No one but could ever say I had a career in the theater, even though I spent several years in New York studying with Herbert Berghof, Bill Hickey, Lee Strasberg, Allan Miller, also appearing in strange little venues, where the director would come back and say, “Tonight we’re doing one for ourselves, kids!” That was because there was more of us on stage than in the audience. Still once, someone came up to me at concert at Cooper Union and told me they had enjoyed me in a play I had been in, so you never know.
But anyway, this weekend I had a taste of being on stage again, as I volunteered to help my friend Stephanie with a festival of play-readings she produced (including two of her own) which benefitted the WGA Support Fund helping non-writers who were affected by the strike. I thought it would be just narrating the stage directions in one or two plays, but it turned out to be all six of them, both days, all day starting with rehearsals in the morning. Geez, I forgot how tired you can get just sitting talking. But the plays were fun and serious and poignant and poetic. People who didn’t see it and didn’t know about it missed a great weekend of theater. How often does a complete unknown get to share the stage with Ed Asner, Keith Carradine, Ralph Waite, Frances Fisher, Melanie Mayron and Fran Drescher. It made me want to write something theatrical, as well as getting back into my novel.
Oh lord, I’m running out of excuses as to why I’m not writing. Discipline, self-discipline, strict daily discipline. It doesn’t count if you only think about writing, only if you sit down and write. Janet Fitch always told us it was a muscle which needed to be exercised every day. So I’m off to write. You too, I hope.