(Cue dramatic organ music and announcer’s deep voice)
ANNOUNCER: Thank you for that word from our sponsor, Presto Pressure Cookers. And now, for another exciting episode in the ongoing saga of the Femfest eight-hour playwriting competition. When we last left our heroine, she was heard to say:
TERRIE: Will the audience like my little play? Or will they boo it right out of the theatre? The pressure may kill me!
ANNOUNCER: Let’s tune in as Terrie is escorted by her longsuffering husband, her cheerleader mother, four supportive friends, her artsy son, and his beautiful girlfriend to the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film to see all five mini-plays presented on September 15.
TERRIE: Actually, let’s just fast-forward and forget the radio drama. (organ music out)
We did indeed enjoy all five short pieces. Mine was entitled Irony. It fell third in the line-up and I’ll admit that, judging from the laughter and applause, hope began to grow in my heart that the audience might actually pick mine. I mentally prepared an acceptance speech just in case.
But then the last piece stole the show and won the most votes.
The winner, Frances Koncan, was presented with flowers by last year’s winner. Frances will now develop her piece, “The Dance-Off of Conscious Uncoupling,” into a one-hour play to be presented at the 2015 festival next September.
|Page 95 of this book...|
Thank heavens I’m far too mature to go eat worms just because nobody loves me, everybody hates me, and I didn’t win some dumb contest. Instead, I decided to go ahead and pre-arrange the headstone for my grave. Under my name, it will say, “Also ran,” since that appears to be the theme of my contest-entering history. Plus, it’s an appropriately depressing idea to embrace while throwing one’s self a pity party.
God and I discussed it. Well, okay. I did all the talking, reminding him he was the one who got me into this contest. Therefore, he surely didn’t mean for it to end here, did he? And surely he had heard my family and friends and even some of the actors say mine was their favourite, hadn’t he? And surely he realizes I’m not getting any younger, while the winning playwright is in her twenties, doesn’t he? Tick tock, God.
|...and page 75 of this book. Too uncanny for coincidence.|
Though I’ve been trying his patience since 1959, he hasn’t lost it yet. So the next morning, he used two completely unrelated authors in two completely unrelated books in two completely unrelated rooms of my house (yet only moments apart) to penetrate my thick skull and help me understand the difference between “invitation” and “expectation.” He had opened the door for me to participate in that event and I had accepted his invitation. But instead of relaxing and loving the journey for what it was, I set myself up for emotional sabotage by adding my own expectations.
Do you do this, too? It was a good lesson and I wish I could say with confidence I won’t do it again. I’m not the speediest of learners.
Then I got a surprise. An email arrived from the artistic director of the festival. She told me the vote had been “very, very close” and that she liked my piece a lot. She encouraged me to finish it and submit it for possible production in next year’s festival! Apparently, the fat lady has not yet sung.
So if you’ll excuse me, I believe I have an invitation to say yes to.
(cue organ music)
ANNOUNCER: Will Terrie learn her lesson? Which of her readers will apply it to their own situation? Will her play be selected for Femfest 2015? For answers to these and other monumental questions, tune in same time next year, when we’ll bring you another exciting episode of Oh the Pressure. And now, a word from our sponsor, Fresher Pressure Washers—say that five times fast. (organ music out)