My odyssey with my play “The Oddyasee” (believe me – it hurts me as much as it hurts you) started in a playwriting class taught by none other than Stephen Adly Guirgis. The golden lesson (well, one of them anyway – there were so many in that class) was that it was okay – or maybe even good – to write without knowing where you were going. This made such sense to me – I’ve never known where I am going, so why would I know where my writing would go? Stephen told us to let the characters in our head talk to each other and that they would lead us to their own conclusion. This instruction was so freeing to me and was exactly what I needed. For one of the few times in my life up til that point, I felt like the creativity I always had known was there was now getting a chance to come out. Still unwillingly of course. Creativity never runs out of the corner without some coaxing – at least with me it doesn’t. Unless I’m writing an email to my sister and it’s 3am. Creativity always gets on board for those sessions. But relaying how I made my kale salad does not a good drama make (on second thought, “Kale Salad, the Musical” does have a certain ring to it – well, my sister would come anyway. Have you HAD kale salad? It makes you wanna dance and sing too, right?).
So out of this class with Stephen came the beginnings of a play. A one act. And here was where I found the most unexpected delight. I was having fun. And what’s more, I felt so much like myself when I was doing it. I never thought of myself as much of a doer. A really good watcher, yes. But doing was always so scary to me and I had gotten really good at fake-doing (this is the subject of its own blog post). I had experienced the fun of real doing a few times while acting but I found it to be more of a regular occurrence when I was writing. It’s really the only reason I do it. I’m having fun. And it helps me find myself. And then I can share it with whoever will listen. Which brings me to my Tree of Life moment <cue music> – isn’t that ultimately what we are all meant to do here? Find ourselves and share what we find with each other? I don’t know. But I’m going with it. And I’m having fun.