BWW Blog: The Write Stuff
As a writer one of the best feelings is hearing your words being read out loud. The first time I ever heard the words that I've written read by someone else was at my grad school residency, I was in a masterclass in dramatic writing where I had submitted one of the plays I've been working on to be read by the group. As time got closer to my work being read I actually grew really nervous. I wasn't sure how the play would be received and what kind of feedback I would get. I was afraid that everyone would hate it and, most importantly, I would hate it.
Writing to me is such a solitary thing that sometimes I forget how communal theatre really is. I forget that my words and my story don't truly come alive until it is read in someone else's voice and therefore put into someone else's hands.
The nervousness disappeared as my play was read, and I was full of wonder as my play came to life in front of me. It was like magic entered the room as I watched people react to my words. I even got a couple of laughs which is surprising because I don't think of myself as a funny writer, but it was nice to hear. I write lines that I think are funny, but I'm never sure if anyone else would actually find it funny.
Through seeing everyone's reactions I could better understand what I need to work on in my play. It gave me insight that I desperately needed, and made me realize how important staged readings are for the development of a new play.
It also helped make it clear to me that this is the right career choice for me, and it wasn't just because I got a positive reaction to my play. In all honestly it was because of that magical feeling I got from watching my words fly off the page and take on a life of their own.
When I'm writing I feel like I'm pulling things out of thin air that make perfect sense to me, but I'm always worried about how it will translate over in the real world. The characters I create are alive in my mind, but the goal is not for them to stay there. I want to share the characters and stories I create with everyone, and having a first reading of my work is the start of that journey in helping them become real.
Tennessee Williams said it best when he said, "When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I'm only really alive when I'm writing". Without a doubt I am the most alive when I'm writing and when I get to be apart of the process to help that piece of writing come alive. It makes me feel like I'm doing the right stuff.