Mabel says 'It's Show Day!'

“Get up! GET UP! It’s show daaaaaaaaaaay!” My body is refusing to let me sleep like an excited six year old on Easter morning. It’s my inner Mabel. 


Right, who the heck is Mabel? 


Mabel is my great grandmother who lived on a ranch in Montana in the 1800’s. Mabel is someone I’ve gotten very close to in the last few months. I almost feel like a favorite aunt to Mabel….


You see, Mabel is, in my mind, exactly eight years old and one day.


I wrote a one woman story & song show that I will be premiering TONIGHT in Kansas City at the Buffalo Room (7:30 pm). It’s an odd show. I conduct a séance during the show. Not a real séance. Maybe somewhat of a real séance, depending on your definition of séance. Who the hell knows? What I do know is that I connect with this little girl, and others, at a specific moments in their lives and I tell their stories, with some liberties… but that’s storytelling isn’t it? The show has a point, it has meaning, and I worked very hard on it, with directorial genius from Rebekah Wiggins thrown in. I’m proud of it. I so want it to go well. I was reminded by a dear reader and friend that I have got to this point, I wrote a show, and regardless of how it goes tonight, that, in itself, is something to be proud of. 


I’ve got these comments several times over the years when I do the strange things that I do that are essentially along the lines of ‘You’re so confident’ or ‘You’re so brave!’ Maybe I’m brave. I’d like to think that’s true. Maybe I’m confident. I like that idea less. I’ve got that inner heckler in the back of my head that says confidence equals overconfidence and, if you’re confident, it means that your belief in yourself does not match reality. It’s not true, of course, but I don’t feel like arguing with myself today so I’ll pack this one away for now and stand up to it another day.


I’ve also got comments along the lines of ‘Sing some happier songs’ or ‘Is this really you? This doesn’t seem like you. Stop playing this character’.  I can see these commenters struggling to rectify the be-dimpled, caretaker, trying-to-be-everybodys-friend version of me with this person that is odd and dark and uncertain. That part of me likes to discuss and dive into the twists and turns of the human condition through using these strange worlds which are, in my mind, a sort of metaphor to safely explore these concepts and be able to step away from them when needed. (As a side note: Inner spelunking can be dangerous. Just ask Alice).  Sometimes these two people don’t match in my mind either, and that’s frustrating when I have to justify their existence when I’m in one mental space or another. But, at the risk of someone calling out my hubris (about knowing myself…now isn’t that a little bit silly?), I will say that right now, in this moment, in my life, they are both real and they are both alive in me and I believe that it’s ok to give them both voice. 


On to more prep for the show for me. 


I’ll leave you with this. Be brave today. As my dear friend would say, be proud of just where you’re at right now. The place that you worked to get to. That’s enough to be proud of by itself, next steps aside. And remember that you really do know yourself and your inner world. It is SO OK to claim that. Go where you feel driven to*. For what it’s worth, I’m behind you.






*Note, this does not apply to people who feel driven to mass murder, rape, child abuse, and the like. That’s a big ol’ ‘hell no’.

Katie Anne Mitchell