Sunday, July 19, 2009


I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person who spends a lot of his time considering what comes next. I know this might come as something of a surprise, since I also spend so much time considering what came before – where do I get the time for now? – but as important as the past is to me, I’m also obsessed with the future. But not the far future – I rarely think in terms of the next decade of my own life – I’m talking about the near future. The next day. The next week. Or the next month.

What’s next?

What’s next?

What’s next?

It’s after midnight as I’m writing this, in an evening in which I’m fairly certain I’m won’t get much sleep if any at all, and I’ve just finished writing seven more pages of the new play. I’m 31 pages in. It’s a silly play, a very dark play, about a murder that the characters are responding to as an oopsie. It’s almost like they spilled milk, except the milk is blood and they spilled it by shooting someone several times at point blank range. It’s a dark comedy, of course, something new to me. It’s a style I admire, though, and I’m very pleased at how easily it’s coming along. Of course, later they raise the dead, have to put down a zombie, and call on the devil. Very strange.

I told Stephanie and Tony and Robert about this at today’s reading and they looked at me as though I was nuts. (Call me typecast.) I feel like people often typecast me as either an serious actor or a comedic actor or a novelist or a playwright – and then a certain type of playwright or a certain type of novelist – but really, I’m all those things. I’m more, too. And I like to grow. I like to surprise myself.

For instance, after this play, I’d like to write a book on ethics. I know my friend (who was first Vicky’s friend) Jennifer, from up Seattle way, won’t like it much. I tend to put her to sleep with stuff like that. But that’s okay. Not everything I write will please everyone. But that’s what’s next – at least, so I thought. More on that in a minute.

The reading of After You Fall went very well today. My writing was received as funny and meaningful, which I like quite a bit. Vicky read and, though novice, did good work. What struck me, though, was how quickly she moved, after it was over, from “that’s over” to “what can I do next?” She immediately started asking me questions about acting. Now, I’m not sure about Vicky as an actress; she doesn’t really strike me as the type. I feel like she’d get her fill very quickly and tire of silly actor people. I don’t know if she’d ever find the fulfillment that’s there because she doesn’t need it as much as I do. To her, it would be intangible and, dare I say, cheap. But you never know.

Anyway, I thought my next thing was going to be a book on Ethics and it might be. However, after the reading was over, I told the actors about this idea I had for a short film. It’s a silly idea, really, not at all meaningful. But it made them laugh and they immediately encouraged me to call a couple of contacts and pitch it. So, I guess I might do that. You never know.

Right now, being out of work as long as I have, the world has become a much larger place. Opportunities can come from any number of directions and I’m trying not to limit myself with how things are usually done. I’m applying for jobs but I’m also trying to sell books and plays, writing new plays, starting new books, and on and on.

Every day, I find myself asking “What’s next?” And every day, the need for an answer becomes that much more urgent.

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