Even as I could begin to write The Eagle and the Tiger, another incident suddenly began a new twist in what I was doing. In Edmonton my hair was styled at And Hare We Are, in which all-female stylists worked on an all-male clientele, and the chief stylist adjusted my hair according to the needs of the play in which I may be performing. One day, while working on my hair, she said, “Why don’t you write a musical about us?” “All right,” I said, “I’ll take you and your second-in-command to lunch and we’ll talk.” So off we went, and I recorded their conversation, which was fascinating. We met and continued again, so that I had rich material to work with.
But, of course, just as you don’t sit down and write poetry without practice, you don’t just write a musical. I had to study the nature of the modern musical and the art of lyric music creation for two years, imagine the characters, then write a plot for the work, as well as interesting a composer in the project. Finally, the time came when I was ready for a character to sing the first song. I imagined the situation, could see the character, let her open her mouth—and nothing came out. I stopped, closed the workbook, and have not returned to it since.
Only when I can hear what the character sings can I return to it.