Friday, July 31, 2009


Okay, so I didn’t post yesterday and frankly the last two days I haven’t been keeping up with my ‘something theatrical everyday pledge’ but I have a descent excuse for yesterday:

I was planning on posting yesterday evening, but I got an invitation from a friend to go see Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Movie with a View. So I went. I wasn't about to pass up the chance to see a classic film on a big screen in one of the most beautiful man-made sites in the world so I could do internet research and write self-deprecating jokes. it really was gorgeous, the park is in between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges in Dumbo and you can see Manhattan across the water, when the sun went down and the movie started it was impossibly quiet. The combination of being surrounded by strangers, seeing the lights of the city and the bridges and their reflections, and feeling the hush of the crowd seemed a little magical.

Today I did some theater related stuff via e-mail but it seems mundane so I don't feel the need to talk about in in anymore detail. I also finished Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, which is a novelist and writing teacher's account of the writer's process. I found it to be friendly and relatable in most respects but frightening inconsistent with my own experience in a few perdictable places. (frightening in that they don't bode well for me and perdictible in that I've heard them all before).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I wrote post, it was two pages long and had obscenities and a list in it. It talked about what I failed to accomplish today and contained several mentions of disorders and insecurities, all in the context of what I did accomplish today. Then Pages (Mac's word processing program) shut down unexpectedly and, because I write everything from to blog posts to emails in a separate window where I have a reliable spell check and no possibility of accidentally hitting send, my post went down with it. Lost to the ether. I suppose this could be considered a cheap lesson, a reminder that I should never work on anything, regardless of its length or value, in an untitled document... but I already knew that. And it doesn’t feel cheap. It feels like further proof that the world just wants to screw with me, that I should just bow to the most paranoid tendencies within myself, and that most work is ultimately for naught because sometimes shit just disappears for no reason.

I guess it also bears mentioning that I worked on my play today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Two Things

Today I did two theater things.

I’m going to start with the normal one and move on the important one and I’d like for you not to judge me until I’m done. Hear me out: I think your first impression will be that I’m a slacker, but further reading will prove that, in fact, being what I am requires a lot of energy and dedication and forethought. I should mention that what I am is a hopeless neurotic.

I read blogs and I sent an e-mail.

I spent two hours on theater blogs. I immersed myself (in a totally one-sided non-networking kind of way) in my community. I read their musings and their quips. I followed their links to their friends’ musings and quips. I added two events to my Google calender and am optimistic that I will not decide that I’m too tired to attend at least one of them. I discovered that the purpose of my blog is not the purpose of their blogs. Although I found two closing announcements for blogs that had been started in the spirit of mine and ended when their writers became more successful or more well adjusted. Most playwright blog postings fell into one of three categories:
1. Shameless plugs (generally identified as such) for their own or a friend’s production/reading.
2. General rants about something unrelated or only tangentially related to theater. (Politics, celebrity ect.) These often contained or were closed with an implication that artists know more, and either could do it better, or prove their (our?) superiority by letting the idiots rot while producing works that would enlighten them if only they’d look.
3. Criticisms of a specific posting in the Upstaged blog/online column at, which accused theatre bloggers of being boring.

So, that was fun and educational and probably did nothing to forward my career but I think it’s something I’m going to commit to doing at least once a week. Also Viral sounds kind of terrifying and potentially good.

I also sent an e-mail:
It was to my teacher who I spent two semesters in very small classes with until two and a half months ago. The information I just provided was important: you’ll find out why. This was a very ordinary, very casual e-mail, following up on a note from my last meeting with her which I found going through my notebooks. I spent the last three days drafting this five sentence e-mail in my head. Actually that’s not, strictly speaking, true: I discovered this note a week and a half ago, forced myself to forget it, had it resurface in my mind, and then started drafting. This is not a person I’m afraid of, it’s not someone I had a tense or problematic working relationship with, it’s also not someone who does not know me for whom this e-mail represents a first impression. There is no reason for this to be difficult. It was. There were times when I was convinced that she wouldn’t remember me, and I drafted sentences containing the titles of the classes I had taken with her and debated signing the e-mail with my full name (my email address is my full name Even today when I finally typed up the e-mail (even though I set myself yesterday as a deadline) I wrote six versions of the opening sentence after the salutation. I still hate the one I ended up sending. I also started a sentence with “because”, it was totally grammatically incorrect but there was no way around it. I know because I stared at it for a full minute and couldn’t figure out how to fix it with out cutting the whole preceding chunk of text.

The point is I know I didn’t accomplish very much but I did hit send. I actually read the ramblings of my peers rather than becoming overwhelmed by how many of them there are and watching an episode of 30 Rock instead. I didn’t take the forty-five minutes needed to write that e-mail and then copy it into Pages so that I could review it in the morning to make sure that it was exactly what I wanted. I hit send, and it’s not enough but the point is: it’s something.

Monday, July 27, 2009


I spent this morning going through my copy of Dramatists Guild Resource Directory, highlighting in different colors everything I’m thinking about applying for according to what month the application is due. This was intended to give me the feeling that their are opportunities and that they are manageable.

One interesting problem I ran into was the cast limit issue. See, the last full length play I wrote, really the only one I have that’s in any shape to be submitted, has huge television presence, which means that there are “characters” who need to be cast once and recorded but don’t actually appear on stage, or need to be present at rehearsals or performances. Who am I kidding? These people aren’t casting productions, they’re casting readings and for readings these characters need to be played by human actors. Even theaters without limits are going to look at my cast list and say “pass”. They wont even read it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stated Purpose

So this is what’s going to happen with this blog:
1. I will update it daily
2. It will create the foundation for the schedule that I so desperately need in order to get my life together.
3. I will not post these schedules because they will be boring and embarrassingly unambitious.
4. It will always be about theater, in order to make me feel theatre-y and to encourage research and playgoing.
5. That was a lie, I’ll probably talk about a book, a museum, or a movie if I get excited, or really angry, or, heaven forbid, I’m researching a play.
6. I will really try not to talk about TV.
7. When I apply for anything I’ll post about it.
8. If I receive feedback, I’ll post about that too.
9. There will be a lot of lists. Sorry, it’s genetic.

If all goes well this blog will become a pretty comprehensive picture of my life starting out in theatre, and my former teachers, in a remarkable combination of laziness, thoughtfulness, and misguided pride, will assign it to future classes. Who will:
1. Ignore it.
2. Hate me for showing how much of pain in the ass it is to be unknown.
3. Assume my lack of success is the result of my being a talentless hack.
4. Switch to screenwriting.

First Post

Okay, so I’m starting a playwright’s blog.

I don’t know if I’m authorized to do this be cause I’m not sure that I am, in fact, a playwright. The story is this:

1. Two and half months ago I graduated from SUNY Purchase’s Dramatic Writing Conservatory Program (this is the kind of thing that would be very impressive if anybody had heard of it).
2. As of that point I stopped being a student and when people asked me what I "did" this long soul crushing silence ensued, in which I was forced to decide between saying “I’m a playwright” and “I’m unemployed”. That's where I am now: in that silence. In truth there is almost no difference between those two states of being but they do make people look at you differently*
3. Four weeks ago I moved to Brooklyn. I know. It’s trite. My apartment’s great and I don’t know whether it was a bad omen or a huge windfall, but my third day here we had stunningly gigantic flood. It was amazing, it’s on my roomate’s blog. and my first month’s rent was waived.
I haven’t been writing. It’s awful and it makes me miserable.

*How people look in response to “I’m unemployed”:
a. Sympathetic eyebrow lift.
b. Awkward aversion of eyes.
c. Condescending sneer.
How people look in response to “I’m a playwright”
a. Open mouthed shock-smile.
b. Straight faced nod.
c. Tight lipped smile, usually reserved for the homeless or mentally ill.