If you are one of my younger readers, you may not know what the heck this is, so I’ll explain. Perhaps you have happened upon a re-run of the sitcom “Laverne & Shirley”…No? If not, whenever either one of them had a bad day or something bad or sad happened, they had a Boo Boo Kitty Moment. They actually had a stuffed cat named Boo Boo Kitty (see above) that they would just cuddle when they felt blue. Fortunately, I have a Boo Boo Husband for these moments!
So…what are some Cabaret Boo Boo Kitty Moments? I can only share some of my moments over the years and a few moments some of you have shared with me or asked me about. Before I start…let’s all take a deep healing breath…
THE CLOSING OF A SHOW THAT YOU HAVE SPENT A TON OF MONEY ON AND LOVED PERFORMING
For me this happens pretty much every time I do a show. It has its run and gets its reviews and gets better with each performance and by the time it’s at a place where it’s finally “in your bones”, you’re doing your last performance of it. I always mourn the closing of a show and I just allow myself to do that.
What can you do to feel better? Look at your first script and then look at all your notes and then at the final script and realize how much work you had put into this show. Own that. Then look at how to book the show out of town. Since you have probably exhausted your audience here in town (unless you got RAVE reviews that are sustaining the run) offer to do it at a church or senior center out of town. This also helps you to develop a new audience.
What you can do before your current show closes is have an idea for the next show and immediately get going on the song selections and research and then try to get to your Musical Director to start running tunes. This will put the focus forward on your new project (even if it’s a year away) and keep you from feeling badly about putting the previous show to bed.
Re: Money spent? Let it go. No one makes money doing Cabaret after all the expenses are calculated so, sing for your hearts content and make money when you can but commit to your art and accept that it costs a lot to do.
GETTING A BAD REVIEW AND/OR GETTING ONE BAD AND ONE GOOD REVIEW ON THE SAME SHOW
I have spoken about this before. You are usually not as good as your best review or as bad as your worse. The truth always lies in the middle AND, if your audience when nuts for the show and you entertained 49 people in the room but failed to impress the one reviewer…well, they are but one opinion (admittedly an informed opinion). Put this all into perspective.
Just because a reviewer was in the house and did not end up writing a review does NOT mean that they disliked the show. I know it feels like it but if you want to know, email or call them and ask them what they thought. It could have been a column space issue or a deadline issue… don’t assume anything…ask!
I ALWAYS remind people that all art is subjective so, use what constructive criticism you and your team agree with and ignore the rest.
Finally, do not allow the opinion of one person to ruin the joy of having put the show together and then getting to perform it. Honor your talent and honor your audience by listening to what they think by how they responded during the show and what they say or emailed to you afterward.
How to feel better? A pint of ice cream usually works for me! (Hee, Hee!)
LOSING YOUR LYRICS AND FEELING LIKE EVERYONE KNOWS YOU HAVE MESSED UP
Let it go. Most do not know you messed up. Yes, a few of us do but we have all been there. Recently I messed up a tune and the husband of my friend (also a singer) said to me, “It’s not that you made a mistake; it is how you dealt with it when it happened.”
I usually make a joke because I can’t help myself. My singing partner and I both messed up a lyric but thank goodness, because we’ve worked together for so long, we actually both messed up at the exact same place and on the same word! I was so tickled about it, I shared it with the audience, but I guarantee you no one would have known.
If you mess up, try to make something up on the spot and stay in your song. You know the story of the song so just sing words that go along with this story until it the correct lyrics come back to you. OR…
Scat or humming is an option OR let the band take it for awhile and find your way back. Look at your MD and let them know you need a word cue…arrange this with them before the show.
DO NOT “indicate” by making a face or rolling your eyes or shrugging. DO NOT let it affect the rest of the show. It’s gone. It happened…it’s live performances…what else do you have to say to me? Stay focused.
How to feel better about it? Take your words, which I assume you have written out, and highlight all the words that you sometimes have a hard time with and then STUDY! There is something about the visual of your lyric sheet in your head with those words now highlighted that, trust me on this, just stays in your mind.
REALIZING WHO DID NOT COME TO YOUR SHOW
While I am ALWAYS so pleased seeing the people who come out to see one of my shows, it always shocks me and often hurts me when after the show, I realize who did not come to the show.
None of us owes anyone else attendance in a room but, when you constantly go to someone’s show and support their work and they do not support yours, it’s a definite Boo Boo Kitty moment…we’re human! This comment is coming from noticing the habitual no shows.
Be warned too…in this day of Facebook and social media…to constantly scream poverty (sometimes even when comped into the show) and then to post yourself at a 54 Below show (very expensive) when you pled poverty about not coming to my show on the very same night…well, clearly you just didn’t want to see my show. This can chip away at your feelings of worth so…don’t do it. Don’t support their work and/or mention to that person that you saw their post.
Listen, to play my own “devil’s advocate” here, we are all busy. We all go to see each other as often as we can and, for the most part, this is a hugely supportive community. We also get sick. We have our own shows to do. (NOTE: One can check on line to see if in fact you DO have a show…I’m just sayin’) We also get burned out. There’s the financial issue. There are a hundred legitimate reasons to not be able to get to a show. However,
I know someone who says, “I only see the work of people I like and if they like me, they will come see me or not.” This is valid but it’s nice when it works out to your advantage and feels terrible when you realize that they have never seen your work.
People (and reviewers) who may have seen you 10 years ago never coming back thinking you are in the same place as you were. Even the whole reviewing process tends to focus on the “new and shiny penny. Although, I must say…in the past 3 or 4 years more of our performing seniors have been winning awards.
Also, with all those Open Mics that we all go to…how many people do you actually get from any of these shows to come to your show? How much do you spend going to these Open Mics weekly? Is there any pay-off on the time and money you spend in relation to the numbers who show up? It’s something to consider. (This is, of course, assumes that your performance is on a level that will entice people to come.)
Always be grateful and play to the people that are in front of you. I am, however, starting to think twice about continuing to see and support as many people as I do when the support is never reciprocated.
NOT BEING ABLE TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF YOUR SHOW BECAUSE YOU HATE THE WAY YOU LOOK ON TAPE
MANY of you, especially my gal friends, have said that while they continue to record their shows, that they rarely actually look at the video and it’s most often about how they perceive they look on tape vs. anyone feeling like they cannot listen to the work.
Many of us tape to use in learning what we want to fix for future runs of the show. Others to have it for the archives and others to have to send to family. None of the ones I have taped have ever been sent to my family. I will see the first 5 minutes and be like, “Oh no, that camera angle, I have 5 chins!” and it’s all over. Tapes go on the shelf; I do not watch them to learn from; I do not post them to YouTube although I desperately need a presence on there…I have such a hard time watching myself even with my recent weight loss.
A VERY wise famous friend of mine once said that if she didn’t post any of the videos that she has of herself performing that there’d be nothing at all on YouTube of her work. She works A LOT and she gets a lot of work from YouTube. It’s like an electronic calling card if used correctly but this means having an image AND a sound on the clips up that you yourself respect.
Many people have also posted clips of me without my permission. I was not able to take them down. How can we not be allowed to monitor the use of our own image? Pass the Boo Boo Kitty please! I had to ask each person who posted to remove the clip. Do regular checks of yourself to see what’s out there representing you.
So…what is this really about? Self Love (or hate) issues. A camera putting 10 lbs. on you. Yes, camera angles CAN be the culprit…learn from this and do it differently the next time. Make yourself at least listen to it. Look away and listen to it like you would a CD so that, at the very least, you can hear your work and get the value of tape for growth purposes. Write down the parts that you loved and could live with being on YouTube and then force yourself to watch those parts for consideration.
Then, really pull back and look at yourself in a way that is loving and accepting and forgive the chins and forgive the fact that you are not perfect. How did you do? What did you sing like? Listen to your audience’s response. Often during a show, we are so into getting to our next tune that we don’t allow the audience to give us their love (or we cut it off) OR we don’t realize what songs really got you the longest applause. Listen for this. This could be a clue as to what you may have to consider putting up publicly.
My husband almost lost his life once when he said to me, “People only THINK that wearing black makes them look slimmer!” Oh no he didn’t! (Says the lady who wears only black 99% of the time!) There is truth in this statement though. People see us as they see us, and WE see ourselves in our minds as we WISH they saw us. If people love you, they see your light. If you are singing with your light, the work will reflect this and what may not seem beautiful to you, will be beautiful to others. Did you feel beautiful/handsome that night? Feel that again and post it! Post your great work for the entire world to see and hear then go to the gym! LOL!
What are some of your Boo Boo Kitty moments?