Creating in a Time of Chaos

Sandy Sahar Gooen
2 min readNov 3, 2021

Some context before my concert tomorrow.

I could go on about the many hours spent scrambling for people because life continues to happen and the world is in ongoing crises- but that’s going to be the only mention here. I’ve spent enough of my time freaking out.

These last 3+ months of work that have gone into this concert on my end have been so valuable. It’s the start of a new chapter in my life. Who gave me the right to start a new chapter when the world is in shambles? Well, I did, and the people who have joined me or connected me to other people, places, and things did.

Live performance is one of those industries that is going to continue to struggle for a long time. While many were able to work from home, we couldn’t really fully do this part of our jobs. We could write. I wrote. But coming together and physically making a live show? So much harder, especially for those of us at the early end of our career.

I joke that I’m in my Merrily phase again, because I’m trying to break through as an artist and everything is out of order.

I’ll be singing from Merrily We Roll Along in this concert but I could’ve sung the whole score, I swear. The line that sticks out most of all that I won’t be singing in the concert is “this is where we began being what we can.” I have spent years of my life wanting to be the best and the most and so on… but this has been a humbling time where all I want to do now is be what I can be.

It’s a solo show, kind of. I’m not doing it alone. Few people [if any] do things entirely alone, and as hard as it is to connect for me, and the pandemic has made it so much harder, I am just like everyone else in the sense that I can’t do everything by myself.

We have a lot of room for improvement as an industry, but I want to share what Tony winner Matthew Lopez recently said on Stars in the House on the specific issue of scarcity, which the pandemic has brought out even more in people:

“There’s this mythology that we are taught about this idea of scarcity: that there’s only enough- there’s only so much to go around, and it is really sort of one the central tools of white supremacy, which is to say, ‘fight for the scraps amongst yourselves.’ You know, there are opportunities for everyone if we recognize the fact that we must take them and we must fight for each other to have them.”

Share. There is value in every single one of us.

I invite you to join me tomorrow for what is the next thing, not the last thing. So grateful for this opportunity, and will keep carving out my space.