This coming Friday there will be another reading of Scrambled Eggs, this time in the heart of Manhattan. We have over a hundred people coming, not as many producers as we hoped for, but a good crowd. Am I scared? Yes. Am I excited? Definitely. Am I filled with shame about writing about my family, my past, many personal revelations which are partly true and partly fictionalized. Yes. I am filled with shame and fear and part of me would like to leave for some island somewhere, where no one knows me and I can quietly sit on the beach with a good book and not even think about Friday's reading. The horrible thing about writing is that well, you have to show it to someone at some point. And they can judge you. And they can hate it or love it and you have no control over that. Nor should you. It's just the hard part. You can write and write and keep it all safely in a drawer, but then where would the fun be in hiding it? This feels a bit like the guy who strung the tightrope across the World Trade Center and walked across without a net. Okay, maybe not quite that scary, but still scary. I'm so grateful for the wonderful actors who have to get up on the stage and perform, but I guess they can always think, "Hey, I didn't write this crap, I'm just performing it." And the writers can think, "Oh, they are awful! I didn't write it like that - I should perform this myself." I have seen this play performed many times now and I can honestly say, generally it's been fun and the audiences have enjoyed it. The key seems to have a critical mass which allows people to really laugh. The smaller the audience, the less freedom to really let loose.
Anyway, today I was at the gym on the treadmill and I watched the episode of Sex and the City in which Kim Catrall's character, Samantha, gets cancer. And suddenly the feeling of "no control" - we are powerless - overwhelmed me. So I came home and now I'm reading "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown, which is the perfect book to read to help me deal with shame. Living a "whole-hearted life" requires taking chances, taking leaps of faith. But maybe I can do that in Mexico, off a rock or something, and skip the reading?