Ah, yes. Medication is like a tiny assistant you swallow. It helps you stay calm. It doesn’t override every bloody thing that happens. It doesn’t mean you can stop trying.
It’s too early, and I’m up again. But yesterday was my work with the director, so I’m not shocked. I was wound up as the time approached, wound up during the meeting, wound up after the meeting, wound up during sleep (can’t even count how many times I woke up biting down hard on my mouth guard), and now I’m awake – begrudgingly. For the record, 5 a.m. Better than 3 a.m., tho not by much.
Ach…I still can’t say with 100% certainty that we’ll do my script. The cast is large, and if we can’t find enough good people…well, the director said he’d rather not do it than do it with a shit cast. I am exactly where I don’t want to be: stuck in flux, with no certainties to hang my hat on. …No. Not true. I can hang my hat on the fact that the director really wants to do the script, he really likes the story, and he thinks we’re capable of doing it. Whether or not the production comes off shouldn’t be my main focus. Right. Hang on to that, Beeps. Your work is appreciated.
It was fun, yesterday, working. We pulled everything apart; took 5 hours. I was prepared to make major concessions. Geared up for major re-writes. What I heard was stuff like “I don’t think you need the word ‘on’ in this sentence” or “Did you see that typo here?” Minor corrections, minor adjustments. A few hours and it should be done. Mostly, we talked about what I didn’t write: the back stories of characters, the hidden ideas in the scripts. We discussed sound: how to approach it, what to mix together, what we needed for the venues. I was shocked when the director brought up the possibility of adding a video element to the show. Last discussion I’d had about adding video was that it’s expensive to do so the group just didn’t do it. But, hey! At this point, it’s the director talking to the board. He’s selling his vision, and if that includes video, let him argue the point. I’d love to do it. I wanted to get my hands on a camera anyway. Showed the director my rough cut trailer for YouTube, which he loved, and the flyer. As I explained my reasoning on the flyer layout, he just grinned and nodded. ‘I was thinking of something similar,’ he said. Our ideas were in-line for many elements, and my bro ended up chiming in some key ideas we all loved.
lol. And one mystery solved. I’d been wondering why the director kept saying my work was like Lovecraft, and yesterday I heard that reasoning. He feels Lovecraft wrote about things that just exist. They are not evil; they simply are. We’re terrified by what these things do, but they’re not malicious. They’re more like children, simply not knowing what they do is harmful. I laughed when he told me all this, because it’s bang on. I hadn’t torn apart Lovecraft to realize all that, but I knew it about my own work. I’ve written demons from Hell whom you’ll end up loving and cheering on, murderous elementals whom you’ll identify with and bear no ill will towards, and now the thriller trilogy with what ends up being, in short, a force of nature. Things that are just evil…they don’t really scare me. I’m sure they would, if they popped up in my life, but…outright evil is easy to combat. You know you have to fight it. What do you do with something that just is? What do you do with that grey area? How do you react when the unimaginable is stated in the softest and most reasonable voice? I find that disconnectedness more terrifying than fire and brimstone. I suppose that says a lot about me.
…In some ways, I feel like yesterday was the shrink session I really didn’t get with Dr. T. I am painfully aware my writing tells all to anyone clever enough to read between the lines. That knowledge knots my stomach and makes me wince. Discussing the back history of each character, bringing up what’s driving all of them…naturally, I was discussing myself on many levels. The director chuckled many times. He pointed out snippets of dialogue, things like ‘yes, here’s where her narcissism comes in’ or ‘you have a lot of psychologically based male/female dialogue here’. He questioned me on some statements, and I found myself very able to defend my reasoning. One thing in particular was a married couple exchange. A few things are clear to me, in retrospect. One, the director isn’t an outright narcissist. He didn’t know the moves. Two, he doesn’t know any outright narcissists because he didn’t know the psych behind it. Three, I heard a click in his brain when he asked me ‘How many Jims did you know?’ (Jim being the cheating husband), and I quickly said ‘too many’. We discussed self harm, suicidal thoughts, uncontrolled rage, helplessness, fear, obsession – all of them in the third person, all of them safely, all of them in regard to the story and the characters I wrote. I even started the meeting like a therapy session, with a warning that (a) I was really manic about the production and (b) I have control issues, so fair warning, and I’ll do my best to let go.
Most of all, tho, I stressed the idea that I know the power of a group. I don’t want to control every element. I don’t want to make every decision. I’ve got a lot of good ideas, and I want to put them to use, but I also want to have other people in on it. Have their ideas expand mine. Let them flesh in the corners I left dark.
Does this mean I’ve finally learned how to play with others?