinds of spiritual classes for several years. I felt if it was meant to be … I had to let go and trust that whatever happened was the right thing, at this time.

I wrote and revised and revised some more.  This was a class in word economics – cut, cut, cut.  It’s like shopping – trying to fit a size ? body into a size 5 script requirement – at times it was truly painful.  Finally I was finished and submitted my script. Then the wait.

This was the first time I had ever submitted my writing for something like this, so kudos to me I told myself.  They were announcing the winners in April.  I had plenty of things to do so it wasn’t like every minute was filled with speculating about whether it was in or not.   But the impending announcement played in my mind like the Jaws theme waiting for the shark… da, duh, da duh, da duh…

After a few stress-filled and confusing days, I was notified that I was indeed in!  Yeah, time to relax : ) No, time to really dig in.  They wanted everyones’ script to be reduced to 1200 words.  Oey.  But they were nice enough to assign a writing coach.  I was looking forward to what I would learn.

Then, after a couple sessions, my new writing coach quit!  What?  I thought I had been nice enough, not too defensive.  You know how we can question ourselves.  I think that’s a good thing as long as you don’t let the dark side take over… I know my story is compelling and I know my writing needs some work but, was it that bad that she couldn’t stand another minute?  You know how we so often think everything is about us, and in this case I had ample ammunition to torture myself with.  One of my more direct teachers had told me once, “You’d be surprised at how little time people spend actually think of you.”  Meaning of course, not me personally, that people are just caught up in their own lives.  Well as it turned out, it was her first attempt at coaching and she was having migraines.

Well dump, duh, duh, dah!  Here arrives Byron (not his real name), to the rescue.  He should have arrived with a Super Coach cape.  He told me that he had wanted to work with me from the beginning but another coach had been assigned initially – how sweet was that?  Working with him was delightful.  He asked great questions, gave suggestions and reminded me of basics like grounding the audience, and how to use action and dialogue.

Then I received an email – his life was falling apart with so many personal and work-related issues that he literally taught me by sending an email describing them using another writing basic, show don’t tell.  I thought, Oh no, did I just lose my second coach?  He gave me the option to choose another coach but with his kindness, dedication and the fact (I have it in writing : ), that he loved working with me, we moved forward.  With all of the questions and answers, the script grew, and contracted repeatedly until I got it down to the 1200 words required : )  One more calamity later, when Byron accidentally spilled his coffee on his computer and it had to dry out for two days, and it was done : )

Delivering my script to the Memoir Showcase felt a little like leaving your baby with the sitter for the first time.  You’re confident that they will take good care of it, but you just aren’t sure about the details of what would be happening in your absence.  We received a request to describe ourselves in a couple sentences so it would help them as they chose an actress to play me – oh my.  It gave me an opportunity to think about what was important to me – the Universal question, Who am I?  So now, I wait for June 28.  What will this night be like?  I’ll have to wait and see.

For now, I’ve delivered my baby to the folks producing the show and that night, I’ll get a surreal glimpse of my life on stage, acted out by someone else.  Yikes! I’ve done my best, and now it’s time for me to let the Universe take over and do what it will. If you can get to San Diego that night, and think you’d enjoy seeing snippets of wonderful memoirs acted out on stage (mine too : ), I’d love to see you and have you Join Me On My Journey…