The sporadic ramblings of Emily C. A. Snyder - devoted to God, theatre, writing, and much randominity.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of TURN TO FLESH PRODUCTIONS. | Author of "Nachtstürm Castle," "Niamh and the Hermit." | Playwright: "Cupid and Psyche," "Math for Actors." | Classical director and educator.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In the words of Sarah: WORD

*grin* But a sleepy grin.

So, I put the final touches on the script this afternoon/evening and sent it off as it is. (There will always be more tweaks, but it is in a good place now.) And then I took me for a meandering drive around old haunts, which I haven't done in a while due to weather/work/etc. Which got me to thinking of:

Post-play vs. Post-playwriting

Well, to be honest, post-anything-major-writing - but it seems worthy enough to record for future reference. After a play, after it's down, there's still this lingering glow, this sense of camaradarie - you take out memories of the show to admire them, like baubles in the hand, curios of the mind. There is that sort of zombiesque wandering around, of course - that "What do I do with myself"-ness - but there is frequently also the warm glow of the play accomplished. Naturally, this is more or less intense depending on how well the show went off and how much one was really invested in the show, but regardless it tends to be a sort of wandering - an airy light wandering - a balloon adrift on foreign currents.

But post-writing - in this most recent case a play - particularly post-writing anything of consequence (as opposed to a paper or a thesis or an article or a short story or goofiness or whatnot) leaves me feeling completely drained. I feel like a marionette with cut strings and loose joints. I feel like an invalid with dry heaves. I feel heavy and empty and hollow-eyed and, yes, zombiesque. I have nothing more to give and yet I cannot take anything in either. There is no cure except to be, NOT to do.

(Consequently, my nine Ingrid Michaelson songs have been played sixteen times each, which if I've done my math right, means for eight hours of this day. Well, this day including last night when I was writing.)

A lot of writers liken writing to giving birth, and I think there's a great deal of truth to that - particularly when it comes to the final HOURS of intense PUSHING - because you can feel that if you stop now you'll never start again, so it's now until it's done or never again, and of course being creative-OCD-ish you push and push and push and get it out of your brain! However, after having a child there's this beautiful newborn to hold and take pictures of (and hand off to one's husband when you need to nap) - and despite crying and nappies and all that, at the end of childbirth is a child with his own life. Is someone tangible.

But at the end of writing, I find that I don't ever want to see what I wrote again for a good long while. Not that I hate what I wrote, but that I need a period of intense separation just to be able to breathe in this time/space/reality and not in that fictional world. I need to remember how to think like myself and not in Terence's or Evie's voice. I need to readjust my eyes to the light of day and not a glowing screen, white paper, lots of caffine, and pigheadedness.

Sure, there's something tangible there - presuming you printed out what you have - but for a play, it's still only a bit completed. Even for a novel, I've found, it doesn't "become it's own person" until it's in real book form and someone else has it. I guess that's it: after "giving birth" to a piece of writing, it's still in your brain - at least until it's performed or published. Then it just exists comfortably side by side with you.

Weird, non?

Anywho, I'm thinking early mass is for me. Yes, precious. Oh, but the sleepy-sleeplessness is all too familiar to both post-play and it's creation.

Mood: Zombiesque but good - recouping - trying not to think in Victorian witticisms
Music: "Around You" from Slow the Rain by Ingrid Michaelson
Thought: So much to do yet. Stupid play to be read (not mine! ;P). Two stupid books to read. Well, one isn't stupid. One is The Empty Space. Here's to hoping the other isn't stupid either. C'est ca. Zombiesque! See what I mean! We'll return you eventually to your regularly scheduled Emily.


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