Theatre and Being an Artist and Stuff

Billy and I have been seeing a lot (well, for us) of theatre lately and I had the thought the other day that I should write reviews of the plays I see on this here blog.  But then about an hour ago I participated in a panel discussion for the senior theatre majors at my alma mater, talking about what it’s like making a life in the theatre in Boston and I decided that,  you know what?, I don’t need to be another person cutting people down.  It’s hard enough out there without me throwing my voice into the mix.  I got public reviews of my work for the first time last summer when my play was in the New York International Fringe Festival and let me tell you, that bad one almost made me literally vom.  There were good ones too, but that bad one really stuck with me.  I never want to be someone who makes someone else almost vom, for any reason.  But then I thought, no!, there is nothing wrong with calling people to action and not allowing lazy or tame or bad art to exist!  We can not become complacent!  But in the end I think my nice side is going to win out.  I’m not going to write negative things about other people’s art here.  That’s not who or what I want to be.  Not that there’s anything wrong with arts criticism.  On the contrary, I think it’s vital to keep us all on our toes.  But I just don’t think that’s my role here.  I want to encourage people to take chances and do big things and jump in.  Jump in everybody!  You won’t hear me saying it’s not good.  It’s always good to jump in.  If somebody says to you “let’s go skinny dipping” don’t say “no, it’s too cold and illegal.”  Say “YES I WILL LITERALLY JUMP INTO THIS COLD WATER IN THE NUDE.  I WILL GO SKINNY DIPPING.  OBEYING THE LAW IS FOR PUSSIES.”

This post took a weird turn there, but I’m sticking with it.

In that same vein, I’m going to do a little reaching out for a moment.  I’m scared of finishing this play I’m writing.  What do you do when you have a major project looming over you, one that could help define your voice as an artist?  How do you not let that intimidate you?  Any helpful words of encouragement in the comments would be greatly appreciated.



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3 responses to “Theatre and Being an Artist and Stuff

  1. Ashley

    hmm. I think that you can’t think about how important it is. You just do your best that you know how right now to write it… and be proud of it. In fact I think if you spend time with Billy, your friends etc… instead of worrying about it it will be awesome.

    that is easier said than done.. as i am currently falling asleep every night worrying about this musical i’m doing. But I just try to do my best when i get to work on it and then leave it alone and try to get inspiration from the world.

    Break a leg. It will be amazing. You are amazing. and sorry if that is lame advice. thanks for not cutting people down… i guess we are “adults” now.

  2. Mommy

    There’s never just one thing that defines you as an artist, or a person, or a student, or a professional, or a wife, or a mother. A lot of little things do. Look at this as just one of those little things that will contribute to the ultimate definition of “Emily the Playwright”.

    There will be lots of other chances to tweak things along the way to fame, or self actualization, or success, or whatever the ultimate goal is for you.

  3. Cousin Jon

    Don’t think for a second your play, when finished, will be anything less than awesome.

    You are your own worst critic. You have one of the most creative minds of anyone I’ve ever met. Any material that is already on your script definitely deserves to be there. Your thoughts are original, fresh, funny as hell, appealing in print, and in production. Any average project to you would be exhilarating to me and most viewers/readers.

    You rock Emmy Kay – keep up the great work!

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