Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Breakfast by a Madwoman

Got turned down a few times to study playwriting in a grad school. I had all these IDEAS but that’s all they were. I hadn’t written much of anything I liked. I had been trained and experienced as a performer, but I was itching to tell my own stories the way I wanted to tell them. 

Around this time, I was at a longterm temp gig and I overheard a colleague I admired use the phrase A MAD WOMAN’S BREAKFAST. I froze. Those words meant something to me and I needed to know why. I had her repeat them and explain her anecdotal etymology and that night I was ignited to start in on a very poor first draft of a play about a woman who ran away from home. I wanted to see if I could find the line between nature and nurture and which one made her run. 

The next day, during a break on the admin gig, I searched and printed and taped my way to this odd thing and, as a joke, gave it to my colleague, thanking her for her words. 

Barbara. She kept it on her desk. 

This…IDEA. It was a poor excuse for a sculpture but the IDEA was no longer just that. I’d handed it to someone else…and they took it. Applauded it. Shared it. 

When I got to a presentable-ish version of MADWOMAN, many people read and commented and acted like this IDEA was a reality. I was #grateful. I was also #busy. 

I moved. Bought a house. Had a baby. A permanent full time job. THEN I got into grad school. Learned to write using more than my impulses. 

More #lifehappened and I moved again. To Atlanta. And in 2020, a bunch of theatremakers found each other and we took a mad woman’s play and ran with it. We crammed rehearsals with experiments and DIYed our way to a show we loved and gave to our fellow colleagues. A lot like handing over an awkward sculpture made out of extra office supplies. 

As I am watching all of my peers and partners and friends and family create and inspire and tell their stories—with a passion for nothing but fulfilling that first impulse they’re called to give—I just want to thank those who take us in and applaud us and share our work. 

Here’s to making ideas into stuff. Here’s to making that stuff matter. 

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