Sunday, June 30, 2019

Brooklyn, Brooklyn Take Me In

It has been a month.

All the bad things feel like they're going to go on forever and all the good ones I couldn't remember them at all.

I considered quitting. Oh yes, I did. Quitting everything. Taking my ball and going home. Curling up in a ball and waiting until the world passed me by.

Tonight I stopped writing this (look how [not] far I'd gotten when I stopped!) to support a friend's Concert Window show. Carolann is doing them the last Sunday of every month and it's fun. Join us next month!

I don't listen to enough live music. It will likely come as no surprise to you that while listening to live music I remembered some things.

This month I finished a re-write on a play about Amelia Earhart that I wrote for a friend. I did the first draft in 2015 and delivered it into her capable hands. She asked for a brave educational re-write soon after. I went in and made it possible for students to be assigned small roles. Seems so scary to trust student participants like that but, wow! She's a working dancer and choreographer and teacher. We work on it when we're able.

Last month she came back with a plan. She's going to produce it in a professional theatre. So she'd started looking at it again and she had questions. She came to meet me and she told me what those questions were. It's hard enough to listen to questions about your work when you feel strong. When you're not feeling strong...

I did the thing that, apparently, Bradley Whitford says we all do when we get criticism. In your head you go through these stages:

"Fuck you!"

"I suck."

"What was that again?"

Fortunately drama school taught me to go through those stages silently.

Honestly I thought I had to try to work through what she asked for on the page/screen. Took me a few weeks but I got it. (15 minutes a day. I swear by doing hard stuff 15 minutes a day and getting it done.) I like it. Some of what I did I fear is a director's work and not a writer's but I put it in there to see what she thought. She liked it!

We're going to meet soon to read through some parts. We could have met last week but see above re: nearly quitting.

It's the scheduling that's laying me low. I'm the scheduler for a lot of things. The job that gives me my health insurance, for instance, is very heavy on scheduling, especially right now. So I didn't schedule that meeting. I did mange to get the once a month rehearsal for my Chekhov play locked in, though.

Last summer we got lost and missed about 3 months. So far this summer we've nailed it, though. We even have something on the books for July.

In this month's rehearsal as I stomped and slammed around the stage (it's for the character, totally legal) I got glimmers of the real play. I dropped in for 3-4 whole moments at a time and was really there. It's nowhere near ready but I can see a time when it will be. My first thought?

"How am I going to get all these props to a rehearsal space? Fuck!"

The more significant thing that happened started in our May rehearsal. We were working on the end of the play and the director asked me to do something that was in direct conflict with what I'd written. Actor Me did what she said.

Writer Me stewed until the following month's rehearsal.

Of course I did.

The nice thing about that, though, is that I got through the Whitford Stages all by myself and was prepared. Writer Me waited until the end of rehearsal and told the director I didn't love it. Our conversation went something like this.

Me: I thought about it and this doesn't fit with what I wrote.

Her: Say more?

Me: Because I wrote A and you asked for B.

Her: I see that. What about A.5?

Me: Sure.

Her: Cool.

Me: Cool cool. Should we order food?

Her: Yeah, sure.

So, you see, despite the fact that right here today I'm as easily frustrated as a toddler after a day at the zoo, good things have been happening right, left, and center this month. These are only two examples. There were more. Trust me on this.

I need to trust me on this. It's a good thing I have a blog to write things down so I can look them up later when I need a boost.

That's what blogs are for, right?

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