>Keep Yur Friggin’ Chin Up

>Thirty days to go.

OK yeah, so I actually counted them putting one stubby finger on each day for August and September.

Last night was the first rehearsal and it did go well. Lots of energy and the incredible, really genius, Edisa Weeks whose calm, choreographic leadership is a rock and wings to all of us. We had kids and chorus and some leads and some musicians. Just the way I knew it would be when folks are not being paid to be present at your beck and call.

The good thing, and here is a silver-lining moment, about not having money to pay people, and they participate anyway, the great thing really, is that you know they are there because it is also a passion project for them.

We have all done money jobs, but Calling is now a labor of love for all of us. Not just Doug and his music, or Wicki and her wacky ideas and non-linear words, but the idea of recreating a community that thrives and soars. And that was the big take away lesson of September 11 Downtown. That we were all in it together and in order to rebuild, we had to be friends, neighbors and cohorts in a totally different way.

So yesterday we were turned down by more foundations and even Nintendo whose silly electronic Wiiiiiii machines Doug electronic wizard boy turned into hand bells or didgeridoos, amazing instruments of joy and celebration for our finale. But they turned us down. As if they are getting any better sponsorships idea. So the doors of money closed, and closed until there we were, alone with our $17,000 bucks in total to commission, mount, light and dance our way into folk’s hearts and minds. And we will not stop.

Oh please… sounds good right? As if I am Princess Pluck. Let’s see the back scene: couldn’t sleep last night because I knew I had to jettison more that 75% of the set, and I love the designer, one of my oldest friends. And I knew we would suck it up and move on and when the audience arrived it wouldn’t know that this minimalist design wasn’t exactly what we had in mind from the get-go. But I thrashed the night away, doing crossword puzzles and reading politics.

And this morning I made lists and was worried. But when I spoke to the force of nature who is our volunteer development director, Hattie Elliot, about the Benefit and my fears, and uncertainties, she pulled herself to a full maybe five feet and screamed at me, “You keep yur friggin’ chin up!” I think she is maybe 26 years old, blond, fierce and how does one wimp out in the face of that force?

If she is undaunted, who I am to lose heart?

So chin up and out into the sunshine to copy schedules, and a contact sheets and letters of agreement and of course all for free at the local Mail Boxes Etc on Greenwich Street because the goodness doesn’t stop. Even if I sometimes forget.

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