All in all, last week was a busy week for me as an actor, Constant Reader. On Tuesday night, I co-hosted my usual cold weekly series at Theatre 80 on the Lower East Side. (Since it’s, by definition, a weekly series, I’ll be at it again this week as well. Feel free to check us out.) On Wednesday, as I mentioned in last week’s post, I spent the entire day at HB Studios, rehearsing and performing in a staged reading of Tiffa Foster’s new play Doris & Bertie. On Friday evening, I trekked down to an artists’ collective workshop space in a marvelously grimy building on East 4th, to participate in a private developmental table read of another new play. And on Saturday, I went to a friend’s birthday party – which may not sound like acting work, but my friend is a member of at least a half-dozen other theater companies, so the afternoon and evening were as much about networking and shop-talking as they were about recreating.
So, a happy and productive week, no? Spent doing what I love with friends old and new, with all manner of new opportunities potentially opening up as a result? Surely I feel as satisfied and content as it’s possible to feel in these frustrating, unsettling times?
Of course not. I feel a sickening feeling of dread – that gnawing fear that I’ve accomplished nothing, and a crucially important week has slipped away from me.
Long-time readers of this blog know that one of my major themes here – all the way back to my first post – is the difficulty of having enough time to do everything I’m trying to do. It’s the great paradox of being a hyphenate, which most of us seem to at least try to be these days – the busier you are, the less you can accomplish. Right now, I’m trying to accomplish a new script – I’ve started drafting a one-act. I’ve been researching and planning all through the summer, and I’m looking at a potential submission deadline for it of November 15. That gives me the month of October to actually put a draft together – and to date, I’ve managed a whopping three pages. My hope was to build up a good head of steam this first week of October, when I had a little time off from my day job – but all of those wonderful acting opportunities I had meant that my writing is now hopelessly behind schedule.
I worry that this sounds like ingratitude, and I want to be perfectly clear that this isn’t what I feel – opportunities are rare and precious things, and the longer you do this, the more keenly you realize that. I’m grateful for all of these moments where I can be an actor, even if only for a fleeting moment. But you can bet that today – I have off for Columbus Day and/or Indigenous People’s Day, take your pick – I’ll be holed up in my apartment typing away. I need every free moment I can spare.