What for?

Today is my first day of Orientation at Columbia. I am over the moon, bouncing-off-the-walls, stupid excited about it. I have to leave in about 10 minutes, as soon as the laundry is done.

This morning as I was sending some emails, I came across an old journal brainstorm to myself, which I must have written at a stressful moment in the application process. It was titled simply, “What for?” I will reproduce it below:

What the fuck do I want it for?

The goal is to one day—well, not one day, today, tomorrow, as soon as possible, however I can—have a voice in the theatre world, which means to me that I am directing, producing, or otherwise creating exciting, new, explorative work in the world of theatre, either in America or in Europe.

There are lots of things that could look like. It could look like running a theatre company, curating seasons, directing a show or two per season, hiring other artists and collaborators.

It could mean working freelance as a director or dramaturg, hired by whatever (probably small) theatre needs me next.

It could mean working freelance as an actor, running the gauntlet of the audition world. This option limits me to working in the states, and would eventually burn me out unless I was also in some way creating or generating work of my own (see above).

Dramaturgy and dramatic criticism is probably a really good thing to study towards any of these goals. The scary thing—it’s a commitment thing again—is pulling myself out of the professional working world for those three years. I’ll be 23 when I go in, if I’m accepted this year, and about to turn 26 when I come out. That’s three years that I’m not working. Three years that I’m not acting. Three years without audition experience. But 26 is still young. Heck, 36 is still young. And acting—on its own—is not the path.

How do you eat an elephant, Theo? How do you hike the Himalayan mountain range? One bite at a time. You walk, every day. You take the GRE.

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