Tag Archives: wow a blog post with under 1000 words

A Red Letter Day for the Redline Express…

Drew McManus is a wizard, and he has a special potion, and he has offered it to Minnesota Orchestra management, and they have partaken in it. How else to explain this totally unexpected way-out-of-left-field possible geyser gush of transparency?

At the end of last month, I published an article that examined the value of comprehensive perspective when it comes to considering proposed changes in collective bargaining agreements. Since then, I have obtained a copy of the complete redline agreement the Minnesota Orchestra submitted to musicians as their last official offer (which was subsequently voted down on 9/29/12) and concluded it would be educational to begin examining the document here at Adaptistration.

The document has been verified as complete and accurate by official representatives from both the Minnesota Orchestra (MO) and the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians (MOM); my thanks to both groups for their cooperation.

A visual representation of what I felt like after reading Drew McManus this morning

Could it be…that…

Management is starting to care about public opinion?

Maybe?

A little?

What?

What?

Because…

Minnesota Orchestra representatives didn’t need to agree to do this. As Mr. McManus notes, “This sort of endeavor has never been tried before mostly because obtaining a copy of a complete redline agreement, even after a contentious dispute settles, is next to unheard of.” Maybe I’m missing something very big and very obvious, but…what would management have to gain by agreeing to do this, besides possibly some public support? (And even that isn’t guaranteed, depending on how they react. If they play their cards poorly, this could end up to be a net PR loss for them.) And no offense to Mr. McManus, but the broader public doesn’t read Adaptistration. If representatives from the orchestra had declined Mr. McManus’s request, I’m guessing that only a handful of largely pro-musician people would have noticed…and at this point the majority of us is so disgusted with management that it wouldn’t have changed our tune at all. So might this mean that management is trying to reach out to the online pro-musicican set? Maybe? If not, who are they trying to reach? Why did they decide to do this? Who are the representatives from the orchestra? Do they have faith in their ability to publicly defend their contract? Is that faith warranted? Did Michael Henson okay this? Is he losing control of his chess pieces? I don’t know. But I really wasn’t expecting this, to say the least.

And then take a gander at this paragraph:

The MO and MOM have indicated a degree of willingness to provide additional insight, justification, and rationale behind why changes have been presented and/or why changes are opposed. This input will be included wherever possible; similarly, spokespersons for both sides have been invited to leave comments at any respective article to offer additional insight and clarification.

Insight, justification, AND rationale?

What?

I mean, yay, obviously, of course, but –

What?

*settles in*

*pops some popcorn*

This could get very, very interesting very, very quickly.

As I mentioned in the comment section of an earlier entry, I find that one of the bizarrest things about this whole bizarre conflict is the fact that an uneducated 23-year-old from Wisconsin ended up being the one who wrote the most words about it. I think that’s fricking insane. And so I can’t express how delighted and relieved I am to hear that other more experienced voices are speaking up. I look forward to their insights with gratitude.

And I’m so very glad that the person spearheading this effort is Drew McManus, who is always so calm and polite and professional. I think of him as the Nate Silver of the orchestral world. If I was planning on writing about arts disputes for a living, I’d want to write like him. We desperately need someone in this conversation who isn’t panicking that her beloved orchestra is slipping away, who isn’t personally and professionally associated with various musicians, who isn’t contemplating moving from Minneapolis if the orchestra’s quality seriously declines. As I’ve said since the beginning, the stakes are too high for me to be clear-headed. So let’s all give a round of applause to Mr. McManus for taking on this project, and let’s (this feels so weird to be saying) give a round of applause to management (wow this feels weird to be saying) for seeming to possibly try to attempt to perhaps take a little tiny step toward transparency, maybe (what did I just say?). Let’s give Mr. McManus lots and lots of views, okay? I challenge you to make this the most popular online phenomenon since Snowqueen Icedragon’s “Master of the Universe.” Maybe if we make it really popular, we could succeed in getting a film adaptation of the contract made. I guarantee you such a thing would be more interesting than the Fifty Shades movie.

Anyway. I’m not sure if this exercise will clarify much. It could clarify a lot; it could clarify relatively little. It might change minds; it might harden them. But at the very least it will be interesting. And will be the closest thing to accessible public dialogue that we’ve seen yet.

And so once again we find ourselves in a roller coaster in uncharted territory. Boy, this story has been weird.

Stay tuned…

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Still here, actually

Sorry I haven’t been posting much the last couple of days. I’ve been battling a tinge of the flu while living with and taking care of someone who has full-out Martian Death Flu. Fun times, but not conducive to analytical thought, orchestral muckraking, or sleep. I had the thought today that I should probably sit down and start work on a Lockout Week 1 post…and then I realized it’s already been seven days since the lockout started, and that judging by the calendar I should probably already be drafting a Lockout Week 2 post. Oy vey. I have been keeping the Apocalypse Index updated, though, so you can always catch up on news there, even when I’m off valiantly fighting germs.

The news highlights from the last few days:

  • The Minnesota musicians have balls the size of the wrecking ones at Orchestra Hall, and they are renting out the Minneapolis Convention Center on Thursday October 18 to give a concert of their own. There hasn’t been a ton of details released yet about the show, besides the fact that Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    is conducting. Apparently he’s excited to send an implicit obscene gesture to management with a kind of aplomb that only an 89-year-old can muster. I pray that there will be an encore (or at least one more concert) if the Shostakovich 5 programming rumors are true. Please, guys, please please please do not stamp on my soul by ending what might possibly be the last concert the-Minnesota-Orchestra-As-We-Know-It plays with Shostakovich 5. (And yet…we all know there is no piece of music that can come after Shostakovich 5, so I know my encore request will likely not be granted…sigh.) Anyway, assuming my tinge of flu doesn’t turn into the Martian death variety, I’m coming to the show, and you should, too. You should also donate to the musicians.
  • Also, you should donate to the musicians.
  • And it would probably be a good idea for you to donate to the musicians. Because I hear rumors that renting a massive auditorium in the downtown of a major metropolitan area is expensive.
  • So donate already!
  • After a couple days of not writing in here and gaining perspective, I’ve come to the decision that……Michael Henson and the board are still as incompetent as I thought they were a few days ago. Sorry, guys. You know what might convince me otherwise? You answering these hundred questions… Just sayin’…
  • A couple days ago there was an Almanac debate between the musicians’ side and management’s side, like the one between Dobson West and Carole Mason-Smith from a couple weeks ago (doesn’t it feel like years?). I haven’t watched it yet. But it’s there, and archived, and eventually I’ll get around to watching it, and discussing it…
  • The Star Tribune editorial was nice when it wasn’t reciting the same old talking points that we’ve rehashed and (hopefully) cast real, legitimate doubt on again and again here. Surprisingly, it ended with a call for an independent financial analysis.
  • Also, we also heard from a trifecta of conductors in the Star Tribune, telling management in no uncertain terms to get their crap together. I don’t think anyone at the top will actually listen to them (conductors? pshaw, what do they know about orchestras?), but hey. It’s still awfully meaningful to hear from them. A moment of silence for Osmo, who must be just in an agonizingly awkward place right now…
  • I installed this game that I got from Savers the other day. It’s called Trainz: Driver Edition. It sucks. Don’t buy it.
  • Flus also suck, in general.
  • The leaves came off the trees, and it’s unpleasantly cold out now. I don’t really feel like we got much of an autumn, but I’m not sure if this is because we didn’t get much of an autumn, or because I squandered it indoors blogging. I probably squandered it indoors blogging.
  • I’m tired. I need to try to sleep again.

So, anyway. Obviously not much substance to this post, but I just wanted to let you know I’m still alive and PO’d. In time I’ll get back to some better blogging. xx

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A little letter to Michael Henson

Dear Mr. Henson,

I have a simple four word message for you:

The game is up.

We can pretend that you don’t know who I am. We can pretend that you and Jon Campbell and Richard Davis never got the three massive manila envelopes with my hundred questions in them that I sent to Orchestra Hall last month. We can pretend that while you were looking up your Industry News, you came across a Huffington Post blog entry and thought it fit to link to, then somehow had a case of temporary blindness and missed mine.

But that would be pretending. Because everyone knows you know now. As of this afternoon, several bloggers’ opinions are featured very prominently on MPR’s website, and this one is among them. And you cite MPR in Industry News. (Actually, as of this writing, it was the most recent source you cited. Eek. Awkward.) Therefore, you know who I am and what I’ve been asking, and, with all due respect, Mr. Henson, you simply don’t have an excuse to ignore me – or any of us bloggers – anymore. If you choose to keep denying our existence and our questions, you choose to come across as the orchestral CEO version of Jerry Lundegaard.

To quote IMDB:

Jerry Lundegaard: I told ya. We haven’t had any vehicles go missing.
Marge Gunderson: Okay! But are ya sure? ‘Cause I mean, how do you know? Do you do a count, or what kind of a routine do you have here?
Jerry Lundegaard: [growing uncomfortable with this questioning] Ma’am, I answered your question!
Marge Gunderson: [long pause] I’m sorry, sir?
Jerry Lundegaard: Ma’am, I answered your question. I answered the darned… I’m cooperatin’ here!
Marge Gunderson: Sir, you have no call to get snippy with me, I’m just doing my job here.
Jerry Lundegaard: I’m… I’m not arguing here! I’m cooperating. So there’s no need to… we’re doin’ all we can here.
Marge Gunderson: Sir, could I talk to Mr. Gustafson?
[Jerry gives her a glassy-eyed look, knowing full well that Gustafson is dead]
Marge Gunderson: Mr. Lundegaard?

Look, I’ll even take out the filtered profanity in my “Hello, Minnesota Orchestra Management!” post to entice you further. How’s that? See? You’re all set. Despite whatever angry words I may have bandied about in the past few weeks, you and the clear, concise, honest answers you’ll no doubt bring to me will be oh-so-welcome in these virtual pages. I promise. As I’ve said so many times before, my first loyalty is not to the musicians, or to unions, or to an artistically excellent orchestra set to deplete its endowment in 2018. No; it’s to a strong, transparent, fiscally sustainable, artistically excellent symphony orchestra…which I hear is a goal rather similar to the one you have!

So answer us, and answer us quickly, or you risk MPR being only the first of many mainstream news sources to actually start reporting the discrepancies and obfuscations (and maybe even lies) you’ve let slip. And we’re only…*checks calendar*…five days into the lockout. If you make enemies with bloggers as thoroughly as you’ve appeared to make enemies with your musicians, it will be very very very hard to win us back over. Who knows what we might write, what we might speculate, what we might dig out of the Star Tribune archives, what Google might yield, what Facebook links we might make go viral, if you refuse to set the record straight? I don’t think it would be wise to choose to leave anything in your grand strategic plan to chance, would it? No. It wouldn’t be fitting for a man so clearly fond of chess…who loves to control every little detail of his orchestra that he possibly can…down to which auditioning musicians are extended offers of employment, and which are not.

So…talk to us! We’re here, and we’re waiting!

Yours sincerely,

Emily

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Just a quick fyi

Hello dear friends,

First off I want to thank y’all for following this blog. I’ve been blown away by the reception these entries have gotten and I feel so very, very lucky to know I’m a part of a world where people love orchestral music so very, very much.

Second, I wanted to let you know that I got an email this morning from Facebook, extending their condolences that I was having trouble logging into my account. Only thing is, I hadn’t been trying to log into my account… :/ It may have been a total coincidence – or a technical snafu – I’m not accusing anyone of anything – I just wanted you all to be aware that if things would fall silent here without explanation, or if I start sounding not like myself, or saying things wildly opposite of what I have been saying…or if this post disappears…keep in mind I may well have been hacked. I’m taking all the precautions I can, but I want to put this post out there on the .001% chance something unfortunate does happen. Once again, not accusing anyone of anything…I just thought better safe than sorry.

Take care, all.

With gratitude, Emily

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Minnesota Orchestra and SPCO Negotiations: Summary of Week -4

The Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s musicians’ contracts both expire at the end of September, and a lot of things have been happening lately in the discussions. My blog entry chronicling the goings-on this past week is 7000+ words, so if you haven’t been keeping up, here’s a Reader’s Digest version. If you want more perspectives, more links, more questions, and more subtlety, I invite you to visit my orchestra negotiation Tumblr, which I’ve been updating at least once a day this last week. (Keep in mind the Tumblr features some adult language and unhealthy levels of sarcasm. So if that’s not your thing, stay away.)

Here’s a brief overview of where we’re at as of this weekend, at least from my perspective as a patron…

SPCO

The opening shot was fired on 25 August when assistant principal violist Evelina Chao wrote an editorial in the St. Paul Pioneer Press titled “Fearing for ‘our orchestra as we know it.'” That editorial claimed that management’s proposals would reduce musicians’ wages by 57% and 67%. On 28 August, the musicians of the SPCO released a PDF summary of the negotiations so far, and on 1 September they released a collection of charts discussing numbers. On 31 August, SPCO Interim CEO Dobson West spoke to MinnPost, saying, “We have never proposed and wouldn’t propose salary cuts in the 57 to 67 percent range. That magnitude is way beyond anything we have proposed”…therefore making it clear that at least one side is lying, or at best, being disingenuous. West did not release any numbers to MinnPost. In retrospect, it seems likely that that he was waiting for The Day of the Dump, when managements at both the Minnesota Orchestra and SPCO released dozens and dozens of pages of documents, leading me to muse aloud if managements are coordinating in some capacity. The SPCO management made the information public in a link in an email to patrons: http://updates.thespco.org/. The papers released there are very dense and haven’t been fully analyzed yet, but you’re welcome to take a stab at them yourself. After widespread protest from the musicians and the public, SPCO management offered a new contract that they say includes a 15% cut and a reduction in the size of the ensemble, among other things. Musicians are still reviewing the document, but judging by their response on Facebook, they’re not terribly impressed. Yesterday we also had the terribly sad news that principal clarinetist Timothy Paradise, who has been with the orchestra since 1977, is resigning…presumably because of the turmoil. Unfortunately, I’d steel yourself for many more resignations in the weeks to come.

Minnesota Orchestra

In late August the orchestra’s blog Inside the Classics was “temporarily” shut down; its authors were not given much, if any, warning. On 30 and 31 August the Minnesota Orchestra musicians continued their meetings with management. But we heard nothing out of Minneapolis until 5 September, when a big shiny pro-management website was launched on the Minnesota Orchestra’s website. That pro-management website included the contract currently under negotiation, much to the musicians’ annoyance. Things took a turn for the Twilight Zone the next day when musicians dropped the bombshell that they hadn’t been told that management was going public with the contract, and that the terms management had released weren’t necessarily what they were talking about in private. Journalists’ heads then exploded. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that management’s proposals included dropping the musicians’ average base salary from $109,000 to $78,000. I pointed out that despite the headlines, the big story here is not necessarily the salary, but rather the proposed changes in working conditions, which, among many many many other things, include a reduction in paid medical leave from 26 weeks a year to 13; after that, musicians’ pay would be halved. The musicians fired back yesterday with a request for an independent audit of the orchestra’s endowment, saying they’re hearing different numbers from different people. Management claims they’ve done this already, implying the musicians’ request is a PR/stalling tactic.

In short, it’s been a week full of ugly, ugly acrimony: a tennis match of spin and sadness. And it will probably only get worse from here. I’m guessing that come October, neither the SPCO nor Minnesota Orchestra are going to be playing. Are we looking at two Detroit-style meltdowns in the same metro area at the same time? I don’t really want to think about that question, much less answer it.

In any case, as I said on my blog, “I don’t even drink and I want to get drunk. Badly.”

If you’re a praying person, some prayers wouldn’t go amiss here. Otherwise, send us all your positive thoughts. We need them.

More updates next weekend. If you want more in the interim, like I said, follow my Tumblr.

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The End of Emily Visits Violaland

Well, my visit to Violaland has officially come to an end.

Because…

I’m moving there.

Or at the least, buying a second house there and commuting back and forth between Violaland and Violinland.

Or whatever the metaphorical equivalent to taking an audition on viola and then winning it is.

Yes, I’ve just won a seat in northwest Wisconsin’s best symphony orchestra. (And no, there aren’t a lot of symphony orchestras in northwest Wisconsin, so no, there isn’t a lot of competition for that label, but sshh. Ssshhhhh.)

This October we play Mahler 6.

Well, that’s one way to learn alto clef.

 

Holy frick. 

And so on and so forth. For forty pages.

So here’s to a the beginning of a new series of blogs called, simply, “Emily in Violaland.”

Now, if you don’t mind, I should probably go.

Because I really need to practice.

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Emily Visits Violaland, Part 4/?

A few days ago I submitted a question for discussion on the violinist.com discussion board: Where is the dividing line between “a violinist who plays the viola” and “a violist”?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the subject. At the end of June I’ll have played the viola for six months. Alto clef is under the fingers pretty well. I’d feel comfortable taking on stuff like the Haydn quartets (as long as I’d have time to learn and finger them beforehand). I bought my first viola sheet music. The first Bach suite is mostly memorized. I’ve had two lessons with a wonderful viola teacher. I’ve relaxed my right shoulder, stopped squeezing the neck, raised my bow elbow, and tweaked my posture so the scroll sits higher. The violin feels much more manageable, I can finger simple viola parts for orchestra arrangements, and I’ve learned some new viola jokes. In short, I’ve actually achieved the majority of what I originally set out to do with the instrument. As I observed in my first Violaland blog entry, in the words of Edith Lynwood Winn, “Every violinist should play the viola to some extent,” and now I do. So the rental should go back to the shop, right? If I keep it, I’m looking at spending money I don’t have, which even if I did have, should go to a decent violin bow, or to a string and rehair fund, or to fun silly frivolities like groceries or rent.

But… (and you know where this is going, don’t you?) …in a few days, I’m signing the papers for another three-month lease. And not only that, but I’m returning the 14″ and bringing home a 15″.

I feel like Moses catching sight of the promised land, realizing it’s time to hand over the reigns to Joshua. But you know what? Screw that. Because I spent forty years (six months) leading the Israelites (my fingers) through the desert (Schradieck), and now I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor. With the basics out of the way, there are bigger instruments to conquer, richer colors to explore, new techniques to analyze. There are harmonies to savor. There are more complicated ensemble parts to take on. There’s the Clarke sonata, floating out there in the distant ether. There are five other Bach suites I haven’t even touched (apparently six sonatas and partitas were not enough to take on in one lifetime). In short, there’s this whole big viola-y world out there. And I was kidding myself to think that I could learn the basics and then quit.

Over the last six months, I’ve begun to love the viola for what it is, not for what it can give to my violin playing.

And that means I’m ready to call myself a violist.

***

(Still not giving up the violin, though.)

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Two Announcements: Summer Break and the Chartres Kickoff

One year ago today I published the very first entry on the blog – a little essay called Indulgent Claptrap. And so Song of the Lark began!

This may be incongruous, but on the one-year anniversary of beginning the blog, I’m announcing a hiatus. Don’t worry, it’s just for a few months, and I won’t be leaving entirely; I’m sure I’ll toss off some entries in my spare time. However, I am hoping for the lion’s share of my attention and energy this summer to be directed toward fiction writing. I haven’t told enough artful lies lately. That being said, I’ll still be online and all – I just won’t be posting as regularly. As always, I’d be happy to answer any questions or comments you may have about anything on the blog.

The bigger (and more exciting!) announcement is that I finally have an essay to post on violin prodigy Vivien Chartres. I’m embarrassed to admit I started advertising it last year; unfortunately, life got in the way and its publication was delayed. But I’ve finally got my act together and am ready to share. It’s a bit on the lengthy side and consequently will be in four parts. I had a fantastic time writing it and am very proud of how it all turned out. But more of that next entry.

To close…

I’m a writer, and writers write whether or not they have readers. Even if none of you were here, I’d probably still be shouting concert reviews and biographical essays into the void. But I can’t tell you how happy it makes me feel to know that you are here, and reading, and responding. That just brings a big old smile to my face. Thank you all so very, very much.

If there’s anything you want me to cover when I come back from break, let me know. I want each and every one of you to have a gorgeous summer full of friendship, late nights, and great music. Okay? Take care.

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I Hate…Er, And Also Am Apparently Subconsciously Programming Bruckner: An Epilogue

Last night I had a dream that I was in an orchestra. It was a very good group, made up largely of members from the Minnesota Orchestra, who had given up their careers in that august organization and relocated to my small Wisconsin hometown. We were searching for repertoire. “You should try Bruckner 8!” I said. Although most were ex-members of Minnesota, they weren’t familiar with Bruckner 8. So the music magically appeared and was distributed. We began the last movement first (as you do in dreams). We got to a certain point where everything (i.e., the strings, the horns, the horns, and the horns) came together, and you know what? It was magnificent. What a rush. However, we decided to cut it off at one of the climaxes because whatever concert we were programming for had a strict time limit.

I tried listening to the passage in question this morning, curious if my midnight dream had any effect on me. Sorry to say, it didn’t. Bruckner still grated. But I’m heartened my subconscious is working on it. We’ll see if this dream ever comes true. (Minus the mass exodus of Minnesota Orchestra members to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.)

Sigh

Anyway. As the kids on Tumblr say…

“This has been a post.”

(If this blog means nothing to you, it’s probably for the best. Just keep scrolling.)

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Jumping Off A Cliff

A couple weeks ago I got an email from a string-playing friend. There was a second violin emergency in her orchestra. Violinist needed. Stat. Please. Help. Beethoven 7 – third piano concerto – here are the rehearsal times – here’s what you’ll be paid – will you do it? Can you do it?

Please?

My first instinct was no. No, I can’t do it. When I agree to play a concert, I like to be prepared to the max, to have my parts half-memorized, to know who I need to listen to when…to know everything I possibly can, and then to guilt myself for not knowing more. This job, however, would consist of me getting a symphony and a concerto I’d never played into run-through shape for the first rehearsal in a few days. It would be my first chance to make a positive or negative impression on the members of a semi-professional orchestra I’ve watched since my teens, which I’ve toyed with joining for years, in some hypothetical far-flung future where I’ll be much better than I ever am. So far I’d spent the majority of 2012 alternating between lying on the couch sick with the flu and playing slow scales in alto clef. I can’t imagine a worse preparation.

Can you do it?, she asked.

Can you do it?, I asked.

***

When I was 14 and went to my first orchestra rehearsal, I had no idea what to expect, so I sought advice from an older violinist friend. She said, “When you don’t know what’s going on, fake it.” I faked it the entire rehearsal. But gradually, with work, I stopped having to fake. A few semesters later, I was in the first chair of the second violins, and the conductor shook my hand at the final performance.

When I was accepted into the summer camp I knew I wouldn’t be accepted into, I was struck with a heady mix of terror and excitement. I was the least advanced, worst-trained player there; graduate students and competition winners abounded. One of the faculty members there was a fantastic player and person who had played second violin in my favorite recording of the Bach double concerto. During one of our last concerts, she played in our chamber orchestra, and I was her stand-partner in Brandenburg 3.

When I was asked by a professional musician if I’d like to try some duets sometime, I blanched. It felt like a waste of his time, like a gesture of sympathy, but I couldn’t bear to say no. Nonetheless when we got together I stalled. And stalled some more.

“I’m scared,” I finally said. For some reason, no reason, no reason at all, I was scared.

“You don’t need to be scared,” he said. “It’s just playing.”

He was right.

***

There have been times when I fell on my face. I’ve bombed auditions. I’ve lost orchestra seats. I’ve mis-read a scale…that was one octave…in C-major…in front of an important teacher…numerous times. Once when I was recording my recital for summer camp, I wasn’t told until a few minutes before I set up the mic that the pianist was actually a trombonist and only played simple Suzuki accompaniments on the side…and I’d brought her a piano transcription of a Wieniawski concerto. So there have been disasters.

But the thing is…now that I think about it, I don’t remember the disasters nearly as clearly as I remember the exultation of the unexpected successes.

***

One semester my youth orchestra took on three movements of Beethoven 5. It was the biggest musical project I’d been a part of up until that point. At the concert, before we began, the conductor asked us, “Before this concert, how many of you had played a Beethoven symphony?”

A few kids who had been lucky (and let’s face it, wealthy) enough to go to summer camp raised their hands.

He smiled. “Now how many of you have played a Beethoven symphony?”

We all raised our hands.

Is it strange that I don’t really remember anything about how the performance went? But I do remember finishing it and being backstage, waiting for a ride home. The heavy door to outside was open. Kids were leaving and shouting. Everyone was giddy. I sat in front of a bank of lockers and tried very hard not to cry. All that work, and the moment in the hot spotlight, the exultation, all come to this…sitting backstage, the music turned in, the folder empty, everything over. Not knowing when it would happen again. If it would happen again. If it could happen again.

***

Can you do it?

***

After deliberating, I hit reply.

The cursor blinked.

“Yes,” I typed. “I’ll do it,” and I clicked send.

Sometimes I guess you just have to jump off the cliff, and have faith you’ll land on your feet, fiddle in hand.

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