Friday, 22 July 2011

Selling myself

Writers write.

Writers who write for performance obviously can't and don't work in isolation. It's a collaborative medium and I love that part of the process. Watching a script of mine go from page, through a director's head and into an actors' body, is like watching an incredible metamorphosis.

Sometimes I write things that suggest they should be short stories or novels (though there's rarely a voice suggesting I finish those novels, dammit), and there's a lot of creative satisfaction in writing prose that is entirely mine. From my fingers to the page. From the page to the readers' eyes. Still incredible.

I still hide behind "writers write", though. Even though, as an independant theatre maker, I am used to finding actors to do readings, finding directors to give me feedback, and pitching to producers/production managers (read: usually friends) to get work off the ground. But there are still times when I feel like actors, directors and producers sell our product better than I ever could.

And, perhaps, in a finished product, the paying public would prefer to hear from the men or women on stage - convincing them to come along to the show. But long before a show is in previews, it's in pre-production and development. And I still find it difficult to talk my stuff up.

Happily, I am surrounded by lots of supportive people - collaborators at nearly every stage of my process. Even now, as we work on getting Three Women ready for November, and I develop the script with the actors, I am still deluding myself into thinking that my actors can sell the show better than I can. (And, you know what? That may not just be delusion; the actors I know are more vociferous than the writers I know. See: gross generalisation.)

The selling I do best? Networking at readings, workshops, after shows, on social media - and now this blog. The mere mention of me doing radio interviews for On Time in the lead-up to Fringe made me reel back and put the one man in the one-man show front and centre, even though that show is both Richard and mine from the beginning.

I need to get over myself and put my writing forward. Because it's really good and worth seeing - just ask my collaborators!

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