Updated: Apr 25
Someone once told me that Handel wrote the Messiah in under four weeks. This is something I console myself with anytime I’m under deadline for a project and feel like there’s no way I can finish in time. If something as massive as the Messiah could be created in under a month... then I should have no problem wrapping up whatever I'm working on in the time I have.
And finishing things has been on my mind lately… because I’m weeks - yes weeks - away from finishing the show, Ha Ha Da Vinci, which I started writing in February 2020 during a weeklong residency at Centrum Foundation.
It feels incredibly strange to have worked on something continuously during such an intense period of time, and to have that thing - this strange show I’ve built - finally pushed out into the world.
My intention in creating the show as to build a piece of art that I had complete creative control over, that pushed me as both a maker and a performer, and that I could develop, take on the road, share... for years... maybe even decades.
This show was the thing I clung to during lockdown, when it felt frightening to even leave the house. It was the thing I threw my energy into when I was so lonely I could cry, and the pain of missing life and friends and family felt like too much to bare. It was the work I did when loved ones died, and the days felt like they turned upside down. It was the thing I toiled over while quarantining after covid exposure. It was the thing I put love into when my heart was broken not once, by twice. If there was a thread that ran through the pandemic, it was this piece of art.
To me, the show was more than just a place to funnel the intense creative energy that I carry around with me. It was a leap of faith. I felt like, as long as I was working on this show, I was making a statement to myself, “Theaters will open again someday. This part of your life will return. This important piece of you will get to come alive again.”
And it’s finally, finally about to happen. And standing on the edge of that moment is incredibly gratifying, deeply frightening, and truly exciting.