Serious thanks

Friends,

My adaptation of Ibsen’s classic play, MASTER BUILDER, opens this week. Here’s hoping the snow stays out of North Carolina and doesn’t derail our schedule!

The incredibly endearing Mara Thomas interviewed me about the writing process for Master Builder, the Artist Soapbox podcast, and various other life topics. I’m grateful for the conversation with Mara and for the opportunity to reflect on this process. Take a listen, and let me know what you think. Also, Mara is rad.

Compared to my experience adapting Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL, this production experience was different for me. I wasn’t able to attend more than one MASTER BUILDER rehearsal, I wasn’t able to reflect much, and I wasn’t able savor it in quite the same way. Holidays + life + other project commitments = a time crunch. That’s how it goes. The excitement is still there though and the gratitude and so many big emotions — those are all still there sitting in my chest like so many birds.

Podcast interview guests always tell me that they think of “things they should’ve said” during their drive home after interviewing on Artist Soapbox. My experience was no different.

Missing from my podcast interview is the long list of thanks that I wish I would have included. Thanks to Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern for producing my play, which is a gift that I cannot find the words to describe. Thanks to the actors, designers, director, crew, and the LGP team for the support. And most importantly, the biggest one: THANKS to everyone who took this play SERIOUSLY…even when I didn’t or couldn’t or down-played it. It’s such a gift to be taken seriously as an artist because the Imposter Syndrome looms large. It’s a beast. When other people interact with me as though I am an ACTUAL playwright, it’s weird. It makes me feel super weird and super hopeful. That attitude is a warm and gentle invitation for me to become better at my art-making and take creative risks…which are goals I strive for every day.

I’m thrilled and grateful. Thank you for sharing in my excitement. Sending you love.

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Master Builder is showing January 18 – February 3 at Mystery Brewery (437 Dimmock’s Mill Rd, Hillsborough). GET TICKETS!

The benefits of comparison

This is Part II of a blogversation on the Artist Soapbox site about comparing ourselves to other artists. Read Part I, by Mara Thomas too.
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Over churros at Cocoa Cinnamon, Mara and I spent some time talking about what she termed “low-frequency comparison.”  Low-frequency comparison is the kind of comparison you use to make yourself feel bad – a self-flagellating tool. “High-frequency comparison” on the other hand is the kind of comparison you use to encourage yourself – an inspirational tool. Low-frequency’s easy to slide into. It’s familiar, simple and doesn’t require us to make any changes in behavior or thought patterns. Low-frequency comparison allows more of the same…and more of the same is easier, the path of least resistance.
So, if comparison sling-shots you directly into low-frequency territory, then I totally agree with Mara, just don’t go there. Don’t do that to yourself. Stop comparing immediately. If you consistently race towards low-frequency, that’s a signal to investigate your own awesomeness for awhile and learn to embrace your self-worth. That’s a signal that you need to fill up your self-love bucket. Do that, please. Focus on reframing your vision of yourself because that internal re-tooling will pay you dividends over and over. You have worth. You deserve to believe that.
If however, you’re feeling pretty solid about your value as a human and artist, and if you’d like to make positive changes, then open yourself to some high-frequency comparison. Look around at people you admire (you don’t need to start with the superstars, there are likely fabulous peeps right in your local orbit) and see what those you admire are doing. Is anyone living a life closer to the one you want to live? Is anyone making art that’s closer to the art you want to make? Is there anyone you can use as an example or model for whatever changes you want to make?
Re-orientating to high-frequency comparison has helped me enormously and in significant ways. It’s my go-to fixit. I think, “What would this person do right now? How would that person solve this problem/approach this mess/respond/decide/etc? What would the person-I-admire say right now?” And the ideas start flowing because people are doing MANY THINGS better than I am — good for them! —  and their examples teach me, inspire me, encourage me to try.
Ultimately, I’m still me being me, and I’ll do it my way, but I feel like I have more fuel in the tank. Because to be honest, in several areas of my life, I’ve run out of ideas. Over the last few decades, I solved problems ‘my own way’ and that didn’t work or the outcome was subpar. I have blindspots and tangles that I can’t work out. I’m ready for new ways of doing and being and I’m surrounded by inspirational people who are doing and being those things. It’s thrilling to see others thriving, living with integrity and purpose, aligning their inner compass and their outward actions, eating vegetables, and quitting nasty habits like biting their nails. I want to do that too.
Although low-frequency comparison flickers on the edge of my perception more frequently than I’d like, I have many wonderful high-frequency days when I compare myself to the Patti Smiths of the world and think, “Wow, I’m gonna infuse my life with a little of her creative bad-assery…..so…WWPD (what would Patti do)?”
WWYD (What would you do?)

I podcasted, and I liked it.

 

ARTIST SOAPBOX has been launched! Wheeee!

BIG NEW THING: I recorded a podcast, and I’m so excited that I couldn’t wait to share it. Seriously, I am SO excited. It took me an embarrassing number of hours to edit and put the first darn thing online, but I did it. It ain’t perfect, but that’s on me and my learning curve. More to come, more to come, more to come.

Me=tired. Good enough=Just fine

There’s still much to do with getting artwork, listing on iTunes, fixing the website, etc. but the link is online and it seems to work and it’s live. Anyhow, I’m getting there. I’m feeling grateful that there are so many incredible artists to converse with, and I can’t wait to do more. Special thanks to Greg Myer, Mara Thomas, and Jim Haverkamp for helping me launch.

Feel free to share if you’d like or just listen. There’s some good swearing, so it’s not for the kids.

EPISODE 001: Mara Thomas says Yes to Nothing

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ALSO:

So I didn’t:

I haven’t written Mother of the Year yet. And I still have some other projects that I didn’t wrap up. I’ll just say, almost everything is still pending.

So I did:

I did write another play in the meantime.

Onwards!