As another year ends, I join many of you in reflecting on the year passed and scheming about the year ahead. 2017 was a doozy of a year in so many ways, but I’ve found a lot to be extremely thankful for. I think it helps to focus on the positive, so I made lists, of course!
My top three creative accomplishments of the year:
3) Started and finished a first draft of a manuscript that I love—my sister story!
2) Directed two plays that I was super proud of. Stories that I was honored to tell, with fantastic collaborators.
I’m creatively full this month, and feeling like the luckiest girl around. While querying my YA adventure retelling (which was selected for Query Kombat, made it to the agent round, and got four requests including two *wild cards!* So grateful!), I’m working on two new creative projects. Working on new things is the best way to handle the waiting of querying, am I right?!
I’m finding some fascinating (to me) connections between preparing to direct a play and outlining/drafting new novel. The play is STONES IN HIS POCKETS by Marie Jones, an Irish dark comedy which will go up at Keegan Theatre in September & October 2017. The new novel is a YA fantasy, working title S...
I love writing fiction, but I’ve only been telling stories this way for a few years. I’ve been telling stories as a theatre director for 15 years! I direct professional theatre productions once or twice a year, and I just finished directing Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. With this last project, more than ever before, I took away some lessons from directing that I’ll apply to my writing.
In directing, I dissect and interpret an established work (in this case, the best of the best: The Bard) with a team of actors. When I write, I put down a story word by word. But it’s all storytelling, and I find there’s a lot to steal when crossing disciplines.
"And then it’s down to inches. Millimeters, even. I can be (in fact, have to be) picky about what I’m looking for in a role down to super specifics. Sometimes it still comes down to chemistry or type or whatever ‘needs’ of the play."
I just cast a play. I was blown away by the talent and professionalism I saw at auditions. I am so grateful to be in the position to even be writing this post. Here are a few thoughts on this most recent casting process, for what it’s worth – perhaps it will lend insight to others or start a dialogue about this tricky process.
We received 197 submissions for a 12-person cast. Plus the folks on my list (and Casting Director’s & Artisti...