by Anthony Clarvoe
Playwright and NPI Instructor
|CELLO by Anthony Clarvoe for |
Bay Area One Acts Festival.
Produced by Playwrights Foundation
Pictured (l-r) El Beh, Maria Giere
Marquis, Cooper Carlson.
Right about now you may be saying to yourself, “I was thinking I might take a class. But these dramatic paragons don’t sound much like little old me. I bet I wouldn’t fit in very well. I’d probably make an ass of myself.”
|GIZMO by Anthony Clarvoe|
Produced by Penn State Center Stage
Pictured (l-r) Erik Raymond Johnson,
and Timothy Riley.
When I first asked this question, it was with the hope of learning what technical challenges the playwrights were facing, what dramaturgical issues they were struggling with, and in general how to help them develop aspects of their craft.
A few, of course, do have questions like that. More of them point out that their busy lives place demands on their time and energy that make it hard for them to write.
But the following responses are verbatim, and are by far the most typical:
“Fear that I won’t have anything to say.”
“The story doesn’t seem to be unfolding on paper quite like it is in my head. Then I get frustrated and stop.”
“Fear that it’s all pointless since I’m not that good anyway and I might as well watch TV.”
“My idea is lame.”
“Fear of not being honest; fear of being inauthentic or disingenuous.”
“I am most afraid of writing when I think, ‘What’s the use? You are not talented and have nothing new to tell the world.’”
And as everyone hears everyone else’s terrible lonely fear, they start by glancing curiously at each other, then they start nodding in recognition, then they start laughing, and by the end that big table feels a lot like a boat, the same boat that we are all in together. And off we go.
If you are ever afraid you’re untalented, uninteresting, and unoriginal? Congratulations. From what I’ve seen, that’s a pretty sure sign that you’re a wildly talented writer with a play just bursting to find its way into the world. And I’ll say what I tell other people like you:
I look forward to seeing you in class.
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