When I walked into my first Field session, I had no idea what I was going to work on. For the first couple weeks, I coasted by with bits of things that I’d written before and that was ok, but then one night I had a dream that seemed to be screaming at me. On impulse, I wrote about that dream and, even though it seemed silly to bring in something that I’d scribbled in my notebook an hour earlier, I refused to talk myself out of showing it in that night’s session. Even though it was rough, the feedback told me that other people were intrigued by this idea too. I started wondering what happens next and I brought in a new section the following week.
By the end of that 8-week summer session, I had a (very) rough draft of a solo performance show that I called Me vs. My Subconsicous. I took it to a longer works session that fall and developed it further. Bits were presented at showings for our invited audiences at the end of several sessions, as I kept refining and working on the next draft. I started working outside The Field with a director. As the script developed, the showings in Field sessions became less about reading the words on the page and more about creating a performance. People saw the work out of order and out of context. Several people saw the same section again and again. I submitted one section and was accepted to have it shown at a festival in Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend. I refined it some more. A section came with me to the national Field Network conference for a public demonstration showing. Locally, I performed sessions at Stone Soup’s now (sadly) defunct (XX) Fest and at Annex Theatre’s Spin the Bottle. A reading of Story by Robert McKee for a film class led to a whole new revision.
Finally, I looked at the script and called it finished (ha!) and I decided that it was now or never: Time to Produce. I run a small theater company called Blank Stage Theater and my producing partner and I agreed to make Me vs. My Subconsicous our next production. If I thought that performing in my first solo show was going to be hard work, and add to that all of the details involved in self-producing…well, let’s just say that that last 3 months have been some of the most challenging in my life. But last week we opened a fully produced performance, with props and costumes and beautiful lights. There are projections and music. Others have believed in this project and invested their time and talent, and still others have climbed up the four floors to the theater and paid money to see it, all because of the validation and encouragement I received when I first presented two pages of text in The Field nearly four years ago. The lessons that I learned during this process would fill several other blog posts, but the one that I want you reading this right now to hear is that if you have a dream–figurative or literal–about creating some art, you totally should do it. And, for me, The Field was a pretty great place to make it happen.
Oh, and if you want to see the finished product: Me vs. My Subconsicous runs one more weekend (Dec 12-14, 2013) at Theatre Puget Sound’s Theatre 4 (in the Armory Building at Seattle Center). Tickets and more information are available at http://mevsc.brownpapertickets.com/