A few weeks ago, before my play moved out of the rehearsal room and into the theatre, we had a run through on a Friday afternoon. I came in just for the run and as I went to get my notebook out of my bag, the director said, How about, just for this afternoon, don’t take notes? Just watch it.
So I did.
And as I did, the late afternoon sun fell in shafts through the big rehearsal room windows and though there were no lights or sounds or even costumes, the play looked beautiful.
Afterwards the director came over to me and I said, Thank you.
And he said, I just wanted you to have a run that was just for you. Before we go into the theatre and it becomes about other peoples’ opinions.
And when he said that I felt the weight of what it means to have been writing something for four years and to know that soon, it will no longer belong to you. To know that soon it will be out in the world on its own. And soon after that, it will be over.
And then I cried.
Then we all went for a drink.
The director gave me a lift home after and he said something that I’ve been thinking about a lot this week, in the liminal space between first audience and reviewers.
He said, You have to remember that other peoples’ opinions can be the most important thing in the world. But they are also completely irrelevant.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 6th October 2019 as part of Internet Care Package – a weekly memoir project in the form of a newsletter. It also includes links to the best things I’ve found on the internet each week and occasional updates on my theatremaking. This blog is a select archive of those emails. Subscribe to get them right in your inbox.