Yesterday we found one of NYC’s great bargains: the Fringe Festival of plays and musicals, a massive undertaking involving several venues and a plethora of new and emerging work. We went to see Mom: A Rock Musical by Richard Caliban, one of Henry’s playwriting teachers. For $10, we were enthralled for two hours by the story of a group of moms who form a rock band and find unexpected success, along with the challenges of sudden fame.
As a middle-aged stepmother, the story hit home. It’s so easy to take care of other people and to not nurture our own dreams. I’m getting better, but it’s still a challenge. I find comfort and motivation through music, often in the musicals that we attend in our visits to New York. One of my favorites is “A Way Back to Then” from Title of Show. And, as of yesterday, I have a new song for when I need that extra boost. It’s called “Don’t Hold Back,” from Mom. It’s a tear-jerker, a song about what a middle-aged woman would sing to the five-year-old version of herself if she had the chance.
All of us who create, whether through writing or other arts, have to deal with those days of sinking spells, discouragement, and frustration. A little bit of music, whether it’s heavy metal to shake us out of lethargy, or lullabies to soothe our nerves after a rejection from a publisher, goes a long way to heal wounds.