Then it slows down for a while and you’re faced with the blank page.
I just finished doing six shows in six weeks – which never left you with enough time to focus on the shows you were doing, let alone “the future”. But after sending Courtney Act on her way round the world in “Maybe She’s Born With It” I was allowed to go back home to Melbourne with a few weeks off. Apart from directing the Biodiversity Musical “Wipeout!”. But no writing that’s due.
In the few weeks you have off you consider the many projects that you’ve idly fondled in your mind over the years – the silly ones, the epic ones – is it time to get into film or television? Can I make my brother’s songs into a coherent narrative? Should I write Josie Lane a stand up act with dirty, belted songs to show off her talents? The future is ripe with possibilities, and all you have to do is make a few calls and get them going.
The most delicious part of any project is the first meeting – the period when you’re dreaming it up, usually with someone else, and it could be anything. You can see the set in your mind, bigger and better than one you’ll ever actually be able to afford. You can feel the flow of the show, months and pages before you’ve actually forced that flow into being. You can hear the songs still unwritten, songs that will move, be remembered forever, and possibly storm up the iTunes chart (unless all your teenage fans have downloaded them for free on TorrensBitLimeWhatever).
It’s taking it to step two that’s hard. Putting your project into real words. Looking for someone to fund it. Researching it. Facing up, again, to your limitations. And, like the proverbial sperm who makes the baby, only one or two of those brilliant ideas will ever make it to a space where a group of people join to watch it enacted in real time.
It’s nice to have time off. It’s nice to dream.