Working with others is hard. Especially when there’s loads of you. Sometimes, I envy solo artists, trotting around with some sort of portable instrument, worrying only about themselves, not a mish mash of assorted characters and heavy musical instruments known as Lady Sings it Better.
We’re a strange lot, the Lady team. Not quite a band, not quite a theatre production, a collection of people found through friendship, university connections, auditions, word of mout, facebook… I wonder if any of us knew what we were signing on for: hours, days, weeks spent rehearsing together, tours, travel, collaboration. We span 2 decades of birth dates, all sorts of sub-cultures and backgrounds, various skill levels and experience, and multiple musical interests and exploits. We are united only by a taste in so-called ‘dad humour’ and a desire to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re here because we haven’t quit.
Popular culture would have us think that musical ensembles all grow organically out of groups of friends all naturally predisposed to creativity. I am sure this happens sometimes, but it wasn’t so for us. We became friends because of this show, our connections evolving over a capella renditions of fight songs and horse medleys. There’s little romance in a band constructed in aid of a concept, but that’s what we are.
As the driving force behind LSiB, Phoebe and I ask a lot of the artists involved. “Promote the show on facebook again,” “please do the next gig for free so we can afford Edinburgh,” “ask your friends to donate,” “promote the show on twitter,” “we’re rehearsing
twice three times a week now,” “sing this absurdly sexual song (again) in front of your mother,” “hip thrust bigger,” “promote the show via email”… you get the picture!
I never tire of hearing the “yes.” With Von Trapp like magic, our motley crew seem to be doing more and more with every passing day crossed off the Fringe production calendar. “Hey, I’ve applied for a busking licence for us,” “I sent a letter to Bunnings about a sausage sizzle,” “I arranged a new song over the weekend,” “sure I can make yet another extra rehearsal.”
Now I just need someone to make us costumes out of curtains. *cough* Belinda *cough*
Working with others is worth it. For all the reminders and moments of disagreement and emails and expense, being a team makes you stronger as an artist, it’s inspiring, challenging, exciting and fun. And in our case, it makes for a better cabaret.
For me, community is everything. I love the ideas and conflict and passion and laughter that comes from social interaction; a true extrovert.
We wouldn’t have chosen these people as our kin; many of us have little in common. But we’re a strange little family now. And it works.
Thanks for letting me take this little moment to pen this love letter to my Lady collaborators…