Monday, October 21, 2013

If You're Mad, Get Mad

It's 8 PM. Do you know where your Alice is? In bed. That's right, y'all. NOT IN THE THEATRE. My thesis play has closed. Big hurdle. Jumped.

I do not miss it. Not to say it wasn't a wonderful experience. It was. But every time the usher asked for my ticket and I responded, "Oh, I'm the playwright," I didn't feel the burst of Katy Perry triumph I Am Artist Hear Me Roar (I've got the eye of the tiiiiger!), I felt an impending doom like "I have to answer for this." I recognize how tired the tortured writer thing is, and I really don't put myself in that category, and yet here we are.

There is a lot I could say about this production and process, but the thing I want to say at the moment is that I believe in the power of reaction. The end of my play was controversial. I wrote an ending that didn't quite sit within the context of typical dramatic analysis and one that definitely didn't sit right with a majority of audience members. Some (many?) still enjoyed the thing (the play, yes, I'm calling my thesis "the thing"), but there's a squidgey discomfort about it. At the end of the play, people were confused, thirsting for different answers, and sometimes angry. And, I like that. Not because I believe in art as an inherent "stir people up and make em bonkers." But because I believe art should not only make us evaluate situations, but it should make us evaluate ourselves. And when we feel strong emotions (not just through the narrative, vicariously, but AT it--ie "I do not agree") we either reaffirm what we love, what we stand for...or we become more open-minded.
Act II, Scene ii.

I'm not saying the ending was perfect. I've got more revising to do. But there's importance in disliking things. I just wish I didn't have to sit in front of a crowd as the stamp for the disliked thing.

Earlier this week I watched the Miley episode of SNL over a bagel. Talk about someone who is disliked. But good for her for being such a THING. Such a disliked thing. Such a way for women to teach young women what not to be. But for who the media has been hounding as a complete trashball slut for the past month, there's still an innocence to this girl. She wore white, sat on a stool, performed an acoustic cover of "We Can't Stop." She really is a remarkable singer. Something in me fluttered when the camera closed in, she crooned, "It's my mouth I can say what I want to." I don't know. She stands for a lot of things I hate, but, also, I am hating AT those things, and that human is not a thing.

Plus, I love "Wrecking Ball."

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