THE BLOG

What I Learned This Week: The Secret Power of the Night

07/21/2013 11:19 EDT | Updated 09/20/2013 05:12 EDT

I didn't really know what it meant when I said it, but it sounded so good at the time, I figured I should go deeper and try to find out.

To explain the above, I was in a harried and hurried conversation waiting for the elevator with Serge Postigo another one of my mega-stressed colleagues. After a day of Just For Laughs Festival hell, putting out fires, dealing with crises that sprout like pimples before the big high-school dance, we were heading out to take in an evening's worth of shows, followed by the inevitable wine-sipping reflection that concludes them.

I looked at him and for some reason blurted out:

"The days are for 'what is.' But the nights...the nights are for 'what can be'."

His worried brow unfolded, and he beamed. He hadn't smiled in a while.

And I knew I was onto something.

It's a strange dichotomy I live these days, the two week eye-of-the-storm frenzy of the Just For Laughs Festival. And although the experience is indeed unique, I suspect it is a wide-reaching metaphor for those not as (plant tongue firmly in cheek now) "fortunate" to make their living in the business of show.

The days...filled with the cruel actuality of complaints, budgets, daily reports, meltdowns, statistics, meetings, threats, demands, to-do lists and, as Joni Mitchell so aptly put it, "dreamers and telephone screamers."

But as bad as the days can be -- and sometimes they are soul-crushing -- the nights come along to, well, save the day.

Not that the nights are Utopian; there are still problems. People who complain about their seats; Acts that bomb; Shows that are delayed.

But compared to the harsh glare of diurnal reality, the silky nocturnal shadow seems to lay down a blanket of surreal calm on even the gravest of situations.

I don't fully understand why, but the night brings hope. Maybe it's the association to sleepy dreamtime, but sitting in a show, walking from venue to venue between them, or gathered at a table reflecting on them after, I feel somewhat invincible. Like I have all the answers and know exactly where to go...even when the cold shower of tomorrow hits.

Now isn't that ironic: nightmares during the day; daydreams at night.

But it's the pattern and it's the truth.

And it's a strange cycle -- can't wait to take on the day at night and anxiously waiting for night to fall during the day. It's a cycle I've lived for seven days, and it's one I'll live for seven more.

Seven more days? Frankly, it's one I've lived for years.

But it took a chance encounter at an elevator with a work friend for me to truly "get it."

Or at least to say it.

So this week's lesson is more of a realization.

The night is not just the countdown to tomorrow, it's the gateway to tomorrow.

It's the lookout point, the spawning ground, the launchpad of "what can be."

So, as the Police sang, "Bring on the night!"