Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Loss For Words

Recently I've found myself in a bit of a pickle.  The Bay Area is filled with its surprises, and I'm sure many cities I could have chosen would have their own particular pitfalls.  Having recently had my laptop burglarized ...burglarized? Burgled sounds funnier.  Let's go with burgled.  Having recently had my laptop burgled from my bedroom, and with my roommates unable to explain how it happened (or that their story is incredibly filled with holes) I've discovered a few things.  Isn't that funny?  In the absence of some things, you gain others - in this case, knowledge.

#1 Suspect
First things first, I have to make it known that this laptop I used for writing.  That means many papers from college, resumes, photos, select readings, music, movies, and even my plays that I was working on are all now missing, as well.  Kaput.  Finito.  Gone.  ...This happened about three weeks ago, and even now I realize that it also had my headshots on there, so there goes any chance of me becoming a famous actor while I'm out here... looks like I'll just have to be spotted on the street and told "hey, kid, you got what it takes!"


(More after the jump)

Anyway, to the point.  My plays.  My screenplays.  All gone.  I think.  I thought, anyway.   Fortunately, it's been so long since I've written a screenplay that they're all backed up, back in New Jersey.  My plays though... they were all done recently.  Some thief is stealing my GENIUS unfinished first drafts and is going to make MILLIONS.  Fortunately, I have good friends whom I trust, and I send PDF files of my most recent additions, and ask for opinions along the way.  I got my two half-way done drafts back and only needed to copy and paste them into my program and adjust the formatting when I got a computer.  This same friend also happened to have an old laptop lying around that could just about handle my usage... save for the 35 gigs of music I lost with my Macbook.  Damn you burglars.

For that time, though, where I didn't know just how it was going to be, I was devastated.  I thought I'd never be able to write again, especially not if I had those stories still bouncing in my head.  I was at a loss for words, for quite some time.  But if I'd learned anything from my Zen Buddhist teachings, to not let it get to me.  The world moves on.

It's s valuable part of writing, and as an artist in general.  You don't learn about the world reading about it in books, and you don't grow as an artist staying in one place.  I can't say I think things happen for a reason, but I know that them happening has given reason to do more.  Now, I have more to write about because of the ideas I have spawned from my experiences here, and while I look for internships and apprenticeships around the country (after this one ends, of course), I am excited to see how my art grows and evolves.  Someone said to me recently that they never really had an imagination growing up, and that's why she isn't very artistic.

Everyone has an imagination, and everyone has art, and everyone has words.  It's just a matter of finding the conduit.  I filled the void when I didn't have the ability to write my plays (which, by the way you don't need software for, I was being incredibly stubborn) by writing songs, painting, and drawing.  Now that I feel comfortable to give my plays some more work, I feel like my characters will have much more to say this time around.

People will try to take them from you, without even realizing it, but you always have your words.  Remember that, world.


Vinny is an intern at Playwrights Foundation.  If you'd like to find your conduit and explore your words, sign up for Anthony Clarvoe's "FULL TILT TO THE FINISH LINE, Writing a Successful Full Length Play."  The class runs from March 2 to May 11, 2011!

1 comment:

Vincent H. O'Neil said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your laptop, but it has an odd coincidence with a major plot line in my new, theater-based mystery novel DEATH TROUPE. In DEATH TROUPE the troupe's playwright takes up residence in that year's host town and writes a mystery play based on the locale. The town's residents are constantly try to trick him into revealing what he's writing, so the playwright has to take special care to protect his laptop. I've posted the first chapter on my website,, and I hope you like it.