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 TimeOutNY.com, 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 @gmail.com). 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.