Remembering the opposite of lonliness
This is beautifully insightful and captures how I think many of us feel/felt when leaving college --- it is also heartbreaking on every level knowing that she is gone. I didn't know Marina, but my heart goes out to her and her loved ones. Rest in peace, Marina Keegan. The rest of you, you should read this.
my cosmonaut was "hilarious"
Photo by Aaron Oster
Earlier this year, I mentioned that one of my plays had been picked up for a night of 10-minute shorts in Philly. Sadly, I wasn't able to get to the run because the festival overlapped with our year-end festival at OU. As luck would have it, someone along the way in this great developing society we call humanity invented the internet; and because of that, I was able to see photos from the show just moments after opening night closed. That's one of them to the left. A great shot from my director, Aaron Oster, who also went to OU (as a directing MFA student). Aaron and I have never met outside of Facebook. Maybe by email, but really, Facebook is where it's at. He sent me this pic (and some more) and I'm thrilled to see it realized this way. And happily, I wasn't the only one. In a review from Stagemagazine.org, my play THE COSMONAUT IN HUMAN RESOURCES was deemed one of the night's "most hilarious." I shared that honor with a fellow writer named Sean Christopher Lewis, who I've had the pleasure of meeting and whose work I admire greatly. Pretty sweet to be named alongside him (in full disclosure, we were also called out in another review for being too political or something or other -- but hey, once again lumped in with SCL, not gonna complain).
Thanks to the folks at Luna Theater Company for putting my play into the Identity Crisis Festival (it was called something else in the previous post, but went up with the identity crisis theme). Always an honor.
Seriously -- today is an amazing day.
1. My second-year play is having a reading in the Seabury Quinn, Jr Playwrights Festival.
2. Another play of mine is going up in Philly at Luna Theater in their fest.
3. I received the 2012 Scott McPherson Playwriting Award, more on that below.
4. I received the 2012-2013 Anthony Trisolini Graduate Fellowship, which funds my final year at OU. More on that below too.
Seriously... I love today. I am so fortunate to be where I am.
On the awards...
The Scott McPherson Playwriting Award is given annually to a writer in the OU MFA Playwriting Program. I am beyond honored to have received this award. I actually do not feel I have the adequate words to explain it. Scott was a graduate of our school and wrote the play (and film) "Marvin's Room" before he died tragically from AIDS. I never knew Scott, but from what I've learned of him, he was kind, generous with his time, and the best friend a fellow writer could have. The award was created to recognize not just writing ability, but writers who are there for each other, writers who offer help and work for the benefit of their colleagues. It's not a secret that I want all my writer friends to succeed and be awesome. I believe that theater is collaborative and we need to help each other --- no writer in theater ever got anywhere alone. To that end, I was flattered and humbled to be thought of in Scott's company and completely touched.
It's been a very good year...
Earlier this year, I pitched my thesis play and put my name in the hat for a Trisolini fellowship. They're coveted -- there's only one -- and it's kind of a big deal. As the Graduate Website says: "Each year, the Ohio University Graduate College funds five Named Fellowships (The John Cady Fellowship, The Donald Clippinger Graduate Fellowship, The Claude Kantner Graduate Fellowship, The Anthony Trisolini Graduate Fellowship, and the Graduate College Fellowship). The fellowships are awarded through a competitive nomination basis. Each award provides a fellowship ... plus a full tuition scholarship for fall and spring semesters." See? Huge deal. It's funding. And in a time when money is tight, securing a fellowship is huge. Not only that... I like to think of it as a commission. Because that's what it's essentially doing. I pitched a play called FRACKTURE, and they said "okay... write it... we'll pay you to do that while you learn." Seriously. Cloud nine has nothing on this feeling. I went to the website and it said this:
On another fun and amazing note, the name below mine (Dan Dennis) is a friend and former prof of mine. I was actually taking his class this quarter, so we found out about our awards the same day and got to congratulate each other in class.
I know not every day is going to feel this amazing. Being a writer is hard. Mostly in the money department. Sure, we don't run into burning buildings, fight on the front lines, or talk people off a ledge (I leave all that to better humans than I), but we choose a life that pushes art and creativity into the world; that hopefully helps people understand something new about the world or even just themselves. Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to tell stories. And today, I am doing that. Tomorrow, I might not be. But today... I am lucky. I am blessed. And I am ever so grateful for every second and will take none for granted.
Today was a very good day.
Thoughts. From my brain. Anything to do with how we tell stories and the stories we tell each other. Literally and figuratively.
Writer. Husband. Father. Effulgent dreamer. A Fightin' Irishman (@NDdotEDU '01). A playwriting Bobcat (MFA in Playwriting, @OhioU '13). I write plays. I'm a geek. I wanted to be an astronaut. I go places in my head.