This time last week I was freshly basking in the aftermath of the extraordinary TwentyFour Hour event. The last blog post explains what that is and the process by which we got to the moment of presenting 5 brand new plays (literally barely more than 12 hours old) to a paying public!

The night unfolded beautifully. 15 actors embodied their characters created under the watchful, creative, problem-solving eyes of 5 directors. Together, through the entire day from 7.30 til 7.30pm, they had labored to bring the scripts to life. Now, as I sat there with 4 other playwrights, they appeared before our amazed eyes. The stories filled our delighted ears and grateful hearts – stories of which we had not heard a whisper until now.

The audience shared the delight and wonder although I know that, because they had not been one of the creators, to some extent they could not have felt all that we felt. That is perhaps the real power of creativity. It is in the furnace of creation, that we gain the greatest gift.

Why do we, the One Day Play lunatics, do it? Even if we have done it before, the discoveries each event are the same. We are most alive when we are challenged, most supported when working in community. Because in pushing to the boundaries of our capacity we find anew a strength and power we didn’t know or had forgotten.

The list of findings include: Letting others assist us, lending what we can to others. Placing our focus on the gift we are creating to give away that evening. Honoring each aspect of the creation from the writer to the director, the technical crew, the actors and the producer. Knowing that each cell in that glorious organism, the show that opens up that night and then blooms in full, depends on each of us to do our personal best.

In the Personal Magic Book I write about the things that can stop you from engaging in the arts and creative expression, and ultimately from truly stepping into your Personal Magic place of unique strength and power. One of them is waiting until it is perfect before offering the gift. The TwentyFour Hour Play experience certainly blows that option out of the water!!

I also write:

“What else stops you? Fear – fear of being wrong, looking stupid, being  surprised,  disappointed, or worst of all, hurt. Perhaps also it is a fear of being free and  finding yourself flying. When you are flying, not buried in the mud, hidden in a  cave or clinging to a rock in the crashing surf, then what? You are, in short, Empowered – to follow your personal and unique path, create your life, your  story. That is Big!”

At the final curtain call last Saturday, I shared the applause on stage with the community with whom I created the gift, before an enthusiastic and amazed audience, and felt the warmth between all of us. I had that Flying sensation. And looking around at the energized (if tired) faces with shining eyes, loose relaxed limbs, hearing the excited, joyous voices and Feeling the palpable energy of Power, I knew that all of us were empowered in the best sense of the word.

Empowerment means being able to stand up, loud and tall even when you are afraid. It means offering your gift, yourself your work, with a confidence that says ‘Here is my best.’ It means allowing yourself the imperfections, and celebrating the wonder of courage. For most, it is only after the actual moment of fear on stage that the true magnitude of the Power can be felt. Without that effort, would that joy be possible?

For the audience too there is definitely an experience of being bathed in a light and radiance emanating from the Personal Magic each of the creators whose work you have witnessed. Somehow in the expression of courage, joy, (and yes relief!) of the LIVE people before you, the audience is, as the Greeks knew so well, empowered too.

True the TwentyFour Hour play event is a rare microcosm of a life experience. It is not everyday that we are given such a clear-cut and concise, precise, time-framed opportunity to practice empowerment! Very often the opportunities are quieter, more mundane and even routine. The steps are the same. Focus on the task at hand, allow and offer assistance, share what you can and celebrate the gift.

And in a way, each of us lives a 24hour play every 24 hours. May you bring your Personal Magic to each of your 24 hours. May others sometimes get to bathe in that radiance, and may there be times when you bathe in the light of anothers’ Personal Magic.

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