Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Almost forty years ago, Art Sieving told me to do the “best show you can every time” and “you’ll do alright”. I think I have been caught up in the error that this advice isn’t enough. I have been tricked into believing that there is something else I am not doing.

A good friend told me months ago that this show was a spiritual journey for me. Perhaps that is what I am trying to understand. I am just an old modern day necromancer plying the art. The spiritual roots of ventriloquism still run deep. Perhaps this is what drew me to this unique form of entertainment to begin with.

It dawned on me today that I can’t do anything more to make this show a financial hit. I continue to do the interviews and promos that are given me to do. The Two and Only is the second best rated show just behind Jersey Boys in the New York Times reader poll. We have the best PR firm, the best advertising firm, the best marketing firm and the most generous and enthusiastic producers ever assembled. My directors are angels as close to me as family. My own family has loaned me to New York theater in spite of the burdens it causes them, because they believe like everyone else on this dream team.

I will always do the best show and the best interview I can do every time. That is the only power I have. I can’t make people come to the theater. I can’t make them choose my show over the others that are across the street. But I also don’t believe there is a limited number of people per night and we have to take audience from anyone else to sell out. Good gifts come with batteries included, we don’t have to steal the batteries from another show to run.

I can’t decide to do my best shows only for the sold out audience. Everyone who comes is here for a reason I have no control over. They will be affected by the show in the way that they need at the moment. All I can do is be there for the people who have chosen this night to attend.

So Rosie O’Donnell, I want you to come and see my show, not for what you can do for the show, but for what the show can do for you. That goes for anyone else who has not seen the show. I have a whole cast of imaginary (read spiritual) characters here waiting for you. Don’t come to see me or my show, come to see a mirror of your own spirit and your own passions.
As you were,


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! You are right where you're supposed to be, doing exactly what you need to be doing. Nothing more is needed... it's perfect. Let your team members play their parts and do what they need to do.

Art Sieving was right. You just keep following his advice, as you do everyday. I can't think of a better way to honor your self and his memory.

- your friend

Anonymous said...

Jay –

No ideas, just many thanks! What you've written really hit home...it’s exactly what I need to hear right now. I think we all get caught up believing we’re missing something or not doing what's needed when events don’t go exactly as planned. Don’t you know you are doing everything right? All you have to do is continue to follow Art’s advice. You give your best everyday...I don’t think you know how to do otherwise. “The best” is all any of us can do.

Jay, you have a positive impact on everyone around you. It’s that huge, open heart of yours. You draw the energy right in and then generously share it. This is your true gift. Because of this, people are uplifted in your presence. I witness it everyday as you set the stage and see it in the faces of the audience after every performance. It’s a palpable force you can actually feel in the theatre. You know the old proverb “when the student is ready, the teacher appears?” People come in and out of our lives and with each encounter there is an opportunity to learn. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to recognize right away what the person in front of us is here to teach. Sometimes it takes a while to sink in.

Your friend is absolutely correct. This show is a spiritual journey..for everyone. We all just need to open our eyes, ears and heart to get the message. Thanks for being such a great teacher.

- Linda