A while back, after I took a Gary Garrison master class as part of the Dramatists Guild visit to San Francisco, I bastardized a quote from Gary. Today he sent a message as part of the Loop Online that spells it out much better than my crappy summary, so I feel compelled to post it to set the record straight:
I have a theory – not the least bit scientific – that if you calculate how long you’ve seriously been pursuing your craft in years, you can discover your artistic age and with that, your temperament for growth as an artist.
So, let’s say, you’ve been writing for five years. It’s been my experience (especially with my playwriting students), that they have all the markings of a five-year old: struggling to understand that unwieldy body they’re in, wildly imaginative, precocious, energetic, daring, fierce, unafraid, questioning and at times, boldly defiant.
Enter into your preening teens and you’re rebellious, tempestuous, a little arrogant, desperately searching for an identity (and a home away from home) and equal parts pessimistic and optimistic.
If your artistic age is in the twenties, like I am, you’ve settled a bit into who you are – good or bad, right or wrong. You know what you like and what you don’t like; opinions are the order of the day. You definitely know what you’re willing to tolerate or not. You have a sense of the order of the world beyond you, and, that order makes sense to you.
So how old are you? And what does that say to you about your writing? Your career? Your artistic temperament? Want to grow up? Or do you want to grow out? It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.
If you want more inspiration from the master, join The Loop and friend Gary.