T-to-the-A

Building It

In Playwriting, The Daily Drool on January 2, 2010 at 11:22 pm

This is where the grunt work comes in… this… right now; my life is under construction.  The hard work, the planning, the uncertainty of laying all those hopes and expectations on an untested blueprint.  It’s challenging, and sometimes it feels like madness, but in the end I have to remind myself that it’s because I’m still building this life of mine, and building things always takes time, patience, and a broom.

Today was our load-in day for Jane Doe (my exciting play that you should definitely come see!) And as I cut out cardboard, painted doors and chairs, and held ladders, I was reminded of just what a miracle the theatre is.  A professor at UCLA is said to have put it like this (paraphrasing in process)  Everyone agrees to show up at the same time to breathe life into the thing you all want to put up – this group of people driving from all over the city, battling traffi, part time jobs and hunger pains, to arrive at the curtain, to work together on this living, breathing, thing you are creating.  It is a miracle theatre happens at all.

And he’s right.

There we all were, cutting and painting and dreaming the same pictures, in the hopes that it will all come together for a performance that we hope will thrill people!  That I hope will lead to another production of my work, and another… this endeavor laying more groundwork for the next construction phase of my life, and so on…

And I was (in the unusually warm January sun) crouching down on the pavement in order to get all the nooks and crannies with my brush, thinking “This is one crazy life you have chosen, my dear.  Crazy and fabulous.”  And I’m in it.  I’m in it now.  I’m building it.  And one day, when I’m looking over the moulding and smooth floors, beautifully painted walls, and big, open windows of my life, I’ll remember just how amazing and wondrous this part of my life was… how amazing it is that I made it through this phase (even though being here now, I’m terrified the foundation isn’t strong enough and my bathtub is going to sink through the floor) I’ll remember how difficult it was to get up some mornings, how time consuming it’s been to hammer in even just one nail, or how far I had to go for the lumber… and I’ll probably smile at how little I knew then (which is now) because it’s amazing, a miracle even, that it’s happening- that this thing called life (much like the play) Is. Happening.  All of these people coming together because I wrote something they could all share in.  I’ll smile at how terrifying it was, how much I hungered, and how terrific it felt to listen to the audiences laugh.

But not yet… because now I’m still in it, still hoping, still fearing, still worrying about where my next meal is coming from (more or less)…

And thank God I’ve got friends and family around me, handing me a tool or can of paint every now and then, and  catching me when I trip, fall, and freak out.  But this design is made of my own choosing, my own longing… and I’ve got to enjoy its taking shape, because it’s delicate and wild work, this life of mine.

Delicate and wild at the same time.

And if I can remember that, if I can stand my ground and keep smiling, keep building… it’s going to be one hell of a house, with one hell of an ocean view.

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  1. I love this post. Lots of hard earned wisdom here. Delicate and wild, indeed.

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