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Posts in My Own Art
Not My Life

Last night I said something that would have ruined my 25-year-old self.

Last night I got a text from a producer at 9:45PM, a text that the victim-blaming society that lives inside of me would say I asked for. I’d exchanged numbers with this producer at the top of the year, I justified. It made sense that he was using it. But it didn’t make sense that he was using it, not really. Phone numbers are for friends, not for texts from work contacts. They’re for pre-planned phone meetings, not for questions that could be answered in an email. And they’re certainly not for 10PM last minute meetings on Sunday nights.

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You Can't Copyright An Idea

There are four plays about the Voyager mission.

The first one is mine, but it clearly wasn’t the first one. Because to be first implies that I completed a draft before anyone else. In November 2016, full of pain and only just finally being able to crawl out of bed — I was freelance, or “freelance,” and in more pain than I had the right to be in — I reconnected with Maureen Monterubio. She wanted to submit something to the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival, something with a bite of hope, something to get us moving and creating.

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Capturing Myself in My Own Image

I went to a photoshoot this morning.

It was a photoshoot for a secret secret project that I can tell y’all about next month. It was a photoshoot for a play that makes me want to scream and laugh and read and share and keep working and keep working and keep working. But all of these thoughts and feelings and joys and frustrations come from working on the script, conversing with the characters, being alone in my apartment as I type into the void that is my computer.

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Finishing the Draft

I’ve been working on Voyagers since November 2016.

Maybe you’ve heard me talk about it. Maybe you’ve sat down with me as you try to share good news with me and all I can talk about is how the play isn’t working. Or how hard it is for me to write about hope. Or how little hope I was willing to share with my audiences. Maybe you came to the staged reading in September 2017, an event that coincided with my birthday despite my desperate drive to ignore the celebration. (My director Maureen brought cupcakes to rehearsal. Everyone sang. I loved it.) Maybe you were in the staged reading. Y’all wouldn’t recognize it today.

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Killing My Darlings

The photo above is deceiving.

It’s a stock photo, of course. I like the idea of it: throwing out the old to make literal room for what works. In my reality, my cuts are digital. I tuck old drafts away in a different file, a different folder, a hidden section of my playwriting software. When I cut something that’s in a notebook, I keep that page in tact. I revisit my notebooks once a decade, it seems, so there’s no danger that the cut idea will bury it’s way into my line of vision and go from being a bad idea to a bad idea that just doesn’t work.

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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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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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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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