Thursday, September 16, 2010
Come September, many of us return to class.
I'm not an official student anymore, but I attend a weekly playwrights meeting in Manhattan. It runs from Sept-June and is worth attending at least once if you're in the city and a writer. Professional actors -- from SAG and Equity -- also attend the meetings and do cold readings of new plays chosen for the night. It's fun, exciting and theatrical.
In order to get your work read aloud at a meeting, you must first become a member of The NYC Playwrights group. For $60 dollars, it's well worth it. NYC Playwrights meet every Tuesday night on W. 54th Street. It's a great way to network with fellow New York actors and writers and hear some interesting new work. For details, go to http://www.nycplaywrights.org/
During our latest meeting (and first for the season), I met a playwright who told me she just had her first full-length play produced by an Irish theater in NYC. She's a professional chiropractor from New Rochelle, NY and usually writes poetry. But she wanted to try to write a play and so she did. Soon after a theater selected it for their major production. First time out of the gate and she got produced. She said she received a standing ovation after the show. Talk about beginner's luck... or the luck of the Irish... either way, she had no idea what she was doing, but the "words and characters just poured out of me."
I mention this only because sometimes as writers we tend to box ourselves in and label ourselves. Writers will say "Oh, I only write screenplays" or "No, I could never write a novel." or "I couldn't imagine ever writing a stage play."
Why not? What's stopping you... but you?
If you're one of these people -- drop, roll and reread the paragraph above. Break out of your claustrophobic, self-imposed pigeon hole. If you're a writer, don't be afraid to try all formats... screenplays, novels, plays, poetry, a blog, a short story... whatever you like. Just try it.
Dare to write whatever you like however you like.
And that next standing ovation could be for you.