One of the hardest things about being a playwright is that specific moment when people show up to see what you've written.
It takes you from that [safe, cozy] time of writing THE most hilarious, THE most witty, and THE most crazy life-changing character interactions...
...To that [scary, cold] public forum where you suddenly realize you've written THE most trite, THE most confusing, and THE most lengthy diatribe concerning exactly nothing...
And you wonder why you left your house. I mean- there, everyone thinks you're a genius who knows exactly how grilled cheeses should be sectioned. In fact, right about the time the second act should be starting (if you weren't such a moronic, overly indulged dialogue-penner- I mean, really: a main character not being introduced until forty-five minutes in??) you'd be in your jammies, in bed, with Murdoch Mysteries streaming on Netflix. And not even one person would be questioning your narrative or use of slang.
You watch people watching your show. And you kind of hate them. Just a little. Because you know they're not getting what you had originally intended this show to be about. It's not their fault, but they don't even know that THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW.
You feel more than a little naked. And tired. And you really wish you had been there for bedtime tuck-ins.
And then it ends. But the talk back session starts. And people have questions. And you smile and nod and drink your vodka tonic and do your darndest to pretend that every single critique isn't a fork tine to the eyeball. (There's the occasional bit of praise, too, but that's dismissed as the ramblings of an audience plant who knows your predilection for eyeball-forking.)
So you go home. And relive every single moment- onstage and off- to your tolerant husband. He cautiously points out that it sounds- on paper- like a successful reading series? Maybe? Yes?
You admit to him that someone may have called your narrative arc "Shakespearean."
He gently agrees with you. If that's what you want to hear. If not, he doesn't.
You take the next week to recover, feeling much like a bachelorette hydrating after a lost weekend. And you find yourself- surprisingly- finding moments that you can't wait to edit into your new draft. Because obviously there has to be a new draft. In fact, you know what? You could probably squeeze in a few minutes right now to change that scene that's been bugging you since Thursday evening at 8pm.
Oh man, it's going to be so good. It'll make so much sense. You feel smart and purposeful and creative and [slightly] more rested. But you will never forgive the dude who nodded off in the front row.
Because- why does he hate art?