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Making Other Plans

Well, we once again had a brutal cold snap here in New York City, and once again it fell on my days off from work, and so once again I prepared to sit down and get some work done on the next writing project on my docket, which I’ve been trying to do for the past month.

And, as it is wont to do, fate intervened.

On Tuesday night, at my usual Naked Angels cold reading series, one of the regular attendees asked if I was available to audition for a project she was directing. I happily agreed, not being inclined either to turn down a friend or a potential gig – even though the audition was Thursday, which I had planned to be a nice relaxing day of hammering out a plot outline. (Note that hammering out a plot outline is not relaxing, but I digress.)

So instead, I had to come into Manhattan on what was to have been my day off (remember I live in the far-off wilds of South Brooklyn now). And rather than prepare this new project in the few hours I now had free on Thursday, I finally took some of my older scripts and put them up on New Playwright Exchange. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while – it makes it possible for my scripts to circulate among the people who can make something happen with them – and I spent the necessary hours of drudgery to put my profile together on this website before I headed off to the audition.

Which I must have crushed, because I got the part.

It’s a new play called The Silencer, and it’s going up as part of Winterfest, at the Hudson Guild Theater here in New York, in about a month’s time. I’ll have more information about that in the weeks to come; suffice it to say that there isn’t much time to rehearse this. And so Friday, the other cold day I had off from work, was spent going over my lines in this script, rather than in drafting my own.

Now keep in mind, the new script I keep not writing is itself a detour away from the script I’d originally planned to start working on. For the past few years now, I start doing the reading and the research I need to do for it, get nowhere, get an idea for something else out of the blue, and then start working on that instead. Until I get cast in a one-act, that is.

It feels like I’m procrastinating, and thus I feel guilty about my lack of progress. But I can’t help but wonder, is it really procrastinating if you’re ignoring the project you should be working on by doing half a dozen other projects you should be working on?  At what point does all this cease being a distraction from your life, and become your life itself?

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