Playwriting

Off the comfy couch

Stephen King has written a musical. Well, the book of the musical. And John Mellencamp wrote the music. My first reaction, as yours may be (and let’s put the Mellencamp thing in our pockets for now), my first reaction is STEPHEN KING? THE SHINING? MISERY? THE STAND? THAT STEPHEN KING????

You get the idea. A lot of shouting over Stephen King doing something he’s not known for doing.

My second reaction is, why not? Why not Stephen King+musical? Why not? Maybe Stephen King has a great sense of the musical genre. It’s clear if you read his books (and I have) or read interviews that he has a deep connection to music. It’s only because he’s doing something he’s not known for, and further to that, not supposed to be doing that it jars.

Craig and I have been having meetings about new projects and new ventures for Theatrefolk. Some of these move forward with ease because they are already in our ‘wheelhouse’ one might say. We know how to do them. They have purpose, and they’re not easy but they’re comfortable. Easy and comfortable might seem to be the same but they’re not. Much of what we do requires a lot leg work and a lot, a lot of brain power. But it’s the kind of work we’ve done before, or done something similar before, thus the comfort.

With other projects, there is none of that. No guarantee. No comfort. And there was talk of whether or not to even think about moving forward with these. They could fail. We have big failures in our past. Why bother with another?

Not wanting to fail is not a good enough reason to reject a project. It means you’re not willing to try. You’re not willing to experiment. You’re not willing to push beyond what’s comfortable. Every once in a while you have to get off the comfie couch and try something that may fail. Work on a musical even though no one thinks of you as a musical writer.

Seth Godin writes a lot about the need to fail. Here. And here. And Here, for example. I especially like how he says we should think of failure as an “event and not a destination.”

Time to get off the couch….

About the author

Lindsay Price