Last night I experienced the first read-through of my new play The Singularity. The actors all did a great job (which was to be expected). The work seemed to resonate with them in various ways (which was hoped for but not counted on). There are places where the play needs room to expand, and there’s still character definition that needs to happen, but the basic story is there in 3-D. It is by far the weirdest thing I’ve written. Keep in mind – I wrote a play about men with stuffed animals growing out of their heads.
When these actors I trust – and with whom I’ve worked over and over again – join me for the first time in whatever reality I’ve created on the page, I feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose. Something I don’t get from work or cleaning the house or taking care of the dogs or any of the other things I do in my life. I love getting a play in front of an audience, but that is about all of us – the actors, the director, the playwright, the audience. The first read-through is mine, and I’m the only audience. And I love it.
I’m not trying to drown you in masturbatory bullshit. But I do think it’s important to recognize the things that fulfill you in life – how “good” you are at those things is irrelevant. What matters is your reaction to the experience. You don’t have to be the best writer in the world to feel good about what you’re doing. You just have to be true to your vision and tell your tale.
I’m reminded of a Far Side cartoon (tried to find it online – failed, but did enjoy revisiting some old favorites). The cartoon I’m thinking of features a man, let’s call him Larry, who is pulling something out from between the couch cushions. The caption reads, “Larry finds his purpose.”
Here’s to finding your purpose, whether it’s raising kids, kicking ass at work, creating something of beauty or teaching people things they didn’t know. Or, even, writing weird plays that make people laugh, sometimes uncomfortably.