An End, a Beginning.

So… I’ve finished. On Friday I handed in my thesis – my first full-length play, and an accompanying 6000 word analysis. Big thanks to Lucy, and other friends/family for helping with the proof-reading. I’m so terrible with semi-colons, I like them, they look nice, so I do tend to just sort of sprinkle them around in the hope that some hit the mark. Needless to say, very few do. So it was very useful to have an English graduate’s eye over it. The final document was 154 pages long, and (after a small panic typing up and printing a cover sheet I’d completely forgotten) it was bound, then handed in. Done.

I hate deadlines. I love doing the work- but I hate the stress leading up to them, and I hate the ‘petit mort‘ you feel afterwards, the strange anti-climax, the emptiness after your life has previously been so full.

I’m such a workaholic.

So… What now? Well I have plans (of course I do) I am writing a short 3/4 hander– just one act to get myself back into it, and to send off to smaller companies. I’m sending off about 20 copies of the third draft of Being Someone Else to as many producing houses that accept unsolicited scripts that I can find. I am going to develop an idea for a radio play, and take it with Bird Woman to the

BBC in the hope that they might be interested in developing something with me. In November I am going to have break from stage writing and flex my under-developed prose muscles with the NaNoWriMo project – something which I am definitely going to enjoy because i can do prolific, and I have an urge to write a decent fantasy/scifi novel with a credible and likable female protagonist (think Neverwhere, but with Door as protagonist, crossed with Hunter, but with Richard Mayhew’s incompetency).

I am generally, getting quite (read very) down about the whole making a career out of this thing- a few things have looked hopeful and then turned out to be nothing, and it’s left me feeling a bit invisible, no one in the scene has really heard of me… But hopefully all this action will change that, so, positive outlook and all!

In other news, read this, be disgusted, and get writing. Comment sections on popular blogs always get me down, youtube comments particularly, are apparently the place where the lowest kind of humanity like to hang out. EG – Rare recording of Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit followed by so much racist abuse you wouldn’t believe. Not sure if it’s been deleted now, and people do defend, but ugh, just ugh. Anyway, one ‘commenter’ suggested the age old idea that only ‘good’ pieces get chosen and put on, and there’s no helping the fact only men write ‘good’ pieces. The point is that as long as theatres are run by majority men, and pieces are read by men, and only ‘male’ pieces get on, our understanding of ‘good’ is very one sided- people are naturally selfish, when they identify with a story it is considered ‘good’ – so if only white, male, middle class ever read submissions, largely pieces by people of the same ilk will make it through. Likewise, as long as as a canonical ‘good’ play is male experience driven, and written in what some might see (I have no room for that debate) ‘male’ way, and men are critics too, how can female playwrights break through? I know several women playwrights who use male pseudonyms for certain type of work, one comedy (considered a definite male preserve) about a guy coming to terms with being gay on his wedding day was sent off with a female name, and then as a male, many more offers for the male! This is by no means an exhaustive scientific experiment… just a rebuttal I can’t bear to put on the Guardian post because commenting there depresses me so.

And also, talking of depressing – interesting and depressing articles always to be found on The F Word, this particularly caught my eye recently, put me in mind of when someone said to me ‘you wear an awful lot of make up for a feminist’ (for the record, I wear foundation, mascara, occasionally eyeliner and a bit of lip balm, though more when I go out, I like dark eyes!). That really confused me, it came from a proclaimed feminist too, doubly confusing. It made me feel guilty for a second or two, about wearing heels, or nice underwear, or occasionally letting a guy open a door for me (actually that does piss me off, if I’m not struggling, but meh). The thing is, I really do think that there are bigger things to worry about. It’s a war out there, and we can’t fight it all, so how about I just pick my own battles, and you pick yours? yes.

Talking of battles, Sarah Palin Sexism Watch (now on entry #4 over at Shakesville) very distressing. And to re-iterate what many feminist blogs have been saying “We defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we endorse her or her politics, but because that’s how feminism works“. Amen Motherfucker. She’s a terrible person and her politics are appalling, but just as appalling is the game that’s being played with her sex (and not to say she isn’t taking part herself) ugh. just ugh.

Finally, do note that this is now a proper blog- I got annoyed at trying to work out other stuff so I just sort of blended my old blog into the website. Likewise I have also renovated the Painting and Drawing section- so it’s reasonably usable, check it out.

Anyway, yes, I must get going, plays to print out and envelopes to stuff etc. Thanks for reading.

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One Response to “An End, a Beginning.”

  1. Lucy Ann Wade September 17, 2008 at 3:19 am #

    Thanks for the thanks!

    Great blog post, glad you’ve decided to make it a “proper” blog now.

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