“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams
Few things in life are more terrifying than walking into a new project where you know everyone has extremely high expectations of you. The impostor-syndrome kicks in and you figure it’s only a matter of time before someone calls you out and you’re respectfully asked to leave the project. To say this was how I felt walking into No Place Like Home would be an understatement. Every fiber of my being was screaming, “don’t you dare mess up or they’ll give you the boot for sure!”
Lucky for me, I happen to work in an industry where experimentation is applauded and “mistakes” are quickly forgiven (making it that mush easier to tell my inner critic, on these particular occasions, to shove it). Though it’s easy to forget, especially when the majority of your training has been through an academic setting in which every aspect of your ability is graded and critiqued. Instinct and the desire to play it safe take over… But let’s be honest- when you’re putting together a new rock-musical about homelessness, the last thing you should be doing is playing it safe.
Since our very first musical rehearsal, I’ve been in awe of the guts of the people working on this piece. Every session, our musical director (and my dear friend) Andrew Steele, tells us to keep exploring and finding what works for us and our voice. And between the missed notes and cracked vocal chords and uncompleted phrases due to poor breath support, everyone keeps going for it.
This cast is fearless. When asked to, “try this note,” or, “try ending on that chord instead,” or, “can you try it with the emphasis on this beat,” without fail everyone says yes and goes for it 150%. I learned fast that “playing it safe” would be “playing it boring,” and to my pleasant surprise, nobody gawked the first time I hit a sour note while trying out a new riff. Or the second time. Or the third time. Or the umpteenth time since…
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s still a challenge to let go of the predictable musical phrase en leu of the unfamiliar. But day by day, this production continues to show me how beautiful the cracks between perfection can be. Not only that, but how informative they can be. I am twice the musician I was at the onset of this production, and I can only imagine where I’ll be come the closing of the show. And I know I owe so much of that to this company of artists who know the value of “making mistakes.”
Make sure not to miss Taylor and the entire cast in "No Place Like Home" Opening to audiences May 23rd at the OB Playhouse! Tickets are available by clicking the beautiful orange button to the left of this post!