Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sill trying, still not succeeding

I just saw the movie A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS. It's based on Dito Monteil's "autobiographical coming of age drama set in tough blue-collar Queen's, NY." Okay, that sounds ridiculous, but it's actually a really moving piece, and then when you get to learn more about the actual Dito (he really did get out, he wrote a non-linear book that become a somewhat lyrical script that he also directed), you think, WOW. This is real. It's gritty, it's real, it's powerful, it *means* something. So I tried to write this morning (a baseball play for Theatre Three) and can I say how badly it went? How false it sounded? How superficial and stupid and uninspired? How little I enjoyed it? Okay, so part of it is that I wanted to be at yoga and I couldn't be, b/c of my stupid sciatic nerve (two weeks off and counting) and how I feel like I'm 80 and I'm not and I'm getting more and more lethargic due to lack of exercise and stimulation. And part of it is that as much as I want to be down and real, I can't be, or I can be and the 10-minute play doesn't fit me. Or maybe both, but probably the former more than the latter.

I can't help thinking about ONE LAST FIGHT, my 10-minute play about the son and his late father duking it out (literally and figuratively; I mean literally and figuratively within the confines of a script). No one wants it. Is it b/c it sucks? Is it b/c it's too hard to cast a play with a 40-something male and a 60-something male? (That can't be easy, I have to admit.) Is it b/c it doesn't work as a 10-minute play? I don't know, but I do know that it really worked for me when I wrote it--it felt authentic--and I haven't written anything that came close to it since. So I have on ENTOURAGE and I'm thinking, Oh, isn't this cute, and who gives a damn about Hollywood (as much as I love Jeremy Piven, I have to say) and its impossibly narcissistic self? So I am taping it and it's on in the background but I have absolutely no interest in watching it now. I'll watch FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS b/c they are willfully ridiculous (and clever as hell and also unsuccessful on the show, but in a sly way), but ENTOURAGE is not there for me now. So...what do I do? I mean, really? Not one damn bit of inspiration. None. Nada. I'm not being whiny (well, if I am, I'm sorry), I'm being honest. I haven't been remotely inspired for about four months, and why is that?! I just do not know. I need to write and I can't write so I guess I won't be writing till I'm ready to write again. I guess maybe I just need to read a lot of plays and watch a lot of movies and maybe someone will want to be my ghostwriter?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It goes up, it goes down

Well, I was feeling rather sad on Thursday morning. I had just been rejected from the Candy Shoppe Festival in CA, and I thought I had *such* a good chance! I've been trying not to think too much about festivals lately (in part b/c I haven't been *writing* lately), but this one I wanted, particularly b/c I sent my play ONE LAST FIGHT (father/son play, pretty dark) to the festival, and Summer, one of the producers, really liked it. She didn't pick the plays, though; the directors did. So that hit hard; I can't get this play produced, and it's one of my favorites. Apparently, dark plays requiring two males, one 45, one 65, is just not that easy to cast. Go figure. ;-) Anyway, Summer has been very gracious in responding to me, noting that she read the play a lot, was sorry it hadn't been chosen, and I should try again last year (which I will). I guess I should have sent WEDNESDAYS (the cafe play), b/c get what: it just got taken again! Black Woman Productions in PA said yes (and also took HIS NAME IS ROB, a monologue I took from my one-woman show and that I like but rarely send out, mostly b/c it's a monologue). Anyway, that was a very pleasant surprise, as I had forgotten about this festival, they took TWO of my pieces, AND Wednesdays now has two productions, two forthcoming, and two honorable mentions. Clearly, it's caught on with festivals; I guess I need to write more plays like this one. ;-)

Work is getting really busy (I just got back from New Student Orientation, and registration is this week, so it's just going to get crazier), and my body is totally failing me. I got sciatica (I think) for the first time last Sunday, after yoga and a bit of walking, and I literally felt as if my legs would burn up; it was THAT bad. Now I can't sit for lengthy periods of time (say more than 15 or 20 minutes), and I had to drive to and from my sister's house in Western MA on Thursday night and Friday night. I had a lot of fun with my nieces, nephew, and sisters (of course, it was chaotic, b/c they are ages 4-10), but the ride could have killed me. I never thought I would have this problem. (I'm 44, not 84.) I am trying to reach my doctor's office to get an appointment with SOMEONE; this is ridiculous, and I'm having trouble walking and have not worked out for nearly a week. I don't know if I will able to do my yoga class tomorrow, and I'm pretty upset about that. I hope I can nip this in the bud. I won't use that as an excuse for not writing, though. Aside from taking a longer play and making it a one-minute play (it might even work better that way!) for a one-minute play festival, I don't want to write. I just am not in the place. As I've said, the nicer the weather, the harder it is to sit down and write, but I would like to *want* to, and I don't right now, but I hope to soon (like in September, when the madness ends and perhaps my body feels halfway decent again). I can't just send out my old plays; I have to write new ones! And I have to want to write new ones. I hope I will. Soon. Very soon.