You get to a point in a work, maybe before a play opens or after, you get to a point. The point is a feeling expressed as “I’m done, it’s finished, I don’t want to work on it anymore.” In reality, it is never done. I cook a lot. I enjoy cooking. In cooking, there is always a conclusion. The meal is finished. It’s either eaten or thrown away, but there’s a completion. The only completion in theatre is death, your death. Then its over (I guess.)
Back to this illusionary “point”. Physically, mentally, emotionally, I am done. That’s not bad really. Sounds bad, but it’s not. Because at that point, I want to go at it again. I want to start something new. When I get to that ‘point’ of I’m done, that’s when the inside of me begins to itch - a longing for some new creative path.
My life is chronicled by the plays I produced, directed or performed. When I look back at my life, I can’t remember what happened in any particular year, but I do remember every play, every actor, almost every scene. I have an internal artistic calendar. “Oh if it was ‘Dead End Ed’ then it was 1998.” That’s what the inside of my calendar sounds like.
Since I work with my hands making masks, I was asked by a journalist what was my favorite tool. I answered a clean sheet of paper. I wish I could find the first scratches on those white sheets of when a new work began. Sometimes I’ve find them. Sometimes its just a word or a phrase, a concept, a drawing. The initial inception. Oh that blank paper! Oh, that feeling before I begin to write… despite the economy, the occasional (or sometimes not so occasional) harsh
criticsms, the difficulty of working in theatre (which I think is the hardest medium, so many people, so many things, so many ideas, so many complications) if I think of that paper - that clean white slate - I’m ready to work again.
Anyway, what I really wanted say… I’ve begun to scratch.