bitches be melodramatic

American Theatre magazine (the rag for Theatre Communications Group) asks random questions on facebook every day. Here’s one from a while ago: What advice would you give to a theatre newbie/aspirant? While some of the answers were thoughtful, there were many less useful ones such as:

  • If there’s ANYTHING else you enjoy, do that.
  • get a “real” job
  • Snap out of it!
  • If there is anything ANYTHING else you can see yourself doing for a living DO THAT INSTEAD!
  • Run away fast
  • Run as fast as you can.

Presumably, the people who wrote these responses are 1) currently involved in theatre and 2) into it enough that they’re reading and responding to a question posed by a theatre magazine that they chose to follow on a social networking site. If they aren’t willing to take their own advice, why should anyone else?

Then there were the melodramatic responses, like:

  • You better love it like you’ve never loved anything or anyone else before, because it will love you back while beating the s*** out of you. If you can somehow live without it, find something else.
  • Unless you eat it, drink it, breathe it, and dream it, don’t do it. It must be what you HAVE to do. If not, do something else.

Bullshit. Now, I realize I’m saying this as a playwright who occasionally produces a show and gets a production here and there, not an actor in New York slogging through auditions and being pilloried in the NYT (fingers crossed on that last one). Maybe my opinion doesn’t count as much because, on a day-by-day basis, I’m not “doing” theatre as much as some other folks.

But, for instance, this new play I’m working on. I think about it every day. A lot. I spent all three days of my three-day weekend trying to figure it out. It’s giving me problems, which is fine because once the problems are worked out, it’ll write itself. But I’m not going to sit here and pretend that the time I spend with my hipster fucking notebook or sitting in front of my hipster fucking computer is somehow painful. It’s hard sometimes, but not as hard as high school. Or, like when I was a bartender, cleaning up someone’s puke out of the bathroom sink. That shit was hard. This, this is FUN.

I’m involved in theatre because it’s fucking delightful. I don’t ever expect to make a living from it, and I know it will always be something that I do in addition to a “regular” job. But that’s okay. Because I love it. If I ever reach a point where I don’t, if I ever find myself wanting to tell an aspiring playwright, “run away!” (said like Charles Nelson Reilly), then that’s when I need to reevaluate what I’m doing. Until then, I’ll be happy to share what I know and stress the importance of wine and coffee, a dog to pet and a reader whose opinion you trust.

And to these random facebook drama queens: If it’s so fucking hard–GET OUT. Seriously. Use that BFA from NYU to get a J.O.B. and quitcher bitchin’.

6 Replies to “bitches be melodramatic”

  1. My motto is if it ain’t fun, don’t do it. Unless it pays REAL good.

    Now here are some theatrical types who make it look easy:

      1. Way to go, CryJack. I had forgotten that scene until now and just remembered where I got my whole filous, PhilOates, fermentation, wait…give me a minute…

        dangit now i have to start over…oh..foolousophy on life. It’s ownself.

        tj, or what’s left of him

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