Monday, October 31, 2011


Insomnia is the absolute worst thing. I know they say to get out of bed and go do something rather than just lying there not sleeping, but I'm too tired to do anything besides read the internet. And I feel like I'm running out of internet to read. Plus there's the anxiety that the clock inches ever closer to the time I need to get up for work tomorrow morning. Ever have that "OK, if I go to sleep RIGHT NOW, I will get 5 hours of sleep. If I go to sleep RIGHT NOW, I will still get over 4 and a half hours of sleep. OK, I'll go to sleep NOW. No, NOW." And so on.

Insomnia always gets me a little maudlin, as well. All that time alone with your thoughts to contemplate what you've done wrong in your life, or even better, what you're probably doing wrong RIGHT NOW and don't even realize it yet--it won't become apparent until some insomniac night several years from now.

OK, insomnia may make me a little overdramatic. It's not life or death stuff. Mostly I'm thinking about how it's still so painful to try and make friends with people and be rejected. I blame this on four things: elementary school, junior high, high school, and facebook. I think I may have a special sensitivity to this issue, having not been terribly good at making friends in my formative years. I had that great combination of being a little shy and a lot sensitive, which made me bully bait, which made me socially awkward, which made me bully bait, which made me... well, you get the picture. But even now, I'm sooooo sensitive to rejection of the personal nature. I get that not everyone has to like me or want to be my friend. But it still hurts to be outright rejected, or, somehow worse, ignored.

It's funny, rejection professionally is frustrating and sadness-making, but it just doesn't hit me in the same place. I guess I feel more confident in my artistic abilities than I am in my person-abilities?

Argh, clearly contemplating these kinds of issues are not going to help me with my sleep problem. Going to go try and catch some zeds, friends.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On awaiting responses...

A friend and fellow playwright wrote something to this effect on facebook the other day:

"Along with every script sent out goes a little bit of hope, which must be forgotten."

Which I thought described exactly what it's like to send out scripts.

Sending out scripts isn't terribly difficult. You don't need to "know" people (although it can help). All you need to do is some research--what companies are developing/producing new work? Of those companies, which of them do seasons which could possibly include your play? How do they like their submissions--first 10 pages and a summary, or full script, or only on recommendation of someone they know? Really, you just have to be organized, have a strong summary and a good query letter. And copies of your script, for those companies that aren't accepting electronic submissions.

Sending them out is a little bit fun--there's possibility attached to each one, one more of those magic if's that we are so fond of in theatre. And you know, they say you have to have a thick skin to deal with all the rejection in the arts, but the truth of it is, a lot of times the only response you get is no response at all.

Same goes for auditions--if you hear nothing, it means that someone else must have gotten it, and no one is going to tell you how good you were, or what you could do to improve. No news is their final answer.

I have some scripts that have been out for close to a year, with no response. I always struggle in terms of follow up, especially with utter strangers--people I don't know, and with whom my friends didn't put in a good word for me.

I don't think about it a lot--I figure the more people I get to read my scripts, the better my chances are of finding someone who's excited about them and wants to develop them further. All you can do is keep moving forward, because seriously, you could be waiting forever and never hear a word.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Do You Have A Creative Motto?

Well, I guess it's more of an inspirational quote than a motto, strictly speaking, but this year I've found a lot of strength from this particular quotation:

Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'
Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, October 20, 2011

That kick in the ass...

Don't we all need one, sometimes?

I have a great job--an arts-adjacent job where it's understood that this is NOT where I want to be for the rest of my life, and that it's expected that I will take time off to do gigs here and there, or go to playwriting workshops, or what have you. They bank my time, so I get paid when I'm not here. They're flexible with my hours. My co-workers are divine. The rest of the organization... well, thankfully I don't have a lot of contact with them.

However, yesterday, I had to get involved in a multi-departmental situation, and to stand up for myself and my department after getting a rather dismissive email smackdown. I agonized while sending my response, thought about it and thought about what I should have said while I was leaving work. And then, at the gym, the machines with little tv's attached were full. I know, you don't work quite as hard while watching tv, but it was my guilty pleasure and a good way to pass the time. So I was forced to just listen to my ipod the whole time.

Which was great, because I realized that I was getting worked up over whether people would still like me, or if I would be successful in my job, or feeling like I didn't belong in my job, when it suddenly hit me:

I don't belong in this job.

I mean, I am mostly good (even very good) at my job, but was I born to deal with administrative issues and spreadsheets and resolving customer disputes? No. No, that's really not what I'm cut out to do. So all my wishing that I was in a rehearsal hall, or in my studio at home, or writing in some coffee shop--all that stuff is what I'm made to do. To make things, to be creative.

So why should I lose sleep and get my stomach in knots over a job that I should be working towards eventually not needing? Shouldn't I focus my energy on getting some more gigs, on writing more, on getting myself out there so I can spend my time doing the thing I really like?

It's hard. I'm an over-achiever. I like to be good at everything. I need to please people. I need to stop doing that so much. I need to stop making excuses--and isn't "I'm too worried about work which is eating all my brain time anyway" an excuse?

I am starting a new play--the one that I'm not sure if it's a play or a personal demon. I have a feeling I won't know until I get there. Starting makes me nervous. Not starting makes me crazy. It's time, people!

So that was my kick in the ass for the week. What was yours?