Sunday, March 04, 2007

Am I making progress?

A friend shot me an email the other day saying he enjoyed the blog and all, but he couldn't tell if I was making progress out here in LA.

Early in this blog's life - a life that will end around one year from my first blog entry here (Aug 15th or so) - I was probably better at giving a sense about all that.

In the last month, there's been a decided drop-off in that direct kind of reporting because I've been trying to scrounge up work.

Luckily, I've found some, but it's clearly made it difficult to pursue other goals as well.

I have finished my MEDIUM spec and am about to start a Pilot for something original.

I also have a workshop of BEYOND THE OWING coming up at the PCPA Theatre Festival up in Santa Maria.

In addition, over the last few weeks, I've reworked my screenplay, UNIONVILLE, and a producer asked to look at it when I told them what it was about.

Finally, I'm working with Relentless Theatre on JIGSAW NATION at South Coast Rep later this week. It's a project that I helped start and I was one of the original contributing writers for the piece in New York.

Considering what Heather and I have done since August - left NY, found a place in LA, moved in together, looked for work, discovered we're pregnant - well, I'd say we're doing pretty good.

However, I've been low about my writing. Re-reading my screenplay, I felt it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. Re-reading my MEDIUM, I thought it was actually too funny for the show. Re-writing BEYOND THE OWING, I thought, well, I was lost. Plus, I got the rejection letter from New Dramatists which always casts me into deep self-doubt. (Though it did have an unusual paragraph about how well my work was recieved, plus hand written notes of encouragement from Todd London and Emily Morse at the bottom...)

This dip in confidence is consistent with the way I work and feel about work. I go up and down all the time.

The stakes, however, have been made higher by the new, aforementioned clock in my life, our pregnancy.

Plus, while I've found some work here in LA, it's not been as convenient as I'd like - or as constant as I need.

Believe it or not, despite my new passion for THE END OF FAITH, I have found it quite comforting to hit the floor with my needs and say out loud that I'm a little lost and need some help.

So, am I making progress? I don't know. I'm actually trying not to think about it.

Though I am getting itchy to bring a project to production. And I'm starting to look at my plays with an eye to producing one of them on my own. Trouble is, I just don't want to do it in a theatre, for a theatre crowd.

I want to do it for myself. And a few friends.

That makes it very tricky, indeed.

Though, on the upside, LA is not a temporary place to make work for me - unlike New York.


Dave Tutin said...

Oh, you are making progress my friend! You are doing what you want to do. Very few people can say that. Just imagine that your unborn child will turn out to be a writer. And write what he or she will be proud of many years from now!

And remember, originality has few fans until it becomes familiar.

Jeff Shattuck said...

Hey, this is a good update, even if all the news isn't rosy. I agree with Dave, you're doing fine; more important you're what most people just talk about and that's damn cool.

malachy walsh said...

Dave... so true, as always.

Jeff... I'd say most of the news is actually pretty great. It's just that - in this culture - everyone expects everything to happen at once. And, of course, it doesn't.

It all happens on its own speed. All you can do is be ready when the train passes by to jump on.

And trains pass by all the time...