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A Code of Conduct — Toward Yourself

In January 2018, months before I actually started writing my own Artistic Handbook, I started a list of things that I wanted to work on. Creating a code of conduct — something I could reference whenever I’m feeling conflicted or eerie or just plain gross during an interaction with a fellow theatre professional — was pretty high up there. But right underneath that super corporate phrase “Code of Conduct,” I wrote “Code of Conduct Toward Myself.”

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The Welcome Letter

When I set out to write my own Artistic Handbook last April, I had no idea where to start. I knew what I wanted to include in my handbook — I had a list as long as my arm that featured everything from the phrase “standard operating hours” to “play ideas” to “working out of town.” I had a ton of rules for how I’d operate in the American theatre landscape, all of which I’d broken at some point or another. And I had an overwhelming task ahead of me: a 70+ page artistic handbook that was fully searchable, fully functional, and fully me.

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Keeping a Journal

On Friday, March 22, I started keeping a journal.

I think most people already picture me as someone who journals — a journaler? — but the reality is I used to check in with myself very little. I check in with my characters constantly. I check in with my sources all the time. (It’s probably annoying how much I check in with them.) And I check in with the people around me so much that I sometimes forget to share what’s going on in my life.

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Keeping A Notebook

Last week, I spent a couple hours going through a decade of notebooks.

Okay, so I knew that there would be a decade of notebooks. I’ve been writing plays for ten years and I am pretty much the ultimate nerd. Of course I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go. Of course I got down lines of dialogue and scenes and notes on a script and pitches and outlines and and and. I can’t remember a single original thought until I’ve written it down. My brain’s just funny that way.

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What I Read: March 2019

I’m currently in a reading slump. Okay, it’s probably not actually a reading slump. It’s probably that I’m not particularly excited about the book I’ve been reading this week — or I haven’t had enough time to read or I haven’t been able to read more than a chapter at a time because there’s too much good TV or or or. But then I look back on what I’ve read this month alone and I’m genuinely impressed with myself. Every single one of these four books was not only completely different from the last, they were also all books that I genuinely loved. (I read a couple of duds too. But I’m not here to talk about those books.

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In Relation to the Bus

Last week, I intended to write about the bus.

I had it in my calendar and everything. The bus, the bus. Write about the bus. Instead I wrote about the mountain and the ferry and pages of unwritten writing that I eventually wrote. I wrote about metaphors. And I didn’t mention the bus once.

I've fallen in love with two bus rides in my life.

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Danielle MohlmanComment
The Mountain is Out

The mountain is out today.

In Seattle, the mountain hides behind grey skies that we’ve come to think of as normal. The mountain stands in for the sun, because we’re complaining about the sun. It’s too bright or in the wrong place or angled in a weird way or we just don’t have sunglasses yet — we weren’t prepared. And you can always be prepared for a mountain.

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Writing My Own Ending

I talk about Frankenstein a lot. If you know me IRL, this isn’t news. I’ve been talking non-stop about Mary Shelley, The Creature, and her mother since November. I followed a rigorous “can I adapt a novel in two months and still work at my other jobs?” schedule, turning down anything that wasn’t work or Frankenstein (which, in itself, was also work) for the rest of 2018. I clocked 500 words a day on that project alone, not because I was inspired, but because I couldn’t afford not to. I wrote my ten thousandth word on a flight home from Christmas. I was absolutely no fun to be around.

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What I Read: February 2019

Have you heard? I love to read.

When I was a kid, I thought I was getting away with something huge, reading by flashlight under the covers well past my bedtime — passing out from literary exhaustion at a time I would call “early” today. Over the summer, I’d read books in an entire day, prompting frequent trips to the library to get the next Animorphs book or the latest in The Baby-Sitters Club series.

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How to Show Up

This morning, I spent an hour or so on FaceTime with a young playwright I’m mentoring. He’d be embarrassed to say that what I’m doing is actually mentoring, but mentorship is the energy that I bring into every interaction the two of us have. He emailed me, asking a career question and rather than hem and haw in front of my keyboard for an hour, hoping to find the perfect set of words to answer the unanswerable question, I asked if we could schedule a time to do a video call.

I wanted to show up for him.

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Never Go Hungry

Voyagers is a play about NASA and discovery and science! It’s a play about the first photos of Jupiter and the songs that make up The Golden Record and the disembodied optimism of Carl Sagan and every ounce of energy that female scientists and engineers have put into the space program over the last 40 years.

It’s also a play where women repeatedly and deliberately eat in front of each other for more than 200 pages of text.

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We Must Practice Gratitude

On February 6, 2019, Backstage published an essay by playwright Leah Nanako Winkler titled “You Must Practice Gratitude for Successes Big + Small.” If you haven’t read it yet, do. It’s incredible. It’s everything I aspire to be in terms of the outlook I have on my career, the gratitude I share with others, and the ability to simply be in this industry.

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These Seattle winters are making me soft

When I first moved here, I was miserable. I couldn’t stop telling people about my plans to move back to Washington, DC. I had no friends, my relationship was in shambles, and I was working retail in an incredibly toxic environment. And then there was the weather. (The weather, y’all.) It rained roughly 99.98% of the time and in the off chance that it wasn’t raining that day, the sky was too grey or the sun was setting too early or I was seasonally depressed and not willing to confront it.

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Listening to Company in 2019

Yesterday, the original cast album for the 2018 (and, I guess, current) production of Company was released digitally. The production is currently running in London and is most notable because of its gender swapping of the lead character. Rather than a 35-year-old Bobby (think Raul Esparza in the 2007 production or Larry Kert in the 1970 production), the lead role is played by Rosalie Craig. The protagonist’s name was simply changed to “Bobbie.”

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