Friday, March 30, 2007

The Lives of Others

The problem with art and politics is that too often the political message becomes a hammer to be used on the head. This not only dates a lot of political art, but dehumanizes the characters who carry the story and thus the message.

That's why, for me, art is better when it's deeply personal and spreads out from there.

Politics can provide the circumstances, but as the world shows, everything changes.

And as a lot of political art shows, start with an agenda and you bore from moment one.

(Edward Bond's work is a good example of the personal story being more potent than the directly political - SAVED is terrific, feels personal, clearly written from sharp observation; his later work about people pulling together to weather river floods and crony-ism bore me as the characters are flavorless shills for ideas. Only broad satire - a la SF MIME TROUPE and SNL sketch work - really escapes this for me.)

BUT... Here's a movie where the humanity of the story transcends the political issues - and yet couldn't exist without the politics.

Beautiful. Terrifyingly human. Can't stop watching it in my head.

Go see it.


It'll make you remember what art is for.

Thanks, Eric.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Advertising - Music - Television - Movies: WATCH OUT!

The text below is from one of the smartest cultural thinkers I've had the pleasure of knowing - and working for: Dave Tutin. (Click on his blog to see it on his site.)

Very insightful about some of the changes that the internet has created for advertising and music and that are now coming to television and, I'm quite sure, movies.

In what seems now like another life, I was once the global creative director in charge of the Oracle advertising account. I was, in fact, the only person from the agency that the infamous Larry Ellison would talk to. I used to fly from New York to San Francisco every other week for two years. On flight 93. Yes, that flight 93! I've never worked out if 9/11 would have been my week. And I don't want to. I'm just grateful to Larry for saying to me only a couple of months before that I didn't need to fly out quite so often!

Larry's favorite phrase which of course made it into our advertising was "The Internet changes everything." We believed it at the time. The entire country (not the world as Silicon Valley believed - parts of which still don't have reliable, uncensored, affordable access to the Internet) was willing to believe it. It was this belief that fueled the ridiculous tech stock bubble of the 90s. As it turned out we were all clueless as to how it would change everything!

OK so we know what happened next. But fast forward a few years and take stock of the situation. I have had a foot in two camps - advertising and music. Depending on who you talk to, both industries are either dead or dying. And it's all because of the Internet. Or more specifically the digital technology that made the Internet possible, that made music easier to record, copy and share.

The music industry refused to accept change. It took a computer company - Apple - to show how money could be made from digital music downloads.

But not the kind of money the music industry was used to.

The advertising industry refused to accept change. It took technology companies - yahoo and google - to show how the new ways of reaching customers could generate revenue.

But not the kind of revenue the ad industry was used to.

Interesting parallel. People say these industries are dying yet there's MORE music out there right now than ever before and there's MORE advertising out there than ever before.

So what is dying? All that is dead is the ability of a handful of people - major ad agencies and major record labels - to bleed the kind of cash out of their audiences (or clients) that they used to.

Long before we had today's technology, music used to be in the hands of troubadours. Wandering minstrels who sang songs. Strangely enough these songs were often the means by which people got their news and information. They were an early form of advertising. They advertised heros (from Jesse James to Robin Hood), they unified beliefs and strengthened common bonds. But nobody did it for the money.

Somewhere down the line we decided that pop stars (and sports stars, incidentally) were worth obscene amounts of money. Which they are not. They are lucky bastards who get to "play" and get paid for it.

So, Larry, I think you were right all those years ago. The Internet has changed everything. But some people are still unwilling to accept it because it hurts their ability to make money, because it has demystified some industries that were based on nothing more than the trick of doctors who once wrote prescriptions in Latin! (Next, I hope we see the tech giants themselves demystified with the earnings of the Ellisons and the Gates' brought back to some rational level!)

When a handful of TV networks held sway over the entire American audience, it was different. When a handful of major record labels held sway over what we heard, it was different. Now these two industries do not know how to deal with the splintering of reality into a world where just about everything ever recorded, filmed or written can be available to anybody any time. And because neither of them can generate the easy money they once did, they think they are dying.

Music and communication will never die. But there will always be things that 'change everything'. And until the major companies that make up these industries embrace change and accept that the days of effortless profit are long gone we will have to endure all this talk about dying - while we listen to the most varied choice of music we've ever had and learn about new products and new ideas in the most varied ways we've ever known.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What 4 I go to the theatre

Since moving to LA I've seen very little theatre. In New York, I used to see 2 to 3 shows a week - on average. You'd think there'd be some withdrawl going on, but it's been so busy, I haven't missed it. Yet, I've found myself returning to plays to work on them and I'm still strongly drawn to the blogs of theatre lovers and the conversations they foster.

It got me thinking about why I started going to theatre in the first place.

The truth is, I've never gone for "entertainment." There's plenty of television and film that can do that for a lot less money. And often better.

Engagement, however, has been a much more powerful motivator when it comes to getting me into - and keeping me in - the theatre.

It comes in a lot of forms - laughter, anger, sorrow, horror, sympathy, sharp thought, pure bafflement, joy, mystery, beauty, scathing relevance, vigorous truthfulness, provocative ugliness, delightful whim, etc.

What makes it unique in theatre is that it's an experience you're living in at the same time the actors on stage are living in it.

So when Austin and Lee go at it in TRUE WEST, I'm not just watching it, I'm witnessing it. When Marion in Fornes's ABINGDON SQUARE awakens sexually, I feel it the way she does because I'm in the presence of it. When Mag burns her daughter's letter in the fire of THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, she relishes the sense of injustice and dismay and pity that she inflames in me and the rest of the audience just to see the flames go higher. When the hat parade happens in Churchill's FAR AWAY, I am completely disgusted and horrified by the juxtaposition of each hat's beauty against the brutal world that produces them.

It's what makes theatre dangerous and compulsive and terrific (in the archaic sense) - which it ALWAYS has to be for me if it's to be good.

I don't even have to like it when it finds this place and holds my attention - Mark Schultz's EVERYTHING WILL BE DIFFERENT was a play I couldn't stand even as I couldn't help but watch it.

Engagement dies the moment I ask the question, "What's the point?" (In some ways, the bitterness I feel when I find myself asking this question grows exponentionally with the quality of the production. The better it looks, the better it's acted, the funnier it is just for the sake of funny - the more I begin to hate it.)

Of course, engagement can die and come back several times in a show. And that's okay.

And I don't have to be able to easily sum up the point of a show to be completely immersed in it - in fact, sometimes when I thoroughly get it, I'm totally UN-engaged. Nice endings, sincere apologies, warm understanding, untruthful dialog, punning of ANY kind, schtick (unless we're talking improv), smugness, uber-coolness, arrogance are all other ways to ruin a perfectly nice time in the dark.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Single Woman

By Eleanor Robison - as told to Malachy Walsh
on 12/30/04

I think we’d only been going together about 5 months when R asked me. He didn’t get down on his knee, he asked me in the car. We’d been to dinner and then just, in the car, he asked me. There was nothing romantic about it whatsoever. I don’t know if we’d stopped, I have a feeling it was still so maybe we were stopped, maybe it was we were outside the house… and then he just kinda said, We’ve been going out together for quite a while and I’ve come to love you and I would really like to marry you – something like that. Just like that. Very simple.

As I’ve always said since, I don’t know if I really loved him or I just loved the idea of being married and especially to a minister.

It was very big news. We went over to a big congregational dinner and I was introduced as the minister’s fiancĂ©.

So I was going to get married and thought I should go to the doctor and get things checked over. It was right around Christmas and the doctor found this large growth in my abdominal area. He thought it was on like a fallopian tube or something so he really thought he had to get that thing out. But when he got in, he discovered it was a big fibroid tumor in the uterus and he took the uterus out. So I had a hysterectomy and all with absolutely no preparation for it.

I found out after when the doctor came in in that dizzy time, you know, when you’re coming out of the anaesthetic and you act like you’re understanding things but you can’t really… But I do know that he came and told me, the doctor… that he’d had to remove the uterus and that really upset me because I’d always wanted to have children. That was one of the things that…

So I knew I had to tell R right away, which I did when he came to visit.

He was wanting me to get better and heal up and everything and he came and visited two or three times and I really didn’t get much of an inkling of how it was going to be.

Then it was the day I got out of the hospital that I was at home and I was lying down on the sofa out in the living room and he said, he said… he said he wanted to pass along his mental abilities to someone on down the line and that that was something he should do. He said I was not a suitable vessel for his seed.

I took the ring off and handed it back to him and told him to leave. A day or two later he came back with all the gifts I’d ever given to him and gave them back to me and I guess then he told the people in his church about it – he just told them - and they learned I wasn’t able to have children and then they rose up, in fury basically, and said that was no reason and said they didn’t want him anymore and asked him to resign. They finally got the Presbytery – the next, higher part of our church government – involved and that’s what did it. He left the church. Left the town. Left the whole area.

Anyway, I didn’t give up on the idea of having a family and when it became legal for a single parent to adopt in 1969, I just decided to find a little baby. That’s really what I wanted. But when I didn’t have a lot of luck with the agencies, I talked to our minister - and family friend - BJ. Then, one evening, after a Presbytery meeting, BJ asked me to come to sit on a curb with him. He asked me if I was still serious about adopting a baby. I said "I sure was." He told me about a baby he'd seen at the Ashland Hospital that didn’t have a name.

We got back to Ashland on a Saturday and BJ went to the hospital to find out more about the baby. He called the doctor on the birth chart at home and told him about me. Monday, my mother and I went met with him. We talked to the doctor and after the interview he said the baby would be ours and I went to my lawyer, Sam Harris, and he started the paperwork with the birthmom.

By Friday, all the paperwork was done and Sam came to the house with the baby. He told me that everyone at the hospital was impressed with the fact that the little baby was red headed and that I was, too.

I don’t know if I have the right words to say how wonderful it was, to have her put right in my arms. I felt like it was just meant to be. She was mine. Now she was itty bitty because she was premature - a bare 5 pounds. She was very little. But she had good lungs.

I’ve been told it was the first ever single female parent adoption in Oregon and the third in the country, but I’m not sure I believe it.

Years later a friend ran into R somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico or some place. They said that he was married and that he had a wife who’d had a couple of kids from another man, but that he, himself, had never had any – and they, the people from the church, were so happy about that: he’d never got a chance to plant his seed anywhere.

I was 38.

Joy, Illinois.

Eleanor was born here. She came to Ashland, Oregon in the mid-50s to teach school - which she did for 38 years.

Downtown Ashland, Oregon today.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

It's a boy.

The test results are in. Due date: Aug 3. And I posted this photo of his mom just because I like it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Eleanor - Who knew you'd be a greater influence on my writing than Hemingway, Faulkner, Rushdie, Fornes, Shepard, Shakespeare or Bond and Churchill?

She is not very tall, but when she decides she wants to be heard, she uses a voice than no-one can overlook.

She’s humble to a fault though she’s often the smartest one in the room.

She has a true belief in God, but a tolerance that might make an atheist think twice about saying no to the town square Nativity scene.

She seems like the last person you’d ask to maneuver a big truck around, but she could slip an RV into a compact parking space outside the COSCO, no problem.

She used to drive the great all-American muscle car, the Mustang.

She’s stood on the Great Wall of China.

She remembers a Fourth of July in Joy, Illinois where the fireworks were wheeled onto the local school football field and set off so people in the bleachers could watch them from above.

She uses words like “jiminey” and “rattle-trap” and “who-gee-whatsits” and phrases like “I’ll take another wonk of cake.”

She was David Fincher’s first film teacher.

On Thursdays she gets into a bathing suit to do water aerobics.

Her name is Eleanor Robison.

She’s my mother-in-law.

And she has turned out to be a great influence on me in ways that are still surprising and amazing to me.

The first time I met Eleanor I had come to Ashland to be with her daughter for a week during a Grad school spring break.

It was early in the relationship, so I was anxious about what it might be like to meet her - evenmoreso with so much riding on it.

I knew Heather was worried, too, when she suggested we stay for the first night at a local hotel. In retrospect, we were all hedging out bets, but it was probably for the best because at least I got to be with Heather before anything new got introduced to our relationship.

When I finally did meet Eleanor, I immediately liked her. She had that rare quality of being wise and curious at once – of giving off the sense that she’d seen a lot of the world and was interested in seeing more.

That still didn’t make me think I could just get around the bases without care.

Maybe she saw that I knew that during our first meal. Or maybe she saw that I really loved her daughter.

I’m not sure.

But boy was I happy, when, as I washing dishes, she marched up to me and said, “Malachy, I approve of you.”

It’s led to many, many good things.

Like the video above that became the start of an unusual tv campaign that eventually wound up in MOMA.

I’ve even put her – or a character like her – in a play about people trying to make livings in the arts despite all the financial problems that brings.

Next, the story of how she and Heather found each other in the world – in her own words.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Theatre people seem resentful of this. Why?

Theatre is something I love. And it will always be there for me.

If I were a regularly produced playwright, I'd be there for theatre, more often.

But I'm not. And the few playwrights I know who are getting produced are usually found on their knees looking for money.

That's why I'm in LA, not NY (where the showcase code and real-estate mean a three person play can cost as much as $30,000 in a house that doesn't seat 50), and not SF (where there's no business to live on). It's also why I work in advertising.

So, this note from The Playgoer didn't surprise me. And shouldn't surprise anyone else.

If I ever do make a decent amount of money, one thing I'll definitely enjoy doing with it is putting together a theatre company and producing my work - and the work of my friends - as it should be made.

The good thing about LA is that, here, not only do I think I can have kids, but I think I can put up some of that theatre even WITHOUT a decent amount of money.


Just finished watching the entire Dexter season.

I don't think I've had a better time with a first season since The Sopranos.

Dexter is particularly, powerfully delicious in its depiction of a character addicted to murder and who - through pretending to be human - eventually becomes more human. A human who kills, that is.

He reminds me very much of people in AA who build secret lives around drinking and drugs and sex but appear to function normally in the world.

Best new show all around (acting/writing/direction) on "TV."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The TV Spec Script: 5 - done

10 weeks ago I walked into a classroom without an iota of an idea about writing a TV spec. Oh, sure, I'd read a couple, but when the teacher/professor asked which of us did not have an "industry standard outline", I was the only dummy honest enough to say I didn't.

It may have been the moment that the teacher became cold to me.

Or maybe it was an hour later when I said I was a playwright and working copywriter and that I'd drop the class in three weeks if I didn't have an outline that was passable by his standards.

After that, I never fit in. Perhaps with a baby on the way and a dwindling bank account, I expect too much. Need too much and I should just do the easy thing...

Which, when I think of it, was very very hard to break into as well.

However, outside of giving me deadlines and pointing out typos and getting a tutorial on how to use Final Draft, there was very little help about story until way late in the "semester" - and even then it was prompted by my own pushing, which in turn was prompted by questions my excellent writer friend Ross Berger posed after he read the script.

Still, I have to hand it to the teacher. He did read the work. I just feel we may have all learned more had we all read each other's scripts out loud. But if I were king, of course, the trains would never get where they were supposed to - much less be on time.

When asked where I thought the script was, I replied that I thought that was for others to say.

I should've just said, It's done. And time to write another one.

And it is.

But with so many spec TV scripts out there, I think I'll write a pilot this time.

However, if anyone asks me if I've ever written a pilot before, I'll sadly lie through my teeth and say, yes, many many times.

And I've also won the Nobel Peace Prize. Humbly, of course.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sorkin's Farnsworth Invention

Went down to the La Jolla Playhouse this weekend to see THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION by Aaron Sorkin.

While the play's style with its heavy narrative spine isn't my cup of tea, Sorkin isn't exactly slumming it either. He started in theatre with A FEW GOOD MEN for which he was given a TONY.

The play's plot is all about the invention of television.

The theme is all about What's better for humankind, sharing information or owning and exploiting it? Interestingly the character with the most narrative responsibilities, William Sarnoff, played terrifically by Stephen Lang, is also the villain. He tries to have it both ways - make TV a personal trust and make money off it. You can guess which wins.

Philo Farnsworth (a great Jimmi Simpson) is much more noble. But he's also destroyed before he can show us whether or not he has a greedy side.

Advertising and commercialism both take pretty big hits, which seems disingenuous since commericial television has made Sorkin rich, but the subjects were clearly an interesting and important part of figuring out how television was going to work.

Sorkin is very erudite and witty. And he's able to keep the material light and thoughtful through-out - which you'd expect.

My guess is New York will be able to weigh in on this one shortly.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Trouble with Looking for Work

The table during the day.

Lately, I've been freelancing. From home.

This means that I'm doing everything from our big table - cold calling, producing radio, rewriting copy and doing conference calls - while Heather is in the house.

Theoretically, this should be fine, but occasionally, as happened today, she'll ask me question like, "What would you like for dinner?" and I'm in the middle of doing something else - editing, whatever.

At the moment, I'm not interested in being pampered.

So my answer is a little petulant. And non-committal: I don't know. What do you want?

Today, she interpreted it as resentment that she hasn't found work. She's worried about people not calling her back. She's feeling trapped by the apartment. By our always narrow circumstances. By her pregnancy - our pregnancy.

Of course, I don't mean to do this. I'm stressed out too. About all the same things. And my answer isn't to place my energy where she does - but elsewhere. Which is easier for me since I'm a writer. I can write whether or not someone hires me. I can always work on the script a little longer, a little harder.

Acting isn't so easy. And even less so when you're pregnant.

Last night, we played tennis and went for a drive along Mulholland. But we can't do that every night.

What to do... What to do.... besides give up and become a lawyer.

No one said it would be easy, but it's these little stubs that worry me the most.

At night.

ps. this is amazingly COOL.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


She makes me read poetry to her pregnant belly.

And I count her freckles when she sleeps at night.

Jigsaw Nation

I realize some of us think that theatre should be a hammer of leftist thought, but I don't. In fact, I think it's one of the reasons most people are not interested in theatre - they expect that it will not only be boring, but that it will lecture them on what to think while simultaneously telling them that they're dumb if they don't understand what they're seeing.

Unfortunately, these expectations are all too often fulfilled.

And since there's very little in theatre right now -- {at the always unnamed "institutions" of "homogeny" (someone else's idea, not mine) or in the churches that are apparently now considered theatre in the same sense that the Lincoln Center is (again, someone else's idea, not mine)} -- with truly revelatory, revolutionary or even mildly incisive weight on it, there's almost no reward for going to theatre at all.

Worse, theatre seems to have lost its status as a place to explore, fail, explore again. Shows are now considered products that are either digestable and likeable and ready to be forgotten -- or they're tossed aside, where they're also forgotten.

Which is why I got involved in JIGSAW NATION. I saw it as an honest process-oriented effort to bring new voices to the stage - not just the one's we're used to hearing in shows like STUFF HAPPENS.

If you're around, check it out. Even if stylistically it isn't for you, you might still get something out of meeting people who name their kids after conservative presidents while others work coffee carts at 50th and 3rd after fleeing Iraq.

The pr clip is below.


What does "American" mean to you? Relentless Theatre Company sets out to document the thoughts and feelings of citizens across the U.S. in a new, traveling theater piece, "Jigsaw Nation." A series of overlapping monologues culled from hours of man-on-the-street interviews, Jigsaw Nation comes to Costa Mesa, California at the invitation of South Coast Repertory for two free performances on March 16 and 17 at 8 pm.

In Costa Mesa, the writers and actors continue their quest to craft a rich tapestry of stories that reflects the American experience. Originally produced in 2005 as a workshop for the New York International Fringe Festival, "Jigsaw Nation" re-opened for a series of performances on New York's Ellis Island, and recently completed a stop at Minneapolis's Mixed Blood Theatre. Each step of the way, the company brings on local actors and spends two-to-three weeks in the community conducting new interviews to add to the already-existing script. Next destination after Costa Mesa: Louisville, Kentucky as the guest of Actors' Theatre of Louisville.

The New York Sun wrote, "Jigsaw Nation draws its considerable power from the startling immediacy of real people's speech. As the five simply dressed actors turn from veteran to teenager, immigrant to red stater, the script's uncanny ability to deliver the original voices intact makes the characters crackle with life."

The Relentless Theatre Company (RTC) founded in Los Angeles in 1994 by Honegger and Rachel Malkenhorst is committed to exploring various characteristics of the American experience. From 1996 -2003, RTC presented critically acclaimed productions, and was hailed as "L.A.'s most relentlessly gritty company" by the Los Angeles Times, "A group of first-rate artists" by Drama-Logue, "Always adventurous" by Back Stage West, and "One of the finest and most committed theatrical companies in all of Los Angeles" by Entertainment Today. In 2003, RTC relocated to New York where it has since presented Shelia Callaghan's The Hunger Waltz at the Manhattan Ensemble Theatre, Malachy Walsh's The Chair as part of the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival (Overall Excellence Award for Playwriting) and Suzanne Bradbeer's The Sleeping Girl at The Peter Jay Sharp Theatre on Theatre Row.

Two performances of Jigsaw Nation take place on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 at 8 pm. Admission is free to the public; reservations are not necessary.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Velvet Bark

My brother Pete was in LA this weekend for an opening at Infusion Gallery that featured some of his art.

He's been working in color fields lately and his work has a texture in person that's like velvet bark.

He says that he wants people to come up to his paintings and feel the surface with their hands.

When I lived in Europe I remember my artist friends insisting that Americans couldn't understand painting because the only way they saw most work was through 2-d reproductions in books.

My brother's paintings seem to second the demand that art can only really be experienced when you're in the same room with it.

And touching it.

It was a great show.

Friday, March 09, 2007

LACMA - cropped

Went to LACMA today.

Among these cropped images are arguments that contradict notions that art should be "nice" and "pretty" and "like-able" and, even, "comprehensible."

Not news. But nice to hear from a few artists who know.


Jason Grote recently wrote a post about the issues he's been struggling with regarding the press, audience and production in NY. In the comments section, an interesting little piece about the "live-ness" of theatre has broken out.

It's something Isaac has discussed over at Parabasis - and something we've all (people in theatre, I mean) have pondered over and debated while wolfing down coffee and pie at the Westway Diner at one time or another.

Several years ago, I noted it in a response to an article in the Times about the the state of theatre. In it, several well-known playwrights suggested that whatever the state of theatre might be, it might also be irrelevant.

Here was my response:

To the Editor:

Re ''In Times Like These'' by Kenneth Lonergan, Arthur Miller and Wendy Wasserstein [Feb. 23]:

Certainly, there's nothing like the power of human beings assembled in a room to witness a work of art as the artists create it. In times when people want to keep us separated, that in itself can be a political act. But there's also something that goes deeper. In the dark, in the moment when something happens on stage and radiates out, actors, writers, directors, technicians and audience merge in a celebration of ''aliveness'' that other arts can only suggest.

At a time when both our leaders and our enemies consider killing a means to their ends, could anything matter more?


The letter was published in 2003.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My life...

Working on a play that's being developed at South Coast.

Writing radio for a client in Orange County.

Writing television spots for an agency in NY.

Rewriting a TV spec.

Rewriting a play for a workshop at PCPA.

Thinking about producing DRESSING THE GIRL.

Entertaining my brother Peter who's here for an art gallery opening of his work in downtown LA.

Trying to stay sober.

Interested in going to La Jolla to see the latest Aaron Sorkin play.

Being pregnant. Or rather, being the male half of being pregnant.

Pretending that this blog entry is not a repeat of the one before because it's a list instead of something more directly narrative.

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.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Anachey in the UK (sic)

This is how I want to feel when I leave the theatre. ON FIRE with such enthusiasm for what I just saw that I'm trying to repeat it for myself. The kind of passion that inspired these two to make a video like this.

The kid with the flyswatter, the tenement in the background, the schoolboy shirts.

Yeah. Anachey - like the way the kids spelled it.