We just finished the third week of rehearsals and I'm teetering on the edge of a cautious thrill. I'm still tweaking, pondering, adjusting. This story is a bit of a puzzle that will (hopefully) read like a solid, seamless structure come opening night. My director is great. The cast is brilliant. Everyone is committed to the process and the project. I'm very fortunate.
Creating art is such a peculiar practice. The brain is split into several pieces and assigned specific tasks. One piece is in charge of stifling the ego. Another section has to remain as unaware as an audience member who watches the play with no idea what to expect or the context. There's a brain piece that keeps the insecurities quiet. There's a section that asks, "Is this what I mean to say? Can it be clearer, better, stronger, weirder, sillier, raunchier...." The heart remains in the center of everything to ensure the brain holds on to the passion and the joy and the mystery of it all.
I work on this piece in the shadow of Steve Jobs' passing as well as the much-too-soon passing of a college friend of mine. Both of these fellas lived the life they chose to live and did so to the complete fullest. Both of them sought to make a difference in significant ways. Both of them left a profound impact.
I'm working on this piece in the shadow of these two men.
MAN in LOVE is one of several plays that I will write. The current production is one of many (knock on wood) that I will be apart of. However the goals remain the same: tell a good story, use the apparatus of live theater, love Black folk, generate conversation and thought, put in the work, and have fun.
In the shadow I now add: no fear, live a full life, maintain an open heart.
I feel way more at peace. Don't get me wrong: the typical playwright anxiety is in full effect, but my core is sturdier and more resilient. That's a good place to be.