In 4 short days, my play will be on a stage, with actors, in front of an audience. It’s taken 8 years to get to this place. It’s been an exercise in patience. It started as an exercise in writing at CSU Summer Arts in 2004. It started with a character named Lydia. Then Caroline emerged in another writing exercise. Lydia evolved into Lavinnea, Caroline’s mother. The funeral scene was the first scene written of this play. There were scenes written, patched together and called a play. It was read publicly at the University Heights Arts Festival in 2006?? in the Diversionary Space. My friend Anthony read Lavinnea. The audience, art walk patrons, laughed. My friend John, a retired writer, told me to pay attention to that. This was unpolished. They laughed. A lot. I tried to rewrite. I should mention now that the Summer Arts workshop was my first exploration in depth at playwriting beyond my one introduction to playwriting class at UCSD. A second draft was written. Bad execution of play and reading. Killing off a major character didn’t work. Play went into hiding. Kept writing. The girls kept coming back to haunt me. John kept bugging me. Last November he called, cancer came back. Last January, he produced a staged reading, this time at Twiggs, this time he heard some new stuff before he left us all. It has now evolved into around 90 pages (we keep cutting stuff out of the play so I’m guessing at this point.) You all get to see it Friday.
Venturing from the couch
So the new year brought many things. I had the wonderful opportunity to be on the stage again for a too short venture but it gave me the wonderful gift of inspiration and gratitude. Gratitude that it reignited that desire. I found myself in a process that looked like this: 4 days on, 3 days off, 7 days straight of rehearsal into performance. I found myself going to the theatre every day thinking “I really just want to do this, all the time.”
But the other thing the new year brought was this cold/flu/whatever it is make it go away thing. Literally Jan 1st, I was outside at a party making a vision board and when it got cold, my throat got sore. Had to go straight into tech and opening, got better but still had this nasty cough, that didn’t really go away after we closed, migrated into an ear infection and is now a sinus thing with a cough. It’s January 23rd, and it’s time for you to go. I have armed myself with a neti pot and plenty of tea. But what this thing brought was how to care for myself better. How to slow down and do what’s necessary and not everything else on the list. Including a yoga practice. Down dog with an ear infection, oh not so much. But meditation, breathing, with or without the nose, that’s what’s available. And funny, most of the philosophy has nothing to do with a physical asana practice anyway. So today, I actually did a light practice before teaching, and returned to the couch.
Speaking of the couch, my friends in the Pacific Northwest are still shoveling their way out of their snowstorm. My mom took pictures and sent them to me. I love snow. Everything about it. If I had my wish, I’d spend about a week just hanging out and watching the snow fall. And then I’d venture quickly back to San Diego and the warmth (or current lack thereof). An interesting way this year has started, I guess it’s time to slow down and enjoy the ride.