Occasionally it's difficult to mark my artistic growth.
What makes it difficult?
Well writing plays culminates in productions. Seeing the piece on its feet with the design in front of an audience is THE way I know if the thing works how I intend for it to work. If the play doesn't get to that point, it remains in a kind of limbo. (I realize I'm being dramatic, but making drama CALLS for a bit of drama, ya dig?) A production isn't an accessory or decoration--it's a pillar. I've been fortunate enough to have a few productions--be them full fledge or workshops. And I feel myself get "better" each time. I feel the play grow, breathe, LIVE. I have a better understanding of what I try to accomplish with the work--thematically as well as artistically. And that understanding allows me to articulate it to my audience and my collaborators.
Unfortunately, productions aren't easy to come by. There are more plays than slots--good & great plays will probably never make the cut. And the slots I'm referring to are very particular--regional theaters, off-broadway, broadway. I know there are several opportunities within various communities. But, for better or worse, the holy grail consists of a handful of theaters--that's what makes 'em holy, right?
Do I strive for the holy grail? Well I strive to see the work produced in a fabulous way. I strive for the work to reach the audience. I want the words to be heard. The images to be seen. The play's integrity to remain intact. (Getting paid for it is essential, but that's another conversation). If those goals are met, the details of venue don't matter so much.
"How to Feel Miserable as an Artist" has been floating around the internet for awhile, but the lessons remain fresh and true. I love it, because it manages to affirm the elements required to be a HAPPY artist. Those affirmations can be universal as well as personal.