second draft shakes

by brittniinink

So I’m part of this playwrighting circle. Usually, we meet at a pub or a coffeeshop, read through a script together and then discuss it. It’s a chill and intelligent group and I enjoy talking theatre with them.

This past meeting, however, was particularly intense for me. I had an edited draft of my play ready and I felt pretty good about where it was at. It wasn’t until we were a page into the script that I noticed I was shaking. Like, trying to hold it in my core bursts of shivering. On some level, it didn’t surprise me, but on another, it was weird. I chalked it up to nerves, and kept going. Although I was relieved to hear that my play didn’t suck, and that the word “beautiful” was even applied to certain aspects of it, I carried the shakes home with me.

“Are you cold?” P. asked as I sat down on the couch with my arms crossed and my legs pulled up. Later, making coffee in the kitchen, he said “Ah, you’ve had a vulnerable day.”

And that was it, exactly. Writing is vulnerable. Sharing something you’ve written can be like telling someone you love them without being sure if they reciprocate. It’s bringing that solitary writing process into a public space and letting people go over every inch of it with flashlights. And for someone who prefers to run sound and lights over being onstage, it’s difficult to be vulnerable.

Yet, it’s necessary. Because without vulnerability, there’s a lack of authenticity. There can’t be deep relationships. Without vulnerability, there’s no story.