This weekend Ground UP Productions did a generous and beautiful workshop weekend where they brought me and a group of actors to my favorite house/new play development grounds on the planet to read the four full lengths I have developed in the last year and a half/2 years. It was a weekend where we got to read my work and I got to both look at the individual plays themselves and what's working and what isn't, but also look at my recent body of work and see what is working on a larger scale, where I need to grow, and what I'm writing about.
What I found was that a) I love writing plays b) I am proud of my work c) I got to track growth in the development of my voice as a writer d) I was reminded that challenges/areas of growth are exciting as opposed to a drag/annoyance e) getting out of the city is amazing for the soul. e) DONT DRIVE A CAR OUT OF GAS INTO A DITCH f) people from Vermont are reeeeal nice.
I can't wait to keep writing. I can't wait to finish this draft of We Pray to Elephants. I can't wait to see where some of these plays go. I can't wait to ask for help in the places I need it.
I love what I do (I know I already said that). I'm really grateful.
The thing that I am always reminded of is something my dear mentor always says; that after food and shelter we need stories so we know we're not alone.
HERE ARE PHOTOS:
There's a reading of my play!
It's tonight at 8 at TheatreLab!
I sat in rehearsal (in the same room I got the flu in) finally better, listening to some really really effing good actors read my play with Worsham killin it next to me.
And now today I get to go record a radio play I wrote for Naked Angels, see these puppies for part of the reading rehearsal, and then do other stuff and then watch the reading (in case you were wondering, my grandma will be in attendance. I don't even tell her things are happening anymore. Because she's ipad savvy and she just comes. Because she's the greatest) and Im going to tell you, it's all just fun, you guys.
I like it.
I went to the Drama Bookshop.
I parused the short play section.
I WAS THERE.
Then I made a squak/squeal of a noise. And cried.
Which is normal behavior in the Drama Bookshop.
Neither of those things happened.
However, first time I got to see my name on a book on a shelf in a store that sells books, I got to document it. Thank you, instagram.
#lucky #yaywritingplays #swimminginroyalties
The HillTown Plays opened last night.
Rattlestick is doing something supremely special here. The plays, by themselves, are gorgeous. But together...it's a moving, powerful world NY theater patrons have the privilege to become immersed in.
Lucy has changed my life, has changed the way I hear my work. She has helped me, in a year, grow way closer to the writer I actually am. She has taught me to, above all be generous, honest and brave.
And boy does she practice what she preach.
See these plays. They will shake and change you.
Congrats to all involved.
When I graduated college just over two years ago, I found myself having a period of couch surfing/unemployment/spontaneous crying when I moved back to NY. I knew if I wrote, the rest of my life would work out. Because when I'm consistently working, the rest of my life either works OR I get a perspective chiropractic where I just don't care about the stuff I was worrying about and things realign and I realize I'm fine and that panic I'm experiencing about a paint color/unemployment/the weird bump of scar tissue where I cut myself with a knife a while back and didn't properly treat it (you guys, I might be dying) isn't about a real thing. And actually I just need to do the thing I love. Because things seem to get magnified when I'm not working.
But the problem for post grad me was that I had all these ideas and all this ambition and all of these days where I almost wrote.
I respect those who write everyday and finish out of discipline. I am a girl who needs to write for completion and, more importantly, a deadline where I am accountable to people not myself.
Thus, I created the september challenge.
I write a ten minute play a week.
The first year, I emailed a group of actors saying I was going to do this and cook them pancakes on x day in x person's apartment and would they read them please.
It was awesome.
So I did it again last year and opened it up to the public. My friend, playwright Matthew Klein, joined me. We had 80 attendees, read all 8 plays, ate frittatas and featured the work of 22 artists.
AND WE'RE DOING IT AGAIN THIS YEAR
We had our first meeting today. We talked dates for the brunch and deadlines and menus and venues and there was grilled cheese on gluten free bread with pesto involved while we talked. Pesto, you guys.
It's easy to get caught up in what I'm supposed to be doing/applying for/who I should know/where I should be/what that person I went to college with is doing etc. Sometimes you need to do stuff for the sheer fun of it, hang out with your friends, eat an egg based dish and read some plays you write because you deeply love writing plays. More than anything.
More than Mark Ruffalo and sunsets and sweet potato fries.
This is the poster from last year.
Expect a lot more blogged thoughts/feelings and announcements about this, kids.
Tonight, I sat in a living room in North Carolina and listened to some local friends here read my play about some kids on a porch in Durham, North Carolina.
Featured in the photo to this blurb's left: actors and people listening.
It's amazing what substantial time away from a play can change how I hear it.
Six months ago, my mentor went to a reading and told me it was missing 20 pages, plus more sex and violence. I said "PSHAH" (which is a thing I never say, you guys) and also "Uhh there's a lot of sex and violence."
But tonight I was like "Oooh. Yeah. It's, for sure, missing 20 pages. And some sex."
Jury's out on the violence, Thurber.
But, as usual, you're probably right.
Mr. T read stage directions. Not my friend Jon Haas, featured here.
Mr. T did.
I am an optimist.