Catching Up

I have been under the weather and out of the loop and thought that before I blogged, I would catch up with my fellow bloggers. I’ve been reading and marveling at how much we have in common, how much support we need and give to each other, how informed and curious we are about the world, how engaged in life, and how madly, wildly, truly, persistently, we pursue The Play and The Production.

Almost all of us have suffered from writer’s block and have looked for ways to jumpstart ourselves, to beat self-pity and self-destruction and self-criticism and despair. I’ve read all of the blogs on the subject and have taken a lot of the advice but am still struggling with all four. The tip I liked most and consistently implement was #101 from 101 Tips to Fight and Overcome Writer’s Block. “Grab the chocolate.”

The links are always worth reading. It was good to catch up with Eve Ensler again and her passionate (everything she says is passionate) reply to Todd Akins and his theory of legitimate rape. I liked the article about the Pasadena Playhouse’s problems with Tales Of A Fourth Grade Lesbo, particularly the caution about email that I know and forget, which is that “you can’t tell tone in an email” and that “if you haven’t offended someone, unintentionally, recently, you will — trust me.” It’s the same with Facebook, isn’t it? I mean, I don’t really know how to use it and rarely visit my page and I find out I’ve been unfriended three times. What’s up with that?

It was lovely to find out that I share Ravenchild’s love of The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. It’s one of my favorite books. (I was tickled to hear someone in the audience at the Odyssey say that the last line of the book was one of best she’d ever read. I agree.)

Jen Huszcza’s idea of going for silly in plays, too, resonated. I think that Singing in the Rain is the best movie ever made, and when Donald O’Connor sings Make ‘Em Laugh, I laugh. (After shooting that scene, Donald O’Connor was taken off to the hospital. He smoked four packs a day!).

The blogs about self-producing and looking for funding never grow old.

What we all seem to feel is the loneliness of the long distance playwright. Jessica Abram’s feeling about “how freaking lonely it is” hit home.

I always want to bridge that gap between the writer and the rest of the world and have to restrain myself on opening nights. If the production is good and the play works, I am so high with joy, I want to embrace the world. If I add a couple of glasses of wine to that, I hug, kiss, and press the flesh, wanting to share that crazy high, terrifying dogs, children, delivery people and passing strangers. I have to stop at two glasses. If I had three, I’d make everybody stand in a circle, hold hands and sing, “We Are The World.”

Of course, if the play isn’t a success and I can see only fixed smiles and glassy eyes in the opening night crowd, I just grab some sausage rolls and cheese bits from the lobby trays, retreat to my car, and sob.

It was a pleasure to read all the blogs and I was delighted to hear about Robin Byrd’s grandmother who could “sing a whole church happy.”   I think that’s what we are all trying to do.

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