I mentioned last week that I’ll be making my second trip to Valdez, Alaska this June, to take part in the Valdez Theatre Conference. I started researching and preparing Before Vinson as soon as I got back from last year’s conference, eager to have a reason to return. I had the draft completed in the nick of time for their mid-November submission date. A little over a month ago, at the very end of February, I received word that the piece had been accepted. So that should leave me with roughly three months of time to enjoy my good fortune, before setting off on the long journey, no? The piece was good enough to be accepted, so the hard part’s over, right?
Of course not. As I mentioned last week, I arranged a zoom reading of the piece this weekend, so I could hear the full script aloud before the conference. To get the bugs out, as it were. And as always, despite all the rounds of revisions and passes through the script which were made before its submission, there were bugs to be found. Nothing major – some typos, some awkward phrasings here and then, an omission or two to address. But having found them, I’ll need to take what free time I have this week – not a whole heck of a lot, by the way – and make another revision pass through the script. It’s probably a good idea to get that done before the piece gets read publicly in June.
But with any luck, that won’t be the only thing getting read when I’m at Valdez in June. There’s an after-hour Fringe series there, you see; that’s where I premiered Basic Cable Method Acting last year. I wanted to return to that series as well, and it’s only open to people already attending the conference. So now that I’ve been accepted, and the Queens Theatre Festival I was recently participating in is completed, I’ve spent the past few week or two fine-tuning a new tiny piece. I so mean tiny; it’s only seven pages, which makes it seem ridiculous to have taken a long time working on it, but it’s conceptual enough that I needed to take my time fine-tuning it. (Trust me.) And there’s also a monologue festival as part of the festival, which is a delight, and for which writers can contribute up to two one-minute pieces. For this year, I’ve extracted one from an existing piece of mine, and written a brand new piece to offer for the occasion, and all of that was another day or two of work.
So, add that all up, and I’ve spent about a month of time creating new writing to submit to a conference to which I’ve already been accepted. I’m already going. My writing is already set to be presented. Theoretically, I could have just sat back and taken care of all the other things in my life that need taking care, confident that until the conference actually starts, in a little over two months, my work was finished.
But the work’s never finished, is it? And I’ll most likely be tinkering with things until the moment I board the plane to Alaska. Hell, I’m still tinkering now with the pieces I brought last year. It can be weird, feeling that time just runs together as I work on all of this – but then again, I will be in Alaska in June, when it remains light throughout the entire day, and time seems to stand still anyway.