Today, I’m out of love with #playwriting. It’s like a bad day in a long term #relationship.

I realised something this morning, on a sunny day in the south of France. It’s a bit of a whinge. But it’s also a bit scary for me, and makes me sad.

I just sent off an application for a playwriting venture. One should keep track of how many competitions, initiatives, etc, one enters…but I’ve given up. Yes, everyone gets rejected, and I admit, tracking the number of things I entered and got rejected for became too much.

My FB and Twitter feeds have recently been filled with invitations to the Fringe shows of friends, as well as previews and reviews. I posted that I was a bit sad I didn’t have a show this year. That’s true…but not quite accurate. I’m also relieved I’m not doing a stage production, and THAT feeling makes me sad. I used to live for the insanity of putting on a show. Even when things went wrong, the result was a show I was proud of. I got the festival’s Artist Badge. I got reviews — good ones — and I could say “Yep, that’s me.” Audiences have told me how much they liked what I did.

Last year, I got my first ever 5-star review for It Started with an Allergy. I leveraged that, I promoted that show every hour of every day, and my houses still never got very big. The spectators who came loved it — there just weren’t very many of them. There’s a prestigious award given to theatre productions every year in Edmonton, and I really, REALLY hoped I might get nominated for Allergy. I didn’t. It’s occurred to me since that I don’t remember if I, or my director, invited the jury to the show! How can I not remember that? But I was also writing, producing, acting, flyering, doing the show. And I just…don’t… recall. That’s bad.

I submitted this play to yet another contest, out of resignation. I couldn’t muster anything to say in my cover letter: “yes, my play’s really good, these other industry people have said so, here’s my amazing CV of other amazing plays which nonetheless didn’t take off, PLEASE GIVE THIS TO ME.”

I wonder if that’s why I’m doing pre-production on a short film. Because it feels like I’ve done everything I possibly can in theatre, and I’m tapped. I’m on the French Riviera, on a writer’s retreat (which I paid for, didn’t get paid for, again). And still, today, I’m discouraged.

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Allergy is getting better at 25% !

I can barely believe it, but yes:  at week 6, It Started With an Allergy is ONE QUARTER of the way to the fundraising goal we’ve set ourselves.

If YOU would like to reserve your ticket to Opening Night now, click here.

funds graph

 

My show about endometriosis WILL be at Edmonton Fringe 2015!

Okay, it’s also about sex and drinking (when I could still do that) in Scotland, and cats, as well as uteruses (uteri…?)

It was confirmed today that my redux of It Started With an Allergy will be on at the Strathcona Edmonton Public Library for Fringe this summer.  YAY!

Heather Morrow in It Started With an Allergy.  Photo by Adrien Guyot & Alix Popescu

Heather Morrow in It Started With an Allergy. Photo by Adrien Guyot & Alix Popescu

I’m writing a play in 18 hours or less!

I can’t do it in 24 hours, because I work until 5 pm.

Yes, the 2nd Annual Writeathon begins at noon tomorrow!  Last year’s was…bonkers.  Fellow writers made velcro out of their beards and resorted to lacing of warm drinks (and then just tossing the mix altogether and drinking straight out of the mickey).  Oh, and we all did some writing and raised some (a crapload) of money to keep Alberta Playwrights Network ticking.

I haven’t been flogging the Writeathon at all.  With this two months ago, and flareups of this, I’ve been lying low. Now, however, I’m going to write out the beast that is endometriosis and kick it across the room.  I am re-writing It Started With an Allergy from beginning to end, and one way or another, I’m performing it (me!) at next summer’s Edmonton Fringe.  If you’d like to see it, feel free to visit HERE.

I’ll see you when I come down from the caffeine high.

The Ugly Princess….revealed! In August.

At last, I have a smidgen of theatre news to share: my play The Ugly Princess will have a public reading as part of Script Salon, a new reading series starting in April!

The Salon is the brainchild of David Belke, and will take place the first Sunday of every month, 7:30 pm, at Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

The Ugly Princess will have her day on 3 August 2014…so it will be ever-so-slightly in the Fringe after all.

“So you want to be a writer?”

For various reasons, I haven’t been writing lately. I have a new(ish) day job, which I go in to early and sometimes stay late at…and occasionally, it’s going into the weekends. I’m enjoying it. It’s a lot of responsibility, and at 39, I’m beginning to feel like an… adult. I’ve rearranged a number of other things in my life, and that’s making me feel more adult as well (Note: NOT “grownup”). I have been genuinely busy, and when I get home, I’m content to have dinner and do laundry and go to bed. All of this has kept me off Twitter, and the web…and from going to shows recently. And…I’m finding I don’t miss any of those things.

Yet I’m also feeling very cut off.

I’ve signed up for the upcoming Playwrights Circle myself, to work on The Ugly Princess, and I’m entering Marathon/Sprint (from Skirts Afire last year) into the Act One program of APN. It seems odd to me that I feel I need to force myself to make time to write – after all, if I need to do that, maybe I don’t want to. I do want to, however, but I had another scary moment this week…the thought entered my head: “what’s the point?”

My wonderful Take a Bite director Amy had agreed to direct The Ugly Princess at the Edmonton Fringe this year…should we get in, which we didn’t. I (briefly) entertained the idea of doing a BYOV anyway – which I swore I would never do again – because the idea of going a year without a show was galling. But in the end it just didn’t pan out. I think “what’s the point?” snowballed from “not enough audience cares for what you write – no one is interested in doing your shows themselves…if people aren’t interested in what you do… you can’t force them.”

I convinced myself I don’t have time to write just now anyway – which I don’t. But it makes me feel hollow that I don’t. Even if no one watches, even if no one else wants to produce my work…I still have ideas and I still want to write them.

Right before I left for Scotland ten (yikes) years ago, I ran across a book of Charles Bukowski’s poetry, Sifting Through the Madness for the Word the Line the Way. The very first poem was titled: “So you want to be a writer?” It was harsh. And honest. Even though I was leaving the country with only a backpack, I spent $40 on that book and brought it with me for that one poem. The basic idea I got from it was: “will you do it anyway? If no one listens, if you’re never published, if you die with this never being heard, will you write anyway?”

Yes. So, I am still a writer. Just writing that makes me feel a bit less hollow.

Writing a new Fringe play? Still working on one? This is the place to be…

Happy 2014!

To start the year off, APN is hosting a playwrights circle in Edmonton. I’ve done writing workshops with Conni Massing before – she is a wonderful teacher and writer.

Edmonton Playwrights’ Circle with Conni Massing

February 3 to April 7 2014 (Readings on April 14)
6-9pm 
@
Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre, Epic Main Hall

Staff Contact- Tracy Carroll: tracy@albertaplaywrights.com

Cost: $300.00

The Playwrights’ Circle offers emerging and mid-career playwrights an excellent opportunity to start and finish a first draft of a play or to continue working on a project that they’ve already started. It is designed to keep playwrights working in a focused and supportive environment.

Conni Massing has been facilitating our Circles for many years and continues to offer great insight and guidance to all of the writers involved in these sessions.

www.albertaplaywrights.com