When I first started performing Burlesque, I ran into the inevitable groups of people who hung out together, booked each other in their shows and generally seemed to be doing all the fun things I wanted to do. I was new, didn’t know them, they didn’t know me. But I thought they were awesome and I wanted in, bad.
Ten years in, I’m on the other side. I book a lot of the same people in my shows, they often book me in theirs. We hang out on holidays, celebrate each other’s big life events, call each other when life is rough (like actually talk, not text) and drop by each other's homes.
And now — I get it.
These are the people who have continually shown up for me. When I wasn’t glam or fabulous, they got me out of bed, passed me all the tissues and drank endless cups of tea with me. They cheered the successes of my children. Called just to say hi. Brought their best to my shows, turned in the stage notes and music on time, promoted joyfully because they really were excited to work together again, bought tickets or helped at shows they aren’t when they aren’t performing. They aren’t the cool kids, they are the people who have supported me, appreciate how I work and call me to be a better person.
So if you find yourself on the outside looking in, consider that it has taken years for these people to go through life together. To celebrate joys, support each other through difficulties, and still to show up and make magic.
Want in? Keep showing up. Keep your word, do your best, maintain integrity, show up for people like you’d want them to show up for you, keep your drama on the stage.
And be patient.
Those of us who have been around for a few years have seen plenty of crappy behavior. We’re careful to engage because we've extended ourselves and been burned. We’ve worked hard and had people flake.
We’re here because we love it and we want to enjoy our time. The rest of life is hard enough, we don’t need anyone to make it harder. And there’s room for those who want to elevate the awesome!