I think I blinked and missed it. 2005 was a definitely a roller coaster – a year of swooping up and downs, both professionally and personally. There were a number of grim corners, but also a number of dizzying heights. And at the end of the day I’m ready to face 2006 full steam ahead: it has the potential to be quite a thrilling year and I can’t wait! It’s an interesting feeling seeing a year in front of me and knowing (for the most part) what’s going to happen and looking forward to it.
I started writing ten years ago and 2005 was the first year that I was a full stop playwright. Not a playwright/temp, or a playwright/teacher, or a playwright/you name it. I did it. It took a long time to get to this place! But a lot of that had to do with the fact that for a long time I didn’t know what kind of writer I truly wanted to be. Oh I knew I’d be a playwright, but I thought that there was only one way and one way only to be successful. I thought that I would move to Toronto and I would send my play out to the theatres and they would of course all love it and it would get produced and then I’d write the next play and so on. That’s what I thought being a writer was. That’s how the writers around me were working. And I thought if I didn’t do it this particular way then I wasn’t a playwright. I was a big failure.
But it didn’t happen. And I banged on doors for years (and years…) that did not open. And I thought of myself as a failure. And boy did I have some big time seething jealousy for the writers around me who I thought were successful! What I had to confront myself with is what I wanted as a writer. Did I really want a Toronto production? A New York production? TV ? Movies? What? What was important?
It dawned on me, one day nursing my bloody knuckles, that what I wanted was to make a living as a playwright. I wanted to write good plays. And occasionally I wanted to say something with my plays. With that in mind, I realized it didn’t matter where I was produced, or where the venue was, or who the audience was. As long as I was writing and I liked what I was writing and I was challenging myself, who cares what other writers are doing? That’s when I embraced writing for Theatrefolk and that’s when I started the path to my best work.
It hasn’t been a traditional path, but it’s been fun and incredibly rewarding. And the best part is, when traditional productions do come up, such as Appliance did in the fall, it’s a bonus and not a desperate need. And I like that a lot.
Happy New Year!