college, Stephanie, mailed me a letter I had sent her
the summer of '97. It was fascinating to read. I was
a different person 10 years ago. In it, I write about
going down to Salmon River and how much I love nature
and how I could never live in a city. hmmm.
I also say in the letter I'm going to try and write a
play that summer (while holding down a full time job).
Now I don't remember exactly if this was my first or
third attempt at a play. It might be my first, and if
so it was a terrible beckett-inspired symbolist play.
There were some funny lines and a lot of philosophy
and deep meaning I'm not sure I could explain now. In
other words, I'm not sure it meant what I wanted it to
The reason I bring this up, I guess, is that ten years
ago I took off down the path to be a playwright which
meant 4 years later moving to New York to work very
hard writing plays and doing all the things not
related to writing plays that playwrights have to do.
In the process, I managed to accumulate about 90
thousand dollars of debt going to grad school.
And now I'm here going to a different grad school for
free. The playwriting is going better than ever. And
I'm feeling worse about it than I ever have before.
Oddly discouraged. All the small things going well
seem much too small.
The productions, the readings, the good reviews, the
writing groups, all things I'm happy about. But I
feel like I could stay here at this level working my
ass off for the rest of my life not getting any closer
to whatever it is I'm looking for.
(What is it I'm looking for? A way to transcend life
and show it at the same time? A way to immortality?
A version of beauty? A lasting understanding? A way
to escape? A rippling truth? Does this have anything
to do with the plays I'm writing or am I kidding
I want to go back 10 years ago and tell my young self
not to write that first play. I want to tell him to
spend more time swimming in the river. I want to tell
him to get a job working for one of the many insurance
companies so he can buy a house in town--one with a
big lawn and some woods in the back yard.
And yet I know, that was not the life I wanted. I
chose this. I want this, this life in the theatre.
P.S. Please don't misunderstand. I'm just voicing
something that I think needs to be said. Don't start
worrying about me or anything. Also don't think for a
second I'm going to stop writing. Hell, I can't even