I set myself a goal tonight. Two friends of mine are insanely talented improv comedians, and they jokingly asked if I’d write a short play for them. I’m taking them up on their offer and writing and trying to write a 10-minute play for them. I thought up a title (which I’ve mentioned on Facebook, but I should keep it a little quieter, because it’s kind of a cool title, and I don’t want someone else writing a better play with that title), and I have a situation to write out, with a theme.
The theme (I don’t mind writing that out here) is, “What if the thing you’re best at is something that people don’t respect or even like very much?” It’s a theme that really resonates with me, being a playwright and sometimes actor/director/other theater stuff. One of the things I often hear is people saying things like, “You spend so much time on your hobby! How do you do it?”
I know they mean well, and sometimes, I feel like I’m nothing but a devoted hobbyist. There isn’t any real cachet in doing theater (writing, acting in, or directing) in North Suburban Boston, after all. I mean, my family and friends are awfully indulgent of what I do, and will come to see whatever I’ve done recently, but I sometimes feel…no, I often feel that I’m taken about as seriously as a kindergartener pointing out the drawings he’s put up on the family fridge.
It’s not a feeling that hits me often, and I can generally work through it. I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if I were a braver person, or a more disciplined person and kept at this back when I was a bit younger, and took more chances with it. I was in a professional improv group that was going places when I was in my 20s, and when I first started online journaling, it was such a new medium that a lot of my fellow journalers made it somewhat big as writers. There are a few TV writers that I used to be friendly with, and a few novelists…I took the corporate route, and while I’m generally okay with it, I do feel like I’ve relegated myself to a lifetime of doing what I love most as a hobbyist.
At any rate, I’m trying to do it a little bit more diligently these days. Who knows? Maybe I’ll turn out to be a 45-year-old wunderkind of some kind, and folks will worry that they haven’t gotten as far as I did doing the same things someday?