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Fear of Regression

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.

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