I spent most of April traveling around. First was Oregon, where I saw a play in Ashland, saw Meiko in Portland, drove down the Oregon Coast, slept in a lighthouse, saw a lot of trees and waterfalls, and tasted 47 different craft beers. Then I was in Austin, for a wedding, where old friends kept asking me what I’ve been up to. Which made me realize that I haven’t done a “What I’ve Been Doing” type post in a long time. So here’s what’s up with me:
- I’ve become an official colonist of the Portuguese Artists Colony, a group that hosts literary readings every other month, formerly at Fivepoints Arthouse and now at Hotel Rex. Besides hanging out and listening to great musicians and wonderful writers (often with special drinks mixed by fellow colonist Daniel Heath), I’ve also read a few short pieces myself and participated in our signature event: Live Writing. This is where four writers get a prompt from the audience and write for 10 minutes while a musician entertains the crowd. Then the writers immediately jump up, read their work, and the audience votes for the winner, who returns in a month with a finished piece. And I won! Oh, plus I hosted the last show.
- I’ve been writing a lot more short prose lately, as a direct result of the above. A short story about a roadside stand in Texas selling Albert Einstein’s head in a jar. A flash fiction piece about a guy in hotel bar talking to the pianist, who keeps up his side of the conversation by changing the jazz songs he’s playing. And a thing I’m still working on about a woman who gets married several times a day.
- On the playwriting side, I’ve been fiddling around with a play that I started last summer and began to revise in an Anthony Clarvoe class, about a woman who’s so afraid of identity theft that she creates an entire second identity in the hopes that her first identity can stay protected. Still trying to figure out what length it wants to be. I wanted it to be a no-intermission full-length; then I tried to make it a two-act; now I fear it wants to be a short one-act.
- I’m still the SF regional rep for the Dramatists Guild. So I’ve been hosting the Guild’s monthly reading series called Friday Night Footlights (despite being held on Mondays) every month for, erm, quite a while now. I also hosted a special event where I interviewed Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked”, “Pippin”, “Godspell”) onstage at Aurora Theatre. Since seeing “Pippin” as a freshman in high school was what made me get into theater in the first place, it had a “full circle” surreality to it that I made sure not to mention in the interview.
- Production-wise, my short plays “What Particular Skills Do You Bring to the Workplace?” and “Questioning” were produced as part of the San Francisco One-Minute Play Festival at Thick House. And while not much is happening on the local side of things at the moment, I’m huge in Florida. More on Orlando and Saratoga productions to come later. Possibly New York, too, although that particular opportunity is starting to slide into long-shot territory.
- And, during my short week between trips, I co-hosted another Playwrights Pub Night, this one at Yancy’s Pub and featuring a special appearance by the busiest man in SF theater.
That brings you up to date. So now when someone asks me what I’ve been up to, I can go back to saying, “I don’t know. Read my blog.”