What Dreams Look Like

musings of a professional dreamer

Photographs by Jesse Kate Kramer
This is what my dream looks like. There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe what it was like to finally live this day, the epic experience of performing in my dream space on a Kawai grand piano to celebrate the launch of an album that has been a year in the making, what it felt like to watch it all unfold in front of my eyes. It all still feels very surreal. But it happened. I know it did. There are pictures. And if it’s possible, that space gets more beautiful every time I see it…

I’ve been dreaming about this moment since the beginning, and I can finally justify the sleepless nights wondering if I would ever make this music thing work, the tears and frustration at hitting my head against the same seemingly immovable wall that is this industry.

Don’t get me wrong, I realise that at the core of it, I’ve been living the dream since I first took that terrifying fulltime leap, and I’ve had so many epic moments that I wouldn’t change for the world, but it certainly hasn’t been an easy dream to keep believing in. This is the show that I want to perform, and until now I’ve settled for whatever venue I could get, desperately trying to make ends meet, because I believed that eventually I would get to this place.

I arrived at The Fugard Theatre to flowers in the dressing room, my name engraved on the door, and a flurry of last minute activity by an unbelievably dedicated crew. It made what I do feel significant. It made me feel significant. And it made everything I’ve been working so hard towards, feel completely worthwhile.

It’s strange for me, after missioning around the country on my own for so long, to have a team of people behind me, believing in me, so passionate and excited, and working so incredibly hard to make my dream a reality. I didn’t have to handle my own press and media, or set up my own sound, or operate it from the stage, or carry a piano, put up posters or sell my own merchandise… it was all done for me.

The countless 16 hour days doing admin prep behind releasing the album and setting up this launch show, the months of planning, plotting and dreaming of this moment, the magnitude of which I only really understood as the lights dimmed and I walked onto that stage… it was all about to explode into 1½ hours of epic reality. For those that were there, that moment of silence sitting at the piano smiling before I started, was me realising a dream, realising that I was in it. That was me pinching myself…

I cannot put into words what it’s like to live a dream. I can only tell you that the moments leading up to it – every tear, every smile, every encouragement and criticism, every heartbreak, victory and disappointment, and every sacrifice you’ve ever made – fade into a single, perfect, epic moment. Like magic. It’s beautiful. It’s like finally arriving home to yourself. I walked onto the perfect stage, played a grand piano lit to perfection against the most beautiful backdrop I could imagine, and lived my dream performance to a standing ovation that has made my heart shine. To the Fugard Theatre and everyone who shared this perfect night with me, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for believing, thank you for listening, and thank you for making this dream beautiful and real.

Photographs by Jesse Kate Kramer. View more in the gallery.

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© Shannon Hope 2017