onceuponarealityproductions

Writing Neverland.

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I’m that girl.

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You know. That girl. That girl who graduated high school with a 4.2 GPA saying flowery things like, “I want to express myself and change the world with my words and bring people together through song and dance.”

my friends are right. I’m the frickin’ shorter/paler version of Zooey Deschanel in “New Girl.” Minus the

glasses. I can’t pull those damn things off. They make my nose look weird. Not that I have a complex about it, because I totally don’t. It gives me character. Moving on.

4.2 GPA. My first three years of high school, I was at one of the most academically competitive schools in southern california. A 4.2 was practically considered being a functioning idiot. Still, I was proud of it. Skies the limit. I was going to be anything and everything. Applied to the theatre department and film department of USC, UCLA and Chapman. Auditioned for Chapman and UCLA. Don’t even remember if USC touched me with a 10-foot pole. UCLA did the whole, “thanks but no thanks.” Chapman film wanted nothing to do with me. I finally got in somewhere. Chapman theatre wanted me. Even offered me an academic scholarship. (It still wasn’t enough to cover the tuition, which was around the same price as USC). Turned down Chapman due to finances. Ended up studying broadcast journalism at CSUF.I don’t spend much time looking back on the “what if” in life. You spend too much time looking back, and you end up not seeing where you’re going and eventually, you run into life and it knocks you flat on your ass. So I look forward. I move forward….until recently.

I was looking through old application essays that I sent to all the universities. What did I want back then? What was I looking for? How the hell did I screw things up so badly? The answer was in the words. Between the lines of pretty vocabulary words screaming out all of the beautiful things I would do with my life ‘if only I had a B.A. in theatre’, I found the truth. The truth was this: In all of the mess of words I had typed out and sent to all of those colleges, I didn’t know what I wanted. When you apply to college, you’re supposed to know what you want. Spielberg knew he wanted to be a filmmaker at 3 years old. If you don’t know at 3, then tough, I guess. Why isn’t it ok to write something like, “I don’t know exactly what I want, but I know that I’m a passionate person, and whenever I have a cup of coffee I see my life as a movie. I can write a story from beginning to end in my head. I can create a character at the drop of a hat. I want to make people laugh and cry. I get tummy butterflies just from thinking of a stage. I know I’m confused as hell, but do you have a place in this university for me? I’ll work real hard, I promise.” 

Why can’t you say that?

It’s the truth. Isn’t it best to just be truthful?

Fast-forward 9 years later (Jesus Christ, 9 years????) I’m finally starting to figure things out. I know what I want. If I had to reapply to UCLA, I’m sure I could adequately formulate my dreams into one sentence. 

And if I had the chance to have a doover….doover. I meant do-over, but damn, DOOVER looks like so much more fun doesn’t it? (No effin’ wonder UCLA doesn’t want me.) If I had a chance to do it all over..

hahaha DOOVER.

I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t poetically write out what I want. The way I feel about theatre today, is the same exact way I feel when I meet a guy I like. I get butterflies. I can’t think straight. I can’t possibly express how I feel, because my brain is swimming. The good kind of swimming, not the “Jesus, Erika is crying on the high-dive for her swim test! Can someone push her off?!”

Not that kind of swimming. The good kind. If I had a doover, I’d still write those silly words that would include, “I want to change the world.” 

This “changing the world” business keeps me up at night. Writing “Princes” was like a spark that hit me about a year ago. Everything in my life took a new focus. It’s like I found my own religion. And I’m obsessed with it. It’s the first thing I think about in the morning, and the last thing I think about at night. I get up at 4am daily to work an 8-hr day, then I head home and write/research/email/push/hustle until 11 at night. And I still don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything. I always feel like there’s someone else out there working harder. Emailing that extra agent. Writing that extra script. Fine-tuning that extra press release. There is someone out there one-upping me and it’s driving me bonkers. In the end, I’m only competing against myself. 1 year ago, my challenge was, how am I going to deal with the heartbreak if this show completely blows and I’m mortified at what happens on the stage? What if my story is awful and no one is telling me this? How the hell do you produce a play???

1 year later, my concerns are different. How do you produce a play from out of state? International festivals or NYC first? It’s a good change, but I desperately need sleep. I’m also in the middle of writing the Peter Pan project. Started outlining the idea about 6 months ago. Changed the plot 3 times. I’m still not happy with it. Everyday I tell myself, “What the hell were you thinking? This is awful.” People told J.M. Barrie that no one would see a show about pirates and crocodiles and fairies. Maybe I just need to have more faith. 

 

 

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