My time at Tisch and NYC in general, thus far has lead me to some realizations, startling and otherwise. Once the apartment hunting was done (The Bronx … who knew), the classes were paid for, and the first day had, it dawned on me that I had in no real way prepared for getting what I wanted. That’s right, I’d thrown so much energy into the fight to get here that I’d invested essentially none on what I would do once I was doing what I came here to do. Hence, I have spent the last four weeks flopping around like an epileptic at a performance of River Dance (I’m sorry, that was horrible). Moving on.
The first startling realization was that I was the only Black one in my graduating class. (Ok, so it wasn’t that startling. I sat down the first day, looked around, I was it.) I spent the first week and a half feeling like I, as one of my friends so aptly put it ,”the future of Black playwriting was on my shoulders.” This thought served to simultaneously stroke my ego; as I pictured myself doing battle with a hyper-villainous Tyler Perry driving my mighty quill through his coonish heart, and scare the beloved shit outta me. “Everything I say has to be so carefully laid out, my message clear and concise. It’s so important.” I thought as I lay around and wrote not a fuckin’ THING. I was stuck. This lead me to my second startling realization.
I had no CLUE what I wanted to write about. I had a million lofty ideas that seem to do nothing but dance around in my skull 24hrs a day when was in Charlotte. In New York, I dunno, I think they were chased out by the sounds of trains, screaming vagrants, and cholo cart bells (alas coconut icee, I shall miss you this winter). The scrap of sanity I felt I had left lead me to seek refuge in my usual avenues. I met good people, did grounding things, got sound advice, and pulled my head just far enough out of my ass to have a moment of clarity which lead me to my third realization (or I should say re-realization because it always comes back to this for me).
Nobody gives a shit. I don’t mean this in that too-cool-for-school Bronx Tale kinda way, but rather people are far too busy worrying about their own real lives to give a shit about whether I can generate words for this outrageously expensive graduate program I chose to attend. This is my “dream car”. I have to drive it. I have to provide the fuel that determines the type of exhaust I put out. I use regular gas. I’mma get regular assed exhaust, the kind people choke on and does the world little good. However, if I use the brain between my ears and keep the pen moving in my hand, I might be able to produce something I can be proud of whatever or whoever it’s about.*
The ideas have slowly but surely began to repopulate. This New York life has started to feel more like mine despite the people and places I miss back in Charlotte. I can make a go of this I think. Right? Write.
Rosie.*where the hell did that car analogy come from tho?