Can I do this?

I’ve been thinking over the last several days about the huge opportunity that has literally fallen into my lap. I finally get to do my own show at the festival again. I will be stepping in where a previous entertainer had been; a thirty-five year veteran, I will add. He decided he’d had enough and wanted to retire, plus I think he’s looking to the lecture circuit now. I’ve talked with several performer friends about this and they all point out that in a few years no one will even remember this previous performer. Thing is, I’m worried about what will perceived as a difference between his show and mine. Mine is rougher around the edges, more manic (kind of like me). His was polished. Everything he did was practiced and rehearsed to perfection. He seldom brought anything to the festival that hadn’t been worked on and tweaked until he knew it by heart. I prefer to break in new material “on the fly”, learning what works and doesn’t in the real world.

I keep asking myself if I can “fill his shoes”, but it occurred to me just now that I don’t have to. I am free to take whatever path I choose as long as it’s entertaining for the audience.