Friday, December 14, 2007

The Success of a One-Man Show

Creative types often deal with the problem of being a one-man show. Having to focus on one idea, plan the execution and deliver the product is not always in our game plan and we wind up procrastinating, missing deadlines, playing with several ideas and delivering a not-so-satisfactory conclusion.

My mother is often a "one-man show." She develops projects which she enjoys and recruits the best people to see that the job is finished well. At 85, she has learned what she likes to do and that she does not like to waste time on an ill-conceived idea. So she chooses carefully and usually sees her plans through to a successful completion.

For the past few years, she has performed a real one-man show. She delivers her backdrop, sets up her music and delivers the lines of eight to ten "Characters of Bethlehem." She has adapted lines which my sister Ellen wrote to be delivered during Advent by individuals at her church in South Carolina. She remembered the simple backdrop which she had packed away after a choir program at her own church -- she had recruited me to do the quick drawing almost 20 years ago -- and put it to use. She created the backdrop frame with light-weight PVC pipe so that she could load it in her car and set it up when there was no one to help. She only occasionally asks for anyone to attend with her.

Yesterday, Lucy and I walked the few blocks to a senior complex to cheer her on as she told the Story of Baby Jesus's Birth. We watched as she first read in the gruff voice of Herod the King, and then the rushed voice of the innkeeper's wife. We sympathized with the anxious Joseph and the frightened Mary. We thought about the presence of the drunken shepherd and the presents of the Wise Men. And at the end, we applauded loudly.

It was another success for Mamma and her one-man show.



Martha Marshall said...

How wonderful -- Lucy must have loved that!!

Annette Bush said...

Mamma does a great job with her characters, but Lucy mostly loved that she could commandeer the mike and sing -- really loud -- after ''LaLa" had finished.