And if you got that reference, you must be the CHEF of the FUTURE!!!
But, seriously everybody, I finished Psyche a couple of weeks ago. I got to the end. Wrote the last note. The last word. Stayed true to the ancient story. Imbued it to the best of my ability with the insights of the Jungians (without, you know, banging the audience over the head with it). It. Is. Done. I honestly wasn't sure if I would make it to the finish line. It was looming out there. I knew the trajectory. I just, somehow, had to stay on course. I kept thinking, "If I never write it, it can never be wrong". This was a stymieing thought that made it hard to get out of bed some mornings. I fought it nearly every single day that I was writing it. All one year and twelve days of it. People were asking me if that was because I was worried about the judgment of other people. Of it failing as a work of art in the eyes of -- whomever. And I had to think about that. Was I afraid of harsh criticism? Was I worried that people would hate it in droves? That I would be revealed as a sham? No. Well, those thoughts may come up later in this process, but during the creation itself it was not my governing fear. My fear was that I would not live up to my own expectations. That I wouldn't make, say, Apuleius or Neumann or Canova or other dead entities who’ve had an interest in Psyche’s story proud. That the towering thing that I wanted to see made wouldn't get done. It was a write-the-opera-you-want-to-hear moment. And I think I did that. And now I can worry about how everyone else will receive it. That will come, one hopes. Because if I end up worrying about that stuff it means people will be actually listening to it (and judging it).
So. What happens next? Well, let me backtrack just a little to tell you what came first. Several months back I decided that I needed to find a director, someone with singular vision to help me realize it for the stage. I wanted a partner. A collaborator. Because, let's face it -- writing an opera and libretto by oneself is lonely business. So I did some research on directors around LA who are edgy, interesting, emotional. There was one guy I had my eye on. Michael Matthews. Look him up. He's up for like a gazillion Ovation Awards here in LA right now. An astonishing artist. I cold emailed him. (As a momentary tangent: Let this be a lesson to... anyone. Cold email/contact people. It works sometimes!) His agent got back to me the next day. Michael wondered if I had an outline or something he could look at. I didn't have an outline. I had a complete libretto and mp3 mockups of the entire opera as it stood at that point. I sent them the files. I got a call back from the agent's office. Michael wanted to meet me. Could I come to the agent's office?
Jack and I strategized on that meeting. I mean, really. I had no real money to do an indie production, which at that point was what I thought needed to get done next. I thought I could scrounge up some decent funds if I needed to, but -- really, what did I have to offer this guy?? I was pretty nervous going in to this meeting. I was delving into a new business arena (musical theater production) and really am pretty naive (not in life, you know, just in music theater business-y things) (and I'm sure a whole host of other things not musical theater-y as well). So, I showed up, and these two lovely people met me in the conference room. After I gave them a brief bio on myself (and if you know my professional history, being brief is kind of tricky. Oh, who am I kidding? Being brief is not exactly my strong suit! But still, it was brief for me). Then I asked if Michael had had a chance to listen to Psyche, and if so, what he thought of it. And Victoria, Michael's agent, interjected with, " I was dying to call you yesterday to tell you this, but I wanted to save this for this moment...", at which point Michael informed me that he loved Psyche. I had my big girl suit on, so I didn't cry, but it was tricky for a moment there. Since then, Michael has shared his groundbreaking vision for the work with me. Victoria Morris has become my agent, representing the Psyche property. Michael is my director. PLEASE look him up. He is silly talented. I have a kick-butt NYC theatrical lawyer, Pamela Golinsky, and I've set up an LLC to run the business out of. (Psyche Productions LLC, thank you very much.) We are working to get this puppy in the hands of a commercial producer. We are NOT referring to it as an opera. People picture musty scores sung by people of larger persuasions in languages like Italian when you say “opera”. Let me say for the record: I am not Rossini. Nope. We are currently referring to the work as Psyche: A Modern Rock Opera. It's kind of what it is. Maybe someone out there has a better idea of what to call it.
So, things are happening. On the business end. And I'm really excited. And I'm done (until I need to start making edits, adjustments, rewrites, etc.) and have a complete piece to point to and to try to get up on its feet.
I have plans to write two other operas, both about Greek heroines whose names start with "P". I guess it's going to be the Greek Heroines Whose Names Start with "P" Trilogy. Care to hazard any guesses as to who the other two are?
Thank you, thank you everybody, for following along with me on this journey.
I'll report back when there are new things to report!
Maria-elisebeth • 2012
Cindy,very glad to hear about the newest developments with Psyche.Very Exciting! So proud of you,and hoping that I will have an opportunity to see it performed! XOXOXO
Cindy Shapiro -> Maria-elisebeth • 2012
Thank you!! It's looking pretty good for a spring Psyche installation event... Will keep everyone posted! xoxo
Bon Shan • 2012
It is an amazing feat, Cin. You have every reason to be proud -- and more good things are coming.
Lisa Creahan • 2012
So proud, woman! You did it.....
cindyshapiro -> Lisa Creahan • 2012
Thank you, sweet thing! Hey -- I saw an artist last week at Hotel Cafe that I'd like to point you to. You'd sound AMAZING singing her stuff. Call me! xoxo
Dale Johnston • 2012
Congratulation, Cindy! You have done what most people never do -- begin a project and see it through to the end. Bravo!
cindyshapiro -> Dale Johnston • 2012
Thank you, thank you Dale!!
zeldman • 2012
Incredible, Cindy. Be proud! :)
cindyshapiro -> zeldman • 2012
Thank you, thank you Jeffrey!!!
Petezeldman1 • 2012
Fantastic news Cindy!!
Well done! I can't wait to see/hear it!!
Hurray!! You've reached this major hurdle! Onwards and upwards!!
cindyshapiro -> Petezeldman1 • 2 years ago
Thanks, fellow traveler!!
Patti • 2012
It's a huge accomplishment Cindy, and we're very proud of you!
cindyshapiro -> Patti • 2012
Thank you, Patti. That means A LOT to me!
Bon Shannon • 2012
You wrote this as beautifully as you wrote your modern rock opera. I have no doubt it will be a huge success -- even though I am your mother.
cindyshapiro -> Bon Shannon • 2012