To interact with other humans after a play of yours is read to have a bunch of people watch you, for two hours, naked, try and put a bathing suit on that’s two sizes two small, and then try and make conversation with them. You feel vulnerable and important and weird, and everything that everyone says to you feels like it’s layered with subtext. The nicest of compliment can feel like a vicious attack on the weird parts of your body. You are at once grateful and ashamed. And after my reading yesterday, I felt MORE BRAINDEAD AND INARTICULATE THAN I HAVE EVER FELT, overwhelmed and mushed with thought, and found myself completely incapable of communicating with other humans. Ex:
NICE PERSON: Congrats on the reading!
NICE PERSON: How’d you think it went?
NICE PERSON: What?
ME: Rubber bands are cool! I hear South Carolina is nice this time of year!
To avoid such future disasters, I am going to compile a list of stock post-reading responses to questions and remarks. Playwrights, take note.
– Thank you! THANK YOU. You chose to come and sit in a dark room for two hours and hear what I wrote. Thank you.
– The actors read the words good.
– I wrote that!
-I have some questions and also some thoughts.
– Yes, It was incredibly helpful.
– Some parts were good and some parts were not good. I think I’m going to keep the good parts and get rid of the parts that were not as good.
– HEY LOOK OVER THERE, A BIRD (Playwright runs away, playwright can’t run good in nice shoes, playwright falls into heat lamp)
– I don’t know what I think. What do YOU think?
– TELL ME WHAT I THINK. I have no thoughts right now, could I borrow some of yours?