I’ve always grown angry when tell me how much they rewrote the other night, or how many characters they cut out of their script after their last reading. I would always think, “Just because something is drastically different, doesn’t make it better.”
And I still think that statement holds true. However, I’m realizing how I’ve let that statement hold me back from taking a plunge into a down and dirty rewriting session. I’m so afraid that I’ll rewrite 80-pages of my play in a weekend, and then hear it aloud only to realize the play got worse, not better. I’m so afraid of failing bigger that I’m not really letting myself gain anything, either. I’m a top-notch coaster.
And I think that’s pretty common with early-career playwrights. I haven’t really figured out my voice or my audience yet, and I’m afraid that bad rewrites of an otherwise decent script will be the death to a career barely begun.
I’ve been thinking about what to do about this. I this newly discovered fear is indicative that I would greatly benefit from more experience workshopping my work as the playwright, rather than the dramaturg. It’s a level of vulnerability I’m not particularly seasoned in, as of yet.
I’ll keep sending my work out to any and every reading opportunity I find posted on the Playwrights’ Realm, but I think what this also indicates is that I need to host intimate reading series of my own. I think brunch readings in my future apartment once a month, with invited loved ones and prosecco will facilitate an environment where I can make big, scary choices and know I am surrounded by loved ones who are two glasses of prosecco in, allowing them to be equal parts honest and loving. I think if I can experience that feeling from the comfort of my living room first, in true postgrad style, then I can begin to edge myself towards that trust and comfort in professional reading situations.