The Extrahuman Union

Release Day: Another Opening, Another Show

Posted on: August 28, 2012

THE SPARK is out today, at last! Here’s the Amazon link!

This book has been a long time coming, and I’m going to have more thoughts about just how long later in the week. For today, though, it’s time to celebrate!

I feel like I ought to have a ritual for today, some kind of combination of words and actions to ensure that things go right. It’s probably my theater background.

See, theater folk are superstitious.

And I mean, really superstitious. In high school, we were reading “Macbeth” in English class, and I happened to mention the name of the play in the theater’s green room.

“Out!” ordered one of the techies. “Out, now!”

“You can’t be serious,” I protested. But of course, he was. There was some disagreement on what, exactly, I had to do while I was outside, but I wasn’t allowed back in the theater building again until I’d done it.

It was, to be fair, kind of a spooky theater. When the curtain was closed, the stage could get very dark. For one show I delighted in lying down and staying perfectly still in the darkness, and then, when someone hesitantly tried to cross the stage, saying “Don’t step on me!” It scared the hell out of them. I got an award for it at the cast party.

That theater building was also haunted. There was a rumor of a kid who had killed himself in the creepy concrete basement under the stage. There was a door to nowhere in there, and that was where the ghost was supposed to live.

I once did a production of “Kiss Me, Kate” for my town’s summer theater program, and all I remember is that there were a lot of complicated dance moves that I, a notoriously uncoordinated teenager, had to learn. One of them was this weird sequence for “Another Opening, Another Show” where everyone on stage did a fancy sequence with their feet and hands. It was drilled into me so often that I still remember, twenty years later, how to do most of it.

Anyway, before every show at my high school’s theater I would lie down on the stage and clear my mind. Then I would do the “Another Opening” song and dance in some quiet part of backstage. Then, last of all, I’d go downstairs and ask the ghost if it was okay if we did a show, and would he please come and watch.

Everything settled, the show could then go on.

That’s kind of how I feel as another book release draws near. I should have a ritual. Something to make sure it all goes according to plan. Maybe I can find a part of the house to do the “Another Opening” dance in, if I can remember all the steps.

Or maybe I can just refresh Amazon’s sales page obsessively, and call that tradition enough!


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Susan Jane Bigelow’s Extrahuman Union

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