Monday, July 27, 2009


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It's kind of amazing how people who live so far away can make you feel supported in your work. My friend, Paul, who lives in New York, and my friend, Robert, who lives in Texas, are two of these people.

Paul recently answered my call for assistance with reading the first act of 'A Death in the Family'. He read it within a couple days and answered a series of questions that were aimed at problems I was having with the work, and to get his general opinion. He gave me so much to work with, that I wonder when the play with be finished (but not, because it's never finished). It's not a bad thing, it confirms without a doubt a lot of the things I was concerned with, and now I just need to figure out how to deal with them. And then there's the ending of the play, which I will save for another day.

And Robert has just been awesome. This is his website: He and I have started a 'book club' of sorts, and our first play is 'A Number' by Caryl Churchill. What's awesome about Robert, besides just being a sweet, cool, funny, awesome fellow LOST fan, is that he's totally into the academics of theatre, and that is something I am sorely lacking right now. It's hard to analyze a play on your own with no one to bounce it off of. And now I have one. And he's helped me with synopses, listened when I've griped about writer's block, depression and how much working sucks. And did I mention LOST? Yeah, January's gonna be insane.

So the editing of 'A Death in the Family' is coming along. I still have to get back to a couple people who read the first act and see what their reactions are, although I am sure I know what the reactions are going to be. At least some of them.

And I've been frying my brain sending out emails to theatres looking for submission guidelines. Most of this happened over the weekend, but I already heard back from one. If anyone out there is interested, the Jewish Theatre of New York is not accepting submissions right now.

The depressing part of this is seeing how many theatres either have closed, as relayed by their websites, or have said that they have suspended looking for new work, or have dissapeared alltogether. Stinking economy.

But things are moving along.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


This is the worst thing I've ever had to write in my entire life, and I've written some pretty terrible irritating assignments in my life.

But it's finished. Which is great.

Well, it's not finished but it's almost there. Thank God.

My secret? First, I had a Robert to help me get started. Second, I grabbed a pile of really good books off my bookshelf and carefully and repeatedly read the backs of them. I paid attention to what information was given in the jacket blurb. And then I went to work.

That's it. Reading the backs of books I know well.

Now let's hope I can see that play.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The 35th Year

A couple weeks ago I started my 35th year of life.

I spent the first week or so kind of feeling sorry for myself when it came to my writing. And then I realized something.

I need to kick my own butt into action. So this is what I am going to do.

I am going to edit the crap out of everything I got and start sending stuff out. Constantly.

I am working on the newest draft of 'A Death in the Family'. I've already found a bunch of theatres to send things to, I just need to get the draft done. I am about half-way finished.

I think this is what I need. I'll admit, I've been spending a lot of time, kind of pretending to spend time submitting to theatres, meanwhile, floundering around, being jealous of other people who have done the submitting and are travelling all over the country, seeing their work, working with people, and getting somewhere in the world of theatre. And I realized that if I want to get anywhere, I need to pay my dues.

So I am.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another mantra


I won't lie, writing has been a struggle recently. I've been working through a couple of different playwriting books just to see if they could help. I mean, I'm not writing anyway, so if I use a book of theory to help and I get something, it's good. If not, I found out more about my process.

I did get the Jeffrey Sweet book, 'A Dramatist's Tool kit' and it's really quite good. And I have one other. And beyond that, I think I'm going to be try to trust this idea of working through the hard spots. It might not work, but anything I try is going to be a learning experience that can do nothing less than help me learn to write more.

Trusting myself in the moment and just running with it is not a strong suit of mine. Running with the first thought, which, in improv, we learn has the most energy and is less incumbered by the censor. Sometimes, I am good with trusting myself. Other times, not so much.

Like 'A Death in the Family', I had this long long monologue which featured a character that didn't come back in the show at all, and it was kind of gratuitious. Like, the next scene talks about the things that happen in the monologue, so i jut dumped it. Every draft I've had, I've wanted to cut that whole first scene, and just grow some ovaries and do it. So yeah.

just trust yourself.

Otherwise, I am working on polishing stuff for sending out. I figure, I should do that when I'm not being creative.