Look Mom, I’m on a poster.
And not very long from now, I’ll be on a marquee (or two) as well!
I don’t have anything particularly interesting to write about right now, so how about we just make a record of what I’ve been doing in the past couple of months.
As of this week, my unemployment troubles have ceased, as I somehow managed to line up three freelance jobs that I’m equally happy about. Which also means I suddenly have work. Like actual work. And I need to structure my time and be disciplined and all of that. And clean my room. Cleaning my room is integral to everything else in my life. Always.
The first round of auditions for In Love and Warcraft took place in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago (where I found myself on a poster), and they were equal parts fun and stressful, and the fun was abundantly supplied by my awesome director Laura Kepley who I am now officially in love with. Our next round will take place in New York in November, which also means I get to go to New York yay yay yay yay. YAY.
I got the new East West Players season brochure in the mail and FELL IN LOVE (cannot emphasize enough) with the amazing poster art for A Nice Indian Boy. This could not be more perfect. Look at that beautiful Ganesha. It’s everything I wanted.
And of course the most amazing part of my summer was the 8 days I spent in D.C. at the MFA Playwright’s workshop at the Kennedy Center. I got to work on ILAW with Celise Kalke, my dramaturg at the Alliance, Shirley Serotsky, my D.C. director, and a brilliant cast. The reading was fantastic. It was the first time I’d heard the play outside of my USC workshop last year- and yay. It was still funny.
In fact you should just read Celise’s account of our week, just stop reading and go read that.
I met wonderful theatre people- directors and dramaturgs and actors and theatre students from D.C. and all over the country- and got to hang out with fellow playwrights all at similar stages in our careers, and got to sightsee a bit, and generally just had the best time.
It didn’t feel that way in the beginning though. On the Saturday that I landed, after the amazing Gregg Henry dropped me off at the hotel, I started freaking out about the week ahead. I was so very nervous about having to meet so many people- I didn’t know anyone there, since I wouldn’t see my own team till Monday- I did not want to talk to strangers. I was having a full on introvert meltdown.
At 7pm we were all supposed to gather in the lobby for the shuttle that would take us to the Kennedy Center. At 7pm, I came down to the lobby, and saw a whole bunch of chatty, happy, theatre-y looking people generally being sociable human beings. I also saw the shuttle waiting right outside. Stay and talk, Madhuri, stay and talk, I kept telling myself, but I couldn’t do it. I walked right through the lobby and outside, and got in the shuttle.
Where I saw four people sitting by themselves, looking awkward. I took a seat by myself as well. The silence stretched on for… minutes? Until finally, one guy suddenly spoke up- “Hi, I’m Kelly Lusk, sorry, this is weird.” And we all introduced ourselves.
A few seconds.
And then I asked- “Wait, are we all playwrights?”
And of course we were. The directors and dramaturgs and actors were inside being chatty cathys while the playwrights were in the bus avoiding human contact.
And I immediately felt better. (And grateful to Kelly Lusk, who is awesome.)
By the end of the week, I grew to really adore the other playwrights and it felt strange on our final Sunday when we suddenly had to disperse all over the country again.
For the past six weeks, I was also consumed with a script that I was not able to crack. My very first attempt at writing a TV pilot, a half-hour comedy spec, based on my own life- that’s always tricky.
Anyway, on Sunday, I finished it. I can’t remember the last time I was so relieved to have typed to the end- although maybe first drafts always feel this way (no, they don’t. This was a tough one).
Anyway, the only reason I got it done 5 days before my real deadline was because Hema told me that finishing this script would count as her birthday present.
So my trick to productivity is to… forget to get my roommate a birthday present and have her unselfishly let me make it up to her by doing something I’m supposed to be doing anyway.
One more pass, with help from Megan, and then it’s off before my Labor Day deadline.
My mom tweeted this photo of me for Krishna Jayanthi.
YAY WEEKEND! (of rewrites!)