I’m not going to lie, people. It sucks getting rejected from grad schools. I’ve been getting a lot of bad news on that front lately and it’s put me in a bit of a funk. Yes, I’m still waiting to hear from a few schools, but I’m not holding my breath.
I have to remind myself that A) there’s always next year, and B) not all great playwrights went to graduate school! In fact, most of them probably didn’t. And of course, the overarching feeling that if the bad news in my life is that I didn’t get into grad school, then that’s not a bad life at all!
What’s helped is supportive people, and reading work and reminding myself why I’m in this game in the first place. I’ve been reading a lot of Christopher Shinn’s plays lately – and I just finished his play Other People. I related a great deal to the main character, Stephen. This was a bit worrisome, since Stephen is pretty neurotic and a big mess in many ways, but he’s got his heart on his sleeve, and I’d like to think I do too.
Anyway. There’s a beautiful passage in the play (probably the passage that gives the title its’ meaning) and I felt compelled to share. Here you go.
PETRA: You know what? That’s New Age bullshit. You can’t love yourself. You go and try. One is a fiction. Reality exists when the other person walks in the room. Life is other people.
MAN: So is hell, or so someone said.
PETRA: Well then so is heaven.
MAN: Do you think you’ll be loved?
PETRA: I’d better.
MAN: Do you think you will?
PETRA: Hey, if I didn’t, I’d put my head in the oven.
-Christopher Shinn, Other People
God, I love that. I love that line, “Reality exists when the other person walks in the room.”