I was asked by the very talented Micheline Auger to be part of Write Out Front. Part art exhibition, part peek into the playwriting process, part performance art. A bunch of playwrights sat for an hour slot in the window of the Drama Book Shop on 40th Street to do what they normally do in private.
This is the second time I’ve participated in this. I was nervous my first time so I pulled up a script I’d left undone and tinkered on it. This time I went in with a blank slate to see what the setting might inspire. It was like a private moment acting exercise (where you do several minutes on stage as if you are alone) meets an open mic (people would gather outside the window and a couple even heckled me until I looked up blankly at them) meets desperately calling out to your muse on any given day. I think it would have helped me to warm up with some writing at a coffee shop nearby before going in there.
By the end of my hour, I had something. I was flowing. I wanted to stay another hour. I’d blocked out the foot traffic and the people acting like I was puppy in the window wanting to be adopted. I worked around those disruptive people who were threatened by someone being creative in public and banging on the window.
But, by then, it was time to go. In the back of my head, it was nice to be considered a “model” playwright. More than the actual content that was created in that session, it was making a public promise of sitting still and allowing something to come to me while it felt like I was perched on a high wire.