Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It Won't Be Easy, You'll Think It Strange

I'm a part of this:

Which is the playbill for the festival of the culmination of the writer's group I've been going to. For the of the of the.

Tomorrow my play is going to be read in front of people, or empty chairs if there aren't people to come. Either way it will be terrifying, but I'm trying to look forward to throwing up in the bathroom while it happens. We must be positive, after all.

It's a terrifying thing to have your work read in front of people (or chairs). This statement has probably lost a lot of meaning if you know me or have been reading this, as you'll discover that I'm afraid of everrrrything. I'm usually just the most terrified of whatever is immediately in front of me, and guess what, right now it's hearing my work!

There's something personal about it that's different than acting. I'm terrified about how everyone thinks my acting sucks too, but writing is different. It seems as vulnerable as acting, and you don't even get the release of acting. The release of writing is in the writing, and no one's there to see it.

But the cast is lovely and it's so kind of anyone to give you any of their time, really. And so far, every time I've heard the play read, I've been excited to work on it again. I hear the problems first, but I care enough to fix the problems, so it must be of some interest to me.

I went to the first night of this event tonight. Overwhelmed by how things haven't changed. This is what I've done for years, sit in poorly ventilated rooms not conducive to theatre and watch and perform theatre. There's so much beauty in the striving of theatre, you know, how it reaches and tries, and is performed in these poorly ventilated rooms because they're all we can afford, but people kind of come, and everyone tries, and surely all of that effort and all of that beer must lead to something right?

A lot of effort and a lot of beer sounds like a recipe for pregnancy rather than a play, but anyway.  I'll take what I can get.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Small Pleasures, Small Pleasures, Who Would Deny Us These?

I'm in a state of simultaneous rut and panic (Rut and Panic, dibs on the band name) and sometimes when I get like this I think the thing that would solve all my problems is to clean.

Cleaning's not my strong suit, but cleaning I can do. What I am even worse at is Throwing Things Out.

I love Things.

I love any Object of any degree of Weirdness or Antiquity. I love clutter and ornate decorating.

So, I have some stuff. Stuff that doesn't really do anything but that I love. Whatever it does, it's doing it right now. It takes up space and makes dust accumulate and god knows what I ever plan to do with it, but I just adore it. And I don't want to Throw it Out.

Part of it is sentimental, most of it is not worth very much but was given to me, or I found, or have held for so long that it seems like surrender to give it up, but really I want it around me because I feel that The Person I Want To Be has this kind of stuff. Does that make sense?

It relates to this George Bernard Shaw quote that I am alternately haunted and comforted by:


Comforted because I have, at times in the past, created Things, so maybe I can do that. Haunted because I know how hard it is for me to Create Things, and the possibility of failure is so distinctly present that sometimes I don't even want to try. I can't even finish a play that is any good: how am I supposed to create my whole self?

But I am extremely charmed and delighted and covetous of things possessing whimsy, beauty, quirkiness, oddity, color, and I think that might be something close to a character trait. Of this person that I am creating. So I want to hold on to my love of stuff because I feel it feeds in this creation.

So pretty! I'm in love with nesting dolls right now.

I've been thinking a lot about inspiration. Searching for it, although how can you search for something when you don't know what it really (see also: happiness, fulfillment, beauty...) And thinking about it, because I feel full of ideas right now, but hopeless about how to turn them from little snippets of Thing in my head to anything that I can write and then anything I can put on stage and then anything I can act in and then anything that anyone will ever want to watch. Not even about what's possible, because another thing I'm not good at is being realistic, so I don't really care about what we can do, we would figure it out, but I don't know how to make anything happen, and I'm not sure what I even want to happen.

And I feel I need the Inspiration to give me the Idea to give me the Project that I then Create (somehow) and by doing this I become The Person That I Want To Be. Or something? It's not a great plan. Sometimes it seems very clear and other times it is apparent that things don't work out that way. However, I am good at delusion.

But in some tiny way that isn't working right now, I think my stuff inspires me. I really hope it does.

One of my favourite things ever is this blog, The Style Rookie. Now there is an accompanying website for teen girls and it is everything you could hope for, even if your'e not a teen girl. The amazing creator, Tavi Gevinson, of these things does these wonderful collages of images, sometimes all put together, and sometimes just randomly assembled on a web page.  This blog is so amazing to be because there's like some alignment of the creation of who she is, in her style, in her words, and who she actually is. I guess in a way that's just honesty, but I also think it's something more. There's aspiration and inspiration in there, too, I think, picking up pieces from what you've seen and carrying them forward with you thinking about them, or not thinking about them, but them becoming some part of you in some way. The you you are and the you you want to be.

There's something about her brand of  clutter and my brand of clutter that makes sense and beauty to me and I think that's what I want to put in my theatre work.

I think....

I'm not sure all of this has much to do with theatre, but I kind of think it does. I'm trying to write some plays, and some grants for plays, and this is happening while I'm in some sort of malaise that is mitigated by cleaning, and cleaning always makes me think I should Throw Everything Out and Become a New Person, except I love Things, and we are again. Inspiration and Creation. And Not Knowing. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

See You Later, I'm Going to the Back of the The-atre

Sometimes the urge to misbehave in the theatre audience is so incredibly strong I think I could ruin my whole career and everybody's night for the satisfaction of one huge well-placed groan.