Friday, October 8, 2010

I Am My Own Mentor, A True Story


So there I was, a hopeful young and aspiring Bay Area theater person, yearning to know how to write plays that people would want to put on and come see. 

To have a career doing that, this was my dream.  Playwrights were my heroes.  I’d studied the hero’s journey.  I’d seen STAR WARS a bunch of times.  Where was my Obi-Wan?  Who would be my Yoda?  I went looking for mentors.

My thesis advisor said, “Have you considered modelling?”

That famous playwright, the cowboy one, said, (insert charming drawl here) “You look too young to be writin’ a thesis ‘bout anything.”

That famous drama critic, the Theatre of the Absurd one, said, (insert Germanic accent here) “I don’t see how a play on ziss topic could possibly be interesting.”

My boss said, “You sure are putting a lot of stock in this whole Mentor thing.”

So I had to figure it out for myself.  And I guess I did.  I Am My Own Mentor.  But it took many years, and many miles, and much trial and error.

I left the Bay Area a Promising Young Playwright.  Now I’m back, and I’ve been getting a lovely, gratifying welcome.  As if I were some kind of wily old veteran.  The Playwrights Foundation has suggested I might like to teach some classes, talk to some newer writers, be a, what would you call it? 

Well, all I’ve got to say is (insert Alec Guinness accent here):

“Obi-Wan?  Now, that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time.  Long time.”

Yours truly,

Anthony Clarvoe

Anthony's Class Training for the Marathon, Or, Full Tilt to the Finish Line, Writing a Successful Full-Length Play takes place at Playwrights Foundation's New Play Insitute Nov. 3-Jan 26. Early Bird Discount through October 15. Class is filling quickly!  Click here for more information and to register!

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