A few days ago, Critical Point published a blog written by my fellow ensemble member, Andrew Kaberline. If you haven’t read it, you should. Here, I’ll even post the link. https://theatrecpt.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/the-careful-process-of-storytelling-andrew-terrance-kaberline/#more-237There, you’re excuse-less. This article is a quick summary of the storytelling process. I think Andrew did an amazing job, but I want to expand upon one of his storytelling steps: Write it Down. For me, and I’m sure many would agree with me, this is by far the most difficult part of the creative process: actually doing it.
I’ve always dreamed about being a musician. Before I go to sleep most nights I imagine what it would be like to stand up on stage in a huge arena and play guitar and sing for thousands of people. I picture that image so often that many would say it’s unhealthy. I would absolutely love to be a rockstar. But I never will be so long as I persist in not trying to be a musician. I may or may not have the talent to actually “make it” as a musician, but right now I completely lack the resolve to sit down and write songs. What I find that I’m doing is sitting around waiting for “inspiration” or for a moment when I’m in the mood to write, which doesn’t work when I’ve never written a good song before in my life.
To the contrary of that, I’ve been much better about writing When We Grow Up. I can’t tell you what’s different to me about writing a play versus writing a song, because in theory the thing that’s difficult is the same: actually doing it. I have plenty of good ideas about the play, but frankly we’d have nothing if I didn’t make time and put them on paper. It’s so much easier to do nothing than write a play. It’s so much easier for me to burn hours on Netflix and video games than to sit down and type for an hour. Once I start, it’s easy. But getting the drive to actually do it is so much harder than the actual writing. What worked for me was scheduling an hour a week in the library where I would bring my computer and I would sit in silence and type. I remember a time when I gave myself an hour to do a single scene and I ended up finishing up the entire first act because I was so in the groove. Once I start, I love writing, but I need to make myself actually sit and write.
Now the current script of When We Grow Up needs a lot of work. I’m definitely not Mozart and can’t crank out a brilliant piece of art with no editing, but the fact that we have a script is an amazing accomplishment. While we still have a long process ahead of us putting When We Grow Up on stage, I know it’ll be of a good quality so long as I schedule ample time for me to work on the script. I may not ever be a rockstar, but I know that I’ll produce quality art so long as I remember to make time to actually do it.