“How’s unemployment treating you?”

A friend of mine pinged on gchat the other day with this question, and I didn’t get a chance to respond, because I think I was about to shut down my computer and go take a nap.

Anyway, my answer would have been – I’M LOVING IT.

Staying at home all day, answering emails, catching up on Netflix and thinking up stories is my unmitigated bliss. I know that I should get a job, that it’s good for me, and yeah of course I’ll be very happy and relieved once I do get a job, but in the meantime I’m loving not having to wear clothes that button up or zip or fasten in any sort of way.

[…Hey, universe, I actually would like a job. I’m just being a baby. So if you do actually have any sentient sense and force of will at all, please disregard my love of sweatpants and nudge one of those HR recruiters into replying to my emails. Thank you.]

I haven’t updated this blog for a long time, for many reasons (coughlazyasssweatpantscough), but one reason in particular- every post was being permalinked as madhurishekar.com/“post title”, whatever it was. And that started giving me the heebies. Every post had to mean something, because it was gonna be madhurishekar.com/“post”! Too much pressure! Until I finally peeked in the settings today and found out that I could adjust that. So from now on posts are gonna be in the much less intimidating madhurishekar.com/year/month/date/“random number” format. Much better.

So what’s been happening since my last real update. Well…

The big ones-

East West Players will be producing A Nice Indian Boy as part of their 2013/2014 season. Opening night will be February 24, closely following the run of In Love and Warcraft at the Alliance. Two productions in two months of two different plays, my first year out of graduate school. All I can hope for is that this doesn’t mean I’ve peaked. (Hey, Universe? Yeah. This too.)

Made it to the finals of the Many Voices Fellowship at the Playwrights Center and spent about seven nerve wracking weeks pondering the possibility that I may have to move to Minneapolis after graduation. Luckily, the fellowship was awarded to someone much more deserving, and most likely far less of a wimp about temperatures below 15 degrees celsius.

Finished an extensive rewrite of A Nice Indian Boy this semester,culminating with an amazing two-week experience of rehearsing and presenting it as a staged reading for the USC New Works III Festival. Directed by the brilliant Robert Egan and featuring a wonderful cast- Sunil Malhotra, Michael Weston, Pia Shah, Ravi Kapoor and Meera Simhan. My family came to see it on June 1, which also happened to be my parents’ wedding anniversary. My mother cried. My father cried. My brother laughed at all the right places. That’s all I cared about.

The cast in rehearsal. The cast in rehearsal.

Got to fly out to Atlanta to take part in the Alliance Theater’s Taste of the Season event, where I hung out with the beautiful Celise Kalke and got to meet Susan Booth and Pearl Cleage and many of the other truly lovely people who work at the Alliance. I think maybe the most wonderful thing about this experience is that they have set such a high standard for me to expect from my collaborators. The Alliance artists and staff treated me with such respect and kindness that I immediately felt comfortable, and understood that this shouldn’t be an exception just because they happen to be nice people. It’s what I should expect as a playwright, and a person. As someone just starting out, this means a lot.

20130613-183915.jpg And there was so much free food. So much free food!

I have an agent! I’m signing with lovely Beth Blickers from Abrams. Yay!

And… I graduated from USC with two of my best friends in the world.

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And I’m unemployed right now, but that’s fine, because 2013 has just been crazy ass awesome so far, and I can handle a little downtime.

(Hey, Universe. Thank you.)