We’ve all been there. We’ve all received feedback for a play and gone huh? We writers want to be diplomatic and open, but at the end of the day, some things we hear are just plain stupid.
When we receive those little gems of stupidity, we nod, smile, and say, yeah, I see. Then, we promptly forget it or put the comment on auto repeat as we drink ourselves into a stupor or walk away with our hands on our hips whispering what the f*ck while wondering why we even allowed that person to talk to us in the first place.
I won’t go into all stupid comments I have received over the years. I actually have forgotten many of them sometimes without the aid of the drunken stupor. However, there are a few that I just have to share.
Diplomatic Disclaimer: These are comments I have heard repeatedly over the course of almost twenty years, so if you think you may have said something similar to me, I have no memory of you saying it specifically. It’s not you, it’s me. All me.
You are crazy for writing that. Wow Jen, you write crazy. Whoa, crazy stuff.
Sometimes this comment is meant to be a compliment. Still, the implication is that I am out of mind when I work. This is not true. I am focused. I am working with an awareness of both the mental and sensual. I don’t write for therapy either.
I don’t get it. I don’t feel it. I dig it. I love it! IIIIIIIII. . .
The interesting thing about I-comments is that they are about the speaker saying them. They’re not about the work in question. That’s nice that you get it or don’t get it, but if you really want to engage a writer about her work, ask her a question. Questions lead to communication. That’s good. Communication is good.
It’s like Beckett. It’s Beckettesque. Very Beckett.
Beckett didn’t write my stuff. I wrote my stuff. Beckett wrote his own stuff. I respect Beckett. Usually when someone uses a term like Beckettesque (or Pinteresque or Chehovian), she (or he) can’t speak deeper about such a comparison which is not interesting to me anyway.
So what is a poor play viewer to do when she or he encounters me?
If you see me in person and want to tell me that you like my play, simply catch my eye and point to your nose with your right index finger. That’s all you have to do. I’ll know.
And if you want to compliment me, compliment my shoes because deep down, I am a girlie girl.