Failure is Not Fatal Part 2

In the first post bearing this title, I talked about how my play had been cut from a short play festival. As I wrote, I was pretty upset, but not at all angry at the company. In fact, I thought I might even still go to the festival, because I read the other scripts and really liked them. The festival happened last night, and I almost didn’t go, not because I didn’t want to, but because November has been really, really emotionally bad for me and it’s been hard for me to force myself to leave my apartment at all (more about that in a few days.) In the end, though, I really did want to see the other plays, so I pulled myself away from my computer, put myself on a train, and went to the pub where the show was.

I thought it might be hard or awkward to find where to sit for the show, but an entire half of the place had been converted into a pseudo-stage/audience area. I went over to the bar and ordered some food and a drink, and as I was waiting for them, I decided that I’d go introduce myself to the producer/literary manager of the festival. I knew who she was because, besides her play being the first one I auditioned for post-graduation (on the day of graduation), I’ve also seen her at a million auditions. So I went over her and extended my hand, saying, “Hi, I’m Rachel-” “Hi! I know who you are! I’ve seen you at every EPA in Philadelphia! I’m giving you a hug! Hi!”

I was pleasantly stunned by this greeting. As I said, I knew who she was, but never expected her to remember me, and every time someone in the theatre world says they know who I am (usually from shows I’ve done), it just makes me feel awesome. She said how disappointed she was that they couldn’t do my play “because I just love it” and told me how the festival, which was supposed to be two days of two different line-ups of plays, ended up being one very scaled-down night because of losing actors and also, all but two of the 35+ plays were too awful to be presented. I could tell she was kind of embarrassed that the festival had taken such a turn, but as I stated in the sister entry, it’s better that she and the company chose to present four of the best prepared scenes instead of eight hurriedly-rehearsed or terribly written plays. The way they did it is a much smarter choice to keep up their fledgling company’s reputation.

After telling me all of this, she waved over a few people. “This is Rachel, playwright of Counterfactuals.” To be introduced as a playwright… there are no words for how great that felt. Even better was when one of the guys (whom I recognized from that audition) said, “Oh, God. I love your play. It’s so sad!” I also met the girl who was supposed to direct my play, who was super nice. As my food came up, the manager said, “Oh, and of course, you’re seeing the show for free, and you’re on our tab, so please, get drunk.”

Though I did not get drunk (my drink was ginger ale, and also, I was there alone and I think drinking alone is kind of sad), I did really enjoy the plays. Funnily enough, one of my favorites was a play that I didn’t like when I read it because I couldn’t picture it done any other way except with the two actors lying on the floor, saying their lines like they were completely stoned. But the way it was directed and acted made the play super funny and great, which goes to show that you never know.

I stayed at the pub for a bit after the show, sitting awkwardly at the table to myself. My mother’s instructions to make myself approachable were not to take out a book, or sit with my arms crossed, but sitting there sans books trying to figure out how to hold my arms just made me look sadder. And everyone- EVERYONE- had a significant other there. It’s not even that I was going there to pick up a guy (mostly because I don’t know how.) It’s that everyone had someone, and I was alone. So I did go home pretty soon after. Overall, though, the night was great, and seeing how nice the people were makes me think that maybe they will do my play someday.


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