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On Peeking at Audience Response Forms on the 9:15AM Bus Back to Boston


Just a peek. I’ll take what I can use and leave the rest. They’ll help me contextualize my own notes from the staged reading.

I look at the drawings that I requested first:

lots of double decker sets,

scribbles of inner turmoil,

a noose or two

and stick figures galore.


I take a breath, and flip to the other side.



“too much profanity”

“gave slack for it not being polished!”

“Not sure what the racial angle was about”

“Is it about rape, Asberger’s, racial violence, racial profiling, predators, maybe narrow down a little”


I feel like I’ve just been reduced.

Audiences don’t know what to do with new work

They were confused

They had a lot of questions thrown at them at once

They’re old white people

They don’t know what they’re talking about


I’ll throw them out when I get home.


I put them back in my bag.

I do other work: I consider the monolithic workload I must accomplish by the end of the week.

I listen to Chance’s new song.

I start my blog post, and I look back at the responses. I actually read the questions this time.


“On a scale of 1 (least) – 10 (most), rate your overall enjoyment of the piece.”

“General comments.”

“How did the workshop format affect how you viewed the piece?”

“What improvements can you suggest for the script itself?”

“What suggestions do you have if the piece is done as a full production?”


I think of how the questions were asked.

I think of the expectations that were set.

I think of the gift it is to have anyone listen to your work, no matter what they think of it.

I remember the moment they realized they could laugh during the fourth scene.

I remember the tiny gasps.

I remember the man who called it ‘hauntingly powerful’.

I consider those who didn’t enjoy it: I think of it bothering them as they go to sleep, infiltrating their lives.

And I schedule in time to continue this draft.

Next time, which is today:

Humility, not self-deprecation.

Gratitude, not entitlement.

Learning, not knowing.


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