Day #1 – “Begin at the beginning. And when you come to the end, stop.”

Welcome to my grand social experiment which is NOT AT ALL a shameless rip-off of Julie and Julia except about theatre instead of food.  (Although, let’s be real, if I could have a pocket-sized Julia Child travel around with me wherever I go, teaching me how to roast chicken and dispensing earthy wisdom about embracing life in that loony high-pitched voice, I would not say no.)

So here’s how I see this playing out.  I am going to REALLYREALLYREALLY try to post something every day – mostly because that forces me to at least put SOME thought and work into the play every day.  If I start to slack off and you feel inclined to nag me, please do.  I respond well to nagging.

And what will I be blogging about?  That . . . is an excellent question.  I have lots of ideas right now.  It remains to be seen if I have one hundred of them.

It would be much more interesting if I was starting this blog from scratch and documenting the writing process.  At any rate, it might be more like something that I would read.  But I wrote the play (between June and September 2009) before it occurred to me that blogging the playwriting process might be kind of cool.  So now I’m blogging the aftermath, as it were – the arduous journey from a 130-page Word document to something that hopefully a couple people who aren’t my father will pay real cash money to see.

For the benefit of anyone reading this play who doesn’t know me, I cannot stress enough that I am not a professional playwright.  My entire playwriting resume consists of four finished plays, as well as half a dozen or more unfinished ones, the remembrance of which sometimes makes me shudder, and which I only keep on my hard drive for when I need an occasional exercise in humility.  Two were produced at Whitman College when I was a student there (Go Fighting Missionaries!).  (That was me simultaneously alerting you to the hilariousness of my school’s mascot while also sarcastically pretending that I care about sports.)  The third was produced as  a staged reading in last year’s Fertile Ground Festival.  This blog documents the childhood and adolescence of Play #4.  And hopefully adulthood, if it goes anywhere after the reading in January.

“What is your play about?”, you might ask, since that seems to be what everyone asks, and thus there is no reason why I absolutely never have a good answer to that question.  I should know what it’s about.  I wrote it.  At some point, if I’m going to be an actual writer, people are going to ask me what my play is about, and I’m actually going to have to be able to tell them.  But that day is not today, so if you want a plot summary I’m just going to refer you to the 200ish-word marketing blurb I forced myself to write for the Fertile Ground website which can be found on the “About the Play” page of this blog, and which, may I add, makes me a little bit want to kill myself.  The only reason I want or need an agent is so that I never ever have to be responsible for my own self-promotion again.  I read plenty of the backs of books, so I have a ballpark sense of how it’s done, but there’s just nothing on earth that feels quite as douchey as trying to talk yourself up with words like “groundbreaking.”  (No, I did not use that word.  I am not that far gone.  It’s actually not that pretentious as far as self-written marketing materials go, but it still makes my skin crawl a little, I won’t lie to you.)

What I am good at – or at least better at – is talking through my thought process.  So as this blog proceeds apace you will get more of a sense of the play as I blog about things like my ideas for writing it, some of the real people in my life who inspired it, things I’m considering changing, etc.  I may sometimes ask you, O nebulous readership out there on the interwebs, for your thoughts and opinions.  You can ask me anything.

Except “What is your play about?”

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4 thoughts on “Day #1 – “Begin at the beginning. And when you come to the end, stop.”

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