Since I'm back here, I figured I should explain the latest gap. I got nothing as cogent as Isaac to say (though Scott's thoughts on the follow-up are really good). I kind of just got busy, writing a new play (in something like three weeks), getting ready for a reading of another, short play (and meaning to do rewrites there, too...eventually), going out on the occasional date, working my regular 9-5 gig, and doing teaching one day (now, two) a week. Not mention friends, karaoke and watching lots and lots of television programs. (And I haven't even gotten to this one yet...and I know a couple of the writers.)
And so...something had to give. And it was you guys. Or rather, this thing. Which, I'll tell you, isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world. Not that this blog is so awful (I'm not fishing for compliments here); I know it's not. And it probably does some useful service in the world or the theatrosphere (or however that's spelled these days). But...really? I'm happier writing plays. So I think I'll be doing more of that for a little while. And it turns out, it's hard for me to write and blog. Not so much for others, so go read them for a while.
Me, I'm looking for a sandbox to play in. I want to build sand castles, quick, dirty, messy and maybe beautiful, let the tide take 'em and build some more. Isaac is right: we trade in smoke and mirrors. I say, it's a feature, not a bug. I'm tired of trying to make plays perfect. I want to just make some plays. I want to write a metric ton of first drafts and then find some poor sucker willing to let me dive into his pool and put them up, as is. It was good enough for Shakespeare. Hell, it was good enough for Nicky Silver. It can be good enough for me.
Before I head out to play in other people's sandboxes (and maybe pee in a couple of pools), a couple of quick things:
- This is old, but still...heh, indeed.
- Scott, I love ya, dude. No matter what pops up in the comments. But please to remember this: some folks leave small towns for good reasons. Sometimes it's not the place for you, your talent or your life. Sometimes you have to travel, learn a few things about yourself in order to come back (a la Doc Hollywood...or Cars...or Jeff Daniels). Staying, returning to your small town should be presented as an option, but it's not the only one or even a better one for many, many young artists. That's just as irresponsible as presenting New York (or Chicago or L.A.) as a the solution to all of their problems. Ideas are good, options are good, but there is a reality out there.
- And speaking of reality...let's say theatre is not dying...not even really ailing. Let's say that theartre will go on and on and on for all of human history on this planet. And let's say that it will look like this forever: there will be big fancy theatres that do shows and plays and whatnot and appeal to the widest audience with the bluntest objects they can find and there will be mid-sized theatres that ape the big theatres and there will be small theatres that do their own thing, some trying to be mid-sized theatres, some not and there will be little theatres struggling for oxygen, growing, blooming, dying in short bursts, all the time, all over. And that is what American theatre will be. And no blog, no book, no single theatre company is ever, ever going to change that. Let's say all of that. Then...as a wiser man than I once said, "What are you prepared to do?"
Remember, the first thing we all learn about theatre? It's about action.
See ya in the funny papers.