Two days after LTYM I had my first meeting with the director for a short play of mine that’ll be produced next month as part of ScriptWorks’ Out of Ink Show.
I’m working with Ellie McBride again, and she’s great for me. She’s insightful, blunt and friendly. I always learn something about my writing–and often myself–working with her. I think I was a little intimidated the first time I worked with her a few years ago, just because she’s not afraid to cut to the chase with criticisms. But now I realize what a gift this can be, and how generous she is with her time.
On Saturday she told me that my plays have a tendency to sneak up on people, that you can read them and wonder what’s going on, wonder whether they’re supposed to be funny or not, and then at some point (sometimes after subsequent readings) you realize that they’re hilarious and that different threads that you didn’t realize were connected actually are.
I realize that this is the kind of reaction I get about my own personality sometimes. I’ve known and worked in close quarters with people for months sometimes without making a real connection. And then at some point (often over a beer or two) they’ll give me this look and say “Oh, now I get you.”
Anyway, good stuff. And cheaper than therapy.
All that said, Ellie pointed to a couple of sections in the script and said they didn’t seem to fit, that they seemed like filler. “Filler is okay if it’s funny,” she said. “But this is filler and it’s not funny. You can do better.”
She’s right. And I needed to have that kind of outside focus to really be able to recognize how to make the play stronger.
So that’s what I’m working over the next week or so.
Another opportunity to grow. This writing stuff has perks!