This post was written yesterday and would have been posted yesterday if my internet were even remotely reliable.
Today I handed in my application- literally handed in- my application for the Emerging Writers Group at the Public. I took two subways, printed my submission at a Kinko's, painstakingly filled out all three copies of the form with the guy-behind-counter’s pen (making only one mistake), put binder-clips (brought from my apartment for the occasion) on both copies of the script, carefully slid the copies, the forms, the resumes and the artistic statements in to a pre-addressed 10x12 envelope (also brought from home), walked the remaining block and a half to the theater, pulled the door opened (I read the handle so as not to embarrass myself), walked up the stairs and over to the information desk, the receptionist (a black man with glasses in his late fifties) glanced up and said “yes?”. That was the last time he looked at or spoke to me in our exchange.
It was anticlimactic. Predictably so. I felt the relief and dread that I anticipated, but not for long and not very strongly. This is the problem with everything I do, from getting an apartment, to getting into college, to getting out of bed: as difficult, daunting and important as things seem, when I’ve done them it doesn't feel like I’ve accomplished much of anything. I’ve wasted time and energy, I’ve complained and obsessed and probably alienated people, and all for nothing. I makes me feel like an idiot.
In theory this is the hardest application I’ll ever do: my first major one. After this the empty “so what” feeling will probably be a constant, but the anticipatory “this will never happen” feeling should lessen. So at least there’s that. They should also get done faster now that I have two versions of an artistic statement, a solid resume and secured references. Most importantly I’ve now given my play to strangers once and survived. The idea of it feels better already, or at least reading other submission requirements it feels less like they’re asking me to chop off my fingers and consign them to the USPS.