Draw this picture in your mind: I was at a Valentine’s Party (okay, right there I’m suspect. Who has a party for Valentine’s Day?) crowded with too many people in too small a space that either arrived drunk, were actively getting drunk or were in the process of leaving drunk. It was, in a phrase, a party of . . . well, sloppy, gross drunks. That’s never, ever my idea of fun.
I’m standing in my kitchen, reeling from a long, tedious day of too many people asking too many things in too short a time from this one mortal person. My head’s pounding, my stomach’s growling and there’s so much tension in my back, I’m practically wearing my shoulders as a helmet. All I seem to be able to focus on is whether I should include one, two or three slices of individually wrapped, unnaturally yellow, processed cheese slices in what I’m sure will be the definitive grilled cheese sandwich.
I know I’m going to bleed – that’s a foregone conclusion. But I’m beginning to think I show up at my own staged readings just to figure out if I am going to bleed a little or bleed a lot. My first real thought when I sit down to witness a reading of a new play of mine is, “is this going to be a Band-Aid kind of evening for me, or should I call in the paramedics and a triage team, and for good measure, book an emergency suite at St. Vincent’s Hospital?” Because the really dramatic action isn’t happening on stage, baby. You want dramatic action?