Today was a blast. A total blast. In a rare blast-from-the-past type moment, I got to spend the day ACTING, something I haven't done in kind of a while. Every time I act, I sort of figure it's the last time I'll ever act, and then life proves me wrong. Life is kind of marvelous that way.
I used to want to be an actor. I did it in college, but I went to an insane, liberal, quaker, crazy college that did all sorts of strange, interesting, fabulous shows that made it very easy and fun to be an actor. (Stuff like this, and this and this). When I got out of school, two things happened.
First, in the interest of earning money and like, having an apartment and junk, I stopped doing theater. For a bit. No acting, no playwriting. I found that while I really missed acting, I couldn't live without playwrighting. UGH, it's puke-a-licious to type something as earnest as that, but it was the plain truth.
Second, I realized how hard actors have it.
You actors have it really, really, really hard! You work hard as hell, you spend 99% of your time auditioning, usually in direct competition with 50 other people who are just as great and just as anxious to work, and then, when you do land roles, you're charged with executing a play or a show that, you know, you didn't come up with! A vision that's not your own. You have lines to memorize and blocking and all that crap. And at the end of a day a director can look at all your hard work and pronounce it "not good enough" or "not there yet" or "not the right direction."
And so you do it again. And you work even harder. And you make very little money and you often have very little stability. It's a hard fucking life. So I just want to take this moment, on behalf of all the writers out there, to thank you actors for everything you do. I have been so fucking blown away by New York City actors. You're all so damn talented and nice and beautiful to look at. It's inspiring to work with you, to write for you and to watch you bring my crap to life. I once had a teacher who said you should always write plays FOR specific actors. Ideally ones you have crushes on. That's not hard. I am in love with all of you - with your talent and your energy and your enthusiasm.
To get to work among you, as an actor today, was totally delightful. It felt so cool to be "in the trenches" with "real" actors. It was like being a kid who gets to stay up real late because mom and dad aren't home. So thank you, and thank you to Jacqui Friedman, the incredible playwright (with a much more professional website than mine!) who wrote the truly badass play Cosmo Girls that I got to read in today. Jacqui developed the play in a class I shared with her at Tisch, so I sort of snuck in at the beginning reading the role I read today in class workshops. I think I read it so loudly and claimed it so instantly that I sort of left her no choice but to cast me today. Lucky me. What fun I had. It is amazing to be a part of a community so alive as the New York Theater scene.