I. Am. No. Better.
Somehow, the other day, a conversation with a brilliant friend transformed into a debate about artistic integrity. We were bantering about what things excited us in today's theatre scene, what things gravely upset us and how it was our job to promote the good and rectify the bad. In no time, Yours Truly was harping on the predictability of storytelling these days; the dreadfully formulaic way that art seems to be generated. Yet as I launched into this tirade, I found myself hit with another thought (or fear, if you will): That my own pursuits are perpetrators of this very crime.
Every Saturday morning I spent watching the hubristic, conniving coyote failing to complete the simple task of taking down the quietly clever roadrunner, every book I read that carefully built to a great battle involving the death of a character I had grown to love, every glimmering musical that ended Act I with a belter screaming a high note with a delicious chorus casking a net of harmony behind her, all of these moments have informed my own brand of storytelling in major, yet insidious ways. These influences have been working on me over time and have undoubtedly shaped me with a white-female-American-child-of-the-80's mold.
And so there I am, poised over my coffee, ready to tear into every millennial making their mark, and suddenly struck silent by my thunderous fear that I. Am. No. Better.
After approximately three days of self-flagellation and dismay, I asked my vicious self-doubt voice to please, "Shut the hell up for a moment." I stepped back and pulled out my wide-angle lens and allowed myself to consider the alternative. Perhaps, I considered, this story that Dolan and I so badly wish to tell is inherently UN-predictable and UN-clichéd because it is OUR story. It is the product of a 7+year long friendship, complete with tomes of mistakes and triumphs, constructed and reflected on through our own undeniably unique perspective. It is a story that will ring incredibly true to our artistic-minded cohorts living in this crazy city and one that will most likely cause our career&family-minded friends from Florida and Michigan, respectively, to squint their eyes and tilt their heads in inquisitive disbelief. This story is raw and ludicrous and heartfelt and giddy and it is OUR story. And, you know, I cannot WAIT to tell it. Millennials on coffee dates with friends, have at me.
Excitement and Anticipation Abounding in Astoria,