By Casey Tolfree
So I know I've been lacking on the posting about my program but I guess that's because I've been spending so much of my time reading. The writing is coming. I'm workshopping a complete piece in need of revising so I'm writing there but I am finding that more and more I turn back to my novel. Even if I only have 10 minutes. I'm forcing myself to find time to write: if I finish the chapter than I can write. It's like a prize.
This past week was difficult. My fiction workshop gave me critiques and advice that I needed the other week. My newest revision of APT 509 is awesomeness. This week I had my first playwriting workshop. It was different for starters.
In fiction when our piece is being workshopped - we don't talk. We sit and listen and take notes. We apply what is said as we chose. In playwriting I was expected to talk, I was expected to answer question that I honestly didn't have answers too. It was a harsh workshop. I felt badly afterwards. I'm not a playwright and this assignment in particular was based on a hero's journey. I had a hard time writing it to begin with. It was a hard week.
I've since talked to my professor though and he was encouraging, explaining to me what was meant by comments he said and how I could work on my piece. It made a lot more sense when not in the spotlight of 15 people.
Another disheartening comment was made on Thursday but this time by a classmate. We were talking about "Something that Needs Nothing" by Miranda July. We were talking about just how Pip and the protagonist feel about the real world and working. One of my classmates actually said something that was really discouraging. About how certain jobs are undistinguished - ie food service, retail, etc. Wow. Hello, I'm a Starbucks barista. I don't think that working at Starbucks is undistinguished. If we weren't there how would you get a latte? How would we buy groceries without people working at supermarkets?
Bottom line is that in an economy like ours today, people who were top executives are now getting laid off and coming to work for retail stores to make money to support themselves and families. They are doing what they need to do to keep food on the table. I am doing what I need to do to pay my bills. I just hate when people say things like that as if it's so easy to just find something in our field or in the "real" work force. It's not easy. If it was easy I wouldn't be working part-time at newspaper covering high school sports.
Sigh, people worry me.