“I must commend you, I have never seen anything quite like that before.” The investor nodded. “Most entertaining.”
“Thank you.” Shae beamed as Dance squeezed her hand under the table. “We’ve worked hard to make something unique. We think it will do well.”
Shae felt her blood run cold. “Perhaps? I’m sure we…”
The investor held up a forestalling hand. “Don’t get me wrong, Ms Lene. I am certain this show would do well enough to make a decent return on any investment. But you have been doing this for a long time now. You have an established name, a reputation.” He leaned forward. “I would like you – both of you – to think bigger.”
Shae exchanged a frown with Dance before turning back. “I’m…I’m not sure what you mean.”
“Have you ever thought of teaching?”
Teaching? Visions of her past fluttered up, her teachers, both good and ill – Alfrond, Sybilance, her own Fearless Dance. Fifty years was not a long time, yet so much had happened. But in that time, the one thing that had never occurred to her was…
“Teaching?” Dance snorted. “She isn’t even in her prime yet. Teaching is for the old who can’t do it anymore.”
Shae could not contain a burst of laughter. “I want to see you tell Sybilance that.”
He grimaced. “With certain exceptions.”
“Hear me out.” The investor steepled his fingers and leaned forward. “I think you should open a school. An academy of music and dance. You would still perform – indeed, that would be a main attraction, both for prospective students and for fundraising. But you would be able to perform on your time, on your own stage. Think of it – people would come to you, instead of the other way around. And you would be inspiring generations of entertainers.”
A long silence while Shae and Dance looked at each other, then Shae bit her lip.
“I…I don’t know. I…”
“I know it’s a lot. Take your time, think it over. I’ll be happy to fund your usual circuit. It has never failed to turn a profit. Well, except that one year, but that wasn’t your fault. But I’d be willing to invest a lot more, if you’re willing.” He stood, put on his hat, and glanced back down. “Let me know what you decide.”
He walked away, leaving them wallowing in the morass of his vision.