#19 - IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT! - March 10, 2017
Probably my most profound insight about my writing came the day I realized that my play writing doesn't have to be perfect. I can make my play perfect or better when working with actors in rehearsal. So I can write and write and write now with very little judgement during the writing process for I know I will be working with actors on my play in rehearsal.
Yes, I still do the "write write write sleep on it and then edit" strategy I have talked about in previous Playwriting Blog entries, but even when I edit, I do it quickly, more for grammar and syntax, vs. "I MUST WRITE THE PERFECT PLAY" for I know most of the streamlining of my lines and the play will happen in rehearsal.
Now not all of us have this opportunity. I am blessed to have this theatre here on 45th St in Midtown Manhattan for I can easily bring my work to life. So what do you do if you don't have your own theatre?
Bring your play to life in your living room!
Get some friends to come and read your play in your living room, and then rehearse with them for a bit, and then cook them dinner. You will have the amazing opportunity to hear your words, matched with the beginnings of the characters intentions, and it will blow your mind!
As I have said before... A play is really just a script, until it is embodied by actors and developed and staged. Yet so many playwrights spend literally years "perfecting" their plays, when they could easily save decades of time by working on their plays with actors, either in rehearsal, or in their living room.
So I write very fast. I don't really "worry" about the final script until I work with actors, for I know it is going to change once the actors get their hands on it. I do make sure my STORY is compelling, or funny or whatever the play's intention is, but I don't worry about the lines now. I do that later.
It is freedom and magic.
Actors will change your writing. They will make you see things you never saw in your two dimensional script. If you are a serious playwright, you must get away from "Perfecting your Play" in front of a computer screen, and start working with actors to take your writing to the next level. Make it fun, make it a social event, and bring your play to life, even if is only in your living room. You will learn so so much.