“You’re so brave” they say.

This when I tell them I have written a one woman show and will be performing it in Hamilton on November 21.

The truth is I’ve always felt a little shy. I was fired from my very first job at Dairy Queen partly because I was too frightened to talk to the customers and would hide in the back when they came in.

I asked my mother the other day if she thought I was timid as a kid. First she said no, and then paused and said. “Well, I think maybe you were but you were always so determined, you just pushed through it.”

If feeling the fear and pushing through it is the definition of brave, then maybe that’s what I am. But I think of myself as obedient.

I’m obedient to the inner voice that compels me. When it speaks it can be quite insistent, persistent. I may hesitate, prevaricate, but there is no peace for me until I follow the inner prompting. So eventually I say yes. And then get to work. I try to manage my anxiety as well as I can while I do.

I took a half dozen courses with Tracey Erin Smith of Soulo Theatre before I summoned the courage to create a real show of my own. The first time, I bailed after day two because I was so intimidated by the talent in the room. But I came back and kept coming back and here I am.

Three morals in this story,

1. When your inner voice compels you, you will have no peace until you obey.
2. Obedience may lead you to do scary things or go scary places.
3. Then others will think you are brave.

with creativity and imagination,

The new show is called In Chaos I Trust. It’s a mid life rite of passage. A quest for answers to the tricky questions we usually avoid about life, death and the universe. It would mean the world to me if you’d come out to see it.

It’s playing Nov. 21 at The Staircase in Hamilton. Admission $25. Follow the link for tickets.

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