So this week I worked with a professional actor and a professional director on this show I'm writing that's going to Edinburgh called Bill Clinton Hercules.
I've been a lawyer for 21 years. Judicial clerk, litigation associate, lots of trial experience, then in-house with a start-up, that was sold to a big incumbent telecom company in Europe, for which I have written contracts and negotiated agreements for the last decade. Girl, I've been around the block.
Professionalism in law really requires putting yourself in service to a client. Making what they want happen, and figuring out how to explain it to them.
My professional stint in the arts this week was decidedly minor but completely lovely. The Junction in Cambridge is really undergoing some marvelous changes and one is a program where local artists present their work called View from the 'Bridge (no one in Cambridge calls it the 'Bridge but theatre must seem cool to young people to survive so whatever).
We picked fifteen minutes from the middle to present. It covered John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Yitzhak Rabin, Negotiation of the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in 95, Rabin's assasination, the Iowa caucus in 2008 when Hilary came in third to Obama and Edwards - a result that ultimately cost her the nomination, a fabled conversation between Clinton and Ted Kennedy after the caucus, a trashed hotel room, and Bearded Hippy Bill protesting the Vietnam war.
The thing about Clinton is that his life is so huge and amazing there is a lot to cover. We also cover Milosevic, the war in Kosovo, government shut downs, Newt Gingrich, Leon Panetta, Alan Greenspan, Clinton's favorite play The Cure At Troy by Seamus Heaney, Hillary and of course Monica.
It's a big overwhelming thing to write. However, it is possible. With a huge professional adjustment on my part. Now I serve the play, which means I serve myself and my vision. I am so uncomfortable with this degree of selfishness, but this is what must be done. The weird and wonderful thing though is this: to be a professional playwright, I have to put my life and my happiness first and foremost. It feels heretical just to write but I've been trying it on and the interesting thing is I think this equips me more rather than less to serve the needs of others.
So basically if I can trust myself and be nice to myself, then this whole thing might work out. It seems to be going very well. I still suck at not berating myself. When I tune in to my own interior dialogue I am shocked to see that I am always calling myself a moron, deeply shaming myself over things that are really not my fault - I am so mean. But I'm learning to shake it off for the good of the play.