Onward and Upward!

Posted by [email protected] on January 31, 2015 at 2:55 PM


So much has happened since my last post. So much so that I don't quite know where to start. I have seven, count 'em, seven unfinished blog drafts. I think I'll start simply. Here is how my career has progressed since last I wrote:

1) I quit my day job. I was so young and naive, thinking I could get any significant work done in fifteen minute breaks. A few days into my job (did I mention I'd gotten a permanent job in a special-ed kindergarten classroom?) I was so exhausted when it came to my breaks that I either stared at my notebook unable to think, or sat with my head resting (more like succumbed to the exhaustion) on the table. Therefore, as of a couple weeks ago, I am now officially and only a freelance writer. This has many perks: For the most part, you can sleep in. There are no children wiping snot on you. You have the time and energy to dive into your creative projects. There are, of course, downsides: No steady paycheck, uncertainty, and frustrating days of little progress due to the dreaded writer's block. Still, it was worth it, because...

2) I have a pseudo-kind-of-internship thing. Thanks to some serendipitous connections, I am now working with the Northwest Playwrights Alliance as a sort-of Gal Friday for Bryan Willis (the head honcho). What that means is I get to help him out with his projects and read scripts that are submitted to NPA. Script reading is basically training for a playwright. You learn what's out there- what kind of work is being written. You learn what works, what's exciting, and what kind of writing doesn't stand out. I've read some amazingly artistic plays, and I've read others that are 90% exposition, or have milk toast stories with cardboard cut-outs in the place of characters. I got a great lesson reading one fairly bland script, when I realized that it was very near my writing style. I took a look back at my own work and was able to see it more as an outsider to make adjustments. There are quite a few more things I could write about this gal-friday-ing, but I'll save that for later entries. For I must get on to:

3) My musical is going to be read by NPA in the fall. (I will be bragging more about this as the date gets closer.) Equity actors, professional director... With my inferiority complex, I never thought anyone would like my script enough to give it a read like this. I'm also workshopping it this summer. (Again, more bragging as it gets closer.) I'm a little worried, as apparently I wrote some ridiculously challenging music. (See my music page, "First Fright." I had very talented singers, yet it still is a bit scary in places. Of course, though it did not produce a perfect quality recording, it was a wonderful learning opportunity, and that piece has since been revised.) But that is why you workshop things, to work out the kinks. This summer will be an adventure... And finally, it's not official yet, but...

4) I applied to a writer's getaway program put on by a theatre up in the mountains of Colorado. If you can get yourself there and feed yourself, they'll put you up, and you get an entire week to buckle down and work on a project. It's "first come, first served," but they still have to believe in you enough to give you the time and space. When I applied, I had to tell them what project I would be working on. I chose one that's been running around in my brain for a while, because it is extra artsy and unique. As a new playwright with a small resume, I figured having something unique was my best hope of catching their eye. The only problem is, the project I promised them requires a considerable amount of research, from which I am taking a break at this moment. If I'm accepted (I have a phone interview on Monday), I need to have this research, that includes interviews, boning up on Dutch literature, and relearning the history of the Holocaust, completed before I go. That gives me about two months. Not really the time I'd like, but it has certainly given me the kick in the pants I needed to get moving! More about this later if I'm accepted. Fingers crossed, prayers, hope, hope. hope!

Those are the big things happening in the life of my budding career. There is much excitement, coupled with the nagging feeling I'm in over my head. Ah well, I shall get over that. Onward and upward!


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