The fall after finishing my undergrad, I worked for a children’s theatre in Columbus, Ohio. It was a magical year. I learned so much about myself as an artist and I think the lessons I learned there still inform the work I do with young audiences today. While I was there, I would tell these stories of my life growing up. The artistic director of the theatre loved my stories and told me I needed to take all of these wonderful stories and make a show! For the next four years, I told anyone who would listen that I have this great idea for a show – but I never wrote it. I just talked about, thought about it and never did it.
After four years had gone by, I was given an opportunity by a friend to do a play at his theatre. He also offered to produce a workshop version of this play I kept talking about so I would “stop talking about it and just do it!” I did just do it. I wrote that workshop version of my solo play and continued to develop it. I have had amazing opportunities to perform my play because my friend gave me space and permission to just do it.
Lately, I’ve been hearing that same story from myself, “I have this great idea for a book” or “I have this great idea for a web series” but I am just talking about it, thinking about it and not doing it. I went to a writing workshop recently with a fantastic writer/actor Jen Nails. I worked with her when I first moved to New York on creating my play A Little Potato and Hard to Peel. The title of the workshop was “Just F’ing Write”. It was great. It reminded me that I needed to just do it. Just start – start from where I am at this moment.
How often do we keep ourselves from just starting? We think we have to have things perfect or we feel like we can’t start until this happens or that becomes just right…the truth is, we just need to do it. Make the first step. Write the first page.
I was very lucky my friend gave me that push 15 years ago to write my show. I’m a little older now, and, maybe a little wiser, I have learned that bigger and better opportunities come our way if we don’t wait. And we just DO IT!