In rehearsal a few days ago, we paused to discuss punctuation. With eight days to stage a a musical that is three hours long, we stopped to look at the punctuation in a 10 word sentence belonging to a supporting character.
I turned to my friend Josey and said “I am so happy, I might cry!”
I meant it too.
I have, at most, 80 years left. Why spend my time and resources on anything that I don’t WANT to throw my whole heart into? Right up until the last second, right down to the last detail, including every piece of punctuation. That can be difficult and it can be so easy and it has everything to do with the people in the room with me. I have been extraordinarily lucky to work for several companies that spend time on things like punctuation, on the hemline of a skirt that is worn for just a moment, whose company members will meet eachother after rehearsal to re-hash a scene. With those companies, I will gladly spend time outside of rehearsal, because my work has become my play, it has become my pleasure.
And that, to me, is what the exclamation point is all about. It’s caring enough to come at your work, to come at your life, with enthusiasm and joy. And I have absolutely no desire to work or live in any other way.
Sometimes I do though. And that’s okay too.