I’ve realized recently that part of my struggle maintaining this blog has been making decisions about what constitutes appropriate material.
Play reviews–easy. I watch theater critically, in terms of form, craft, content and context–it’s part of my job. And even when I don’t like a play, it’s clearly (I hope clearly) nothing personal. I have a safe cushion in the berth of being the uninvolved audience member.
Philosophical / theoretical discussion of the form and apparatus–eh, medium-easy. The only problem with those posts can be unwieldiness and length. I’m still figuring out, site-wise, how to post or upload my longer writings on the topics.
With both of the above, I’m writing as myself, and for myself, but have the advantage of distance and abstraction. What I’m not so comfortable with remains:
Writing about my work. First, making the play. The process of putting on a play can bring out the best, worst, oddest, most excited and most insecure in its participants. It kaleidescopes constantly, in different order and at different rates for each individual involved.
Add this to the fact that theater artists are crazy. Yes, they’re all crazy. My friends, somehow, tend not to be other theater people (with notable exceptions, of course). So you have a bunch of insecure nutty personalities kaleidescoping and scared and exhilerated and it leads to collisions and dramas and issues.
At the end of the process, you have a great play, and the tensions and kerfuffles are forgotten and everyone’ s happy. So sometimes writing about it while it’s happening, committing the stuff to historical memory by scrivening (and publicly!) seems, well, problematic. Especially for the director, who should find a few uninvolved, discreet friends to bitch to during the weeks of rehearsal and leave it at that. I mean, my actors read this blog while I was working on CLUB*, and to subject them to my own anxieties and insecurities would have undermined exactly what I was doing with them.
Then there’s the other personal part of my work: getting work, navigating the terrain of Theater in America. And that has its own set of concerns, insofar as making the process public could easily be the equivalent of shooting myself in the foot professionally. Again, because all theater people are crazy.
The point is, there has been a lot, a lot, a lot, going on in that hiatus between the summer and now. But it had to do with my work as it was happening, and I didn’t know how to write about it. I mean, I just had a positively ridiculous professional encounter which I want to write about desperately, but shouldn’t. I wish this had been an anonymous blog.
A thought: Perhaps I should only tell personal/professional stories a year or two after they occur.