So, we did it. We had the first official reading of Unorthodox! I say "we" because at some point, this stopped feeling like my personal project and started feeling like we all had something to gain. We were given use of the theater at Long Island City's The Creek and The Cave, readers came out from all over, old friends and new came to listen, to consider, to criticize and to congratulate.
There is something incredible in hearing two dimensional characters granted that third dimension. My readers brought life to my characters and insights that I never would have gotten without their help. Yesterday's reading gave such depth to the issues in the script and really showed me where the problems were. Most of the things they pointed out were things that I did think needed help, however, I couldn't be sure before this part of the process. New issues were raised, new voices were heard. For the first time in my life I felt like I could see the future--and the future is cozy with revisions. And it's all good.
The positive feedback I've received has had me on the brink of tears all day. To be regarded as a serious artist honing her craft has always been my goal. But especially as someone who has always suffered with feelings of self-doubt, to have constructive criticism that didn't hurt (yes, that's why it's constructive, I get that!) and be able to walk away feeling like I can take this higher is an amazing feeling. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why I ever left play writing in favor of straight fiction. It may have had something to do with the pain in the ass margins--but I'm not sure. What I do know is that my teaching career seems to be at a standstill since I cannot find a job. I know that I'm giving a few theater workshops. I also know how much I love where Unorthodox! is taking me. Maybe something new is being born here. I'm just going to ride it out and see where it goes.
I also want to make a point of thanking all of my friends and family who have stood by me in the writing, the rewriting, the planning, the reading, and now in the revising of Unorthodox! I could not have gotten this far without all of my wonderful and amazing people. Their support and love has proven bottomless and I hope they know just how much I appreciate them all, and how in awe of them I stand. I could thank them for days on end and never exhaust my gratitude. All I know is that when we take this thing to the top, I expect to be celebrating with those who were there yesterday and then some. My people are just incredible and amazing, still, after all these years.
Okay, enough, before I get all weepy. Got to get that edge back now so I can pass out and dream up some more insane inspiration.