I couldn’t help but notice. One of the items jotted down on my 2013 to-do list reads, “Stop applying for things out of your league.” A glance through my submissions calendar finds this language again in an entry that reads, “Notes: [do not apply]. Probably outta my league.” When I wrote these directives down, I wasn’t giving them much thought beyond “don’t waste time,” but as I look at it again through fresh eyes, I’m stunned by my choice of words. Out of your league.
My league. My league. What is, exactly, my “league”?
…And that’s where I’m going to leave it. This post was six paragraphs long, a valiant attempt to determine my league or lack thereof by ruminating on self-awareness versus self-destruction, competition, barriers-to-entry, clever Tweets I’ve seen, disheartening Tweets I’ve seen, this year’s flood of script rejections, my handicaps of non-man/non-MFA/non-NY, and a plucky pledge to rise above and keep working no matter what.
It all made sense, and aimed to be reassuring and positive, but I’ve reached a breaking point of tolerance for both my own crap and the crap of others. I don’t want to have to talk myself out of negativity anymore. I just want to be in that place. I’m tired of the amount of envious energy I pay to others, and the lack of respect I give to myself. It’s exhausting.
I’m not a rookie. I’m not a playa.
There are no leagues. I’m both successful and a failure, highly accomplished and totally green, astoundingly talented and hopelessly bland. Depends on the building, depends on the crowd.
But I’m not a rookie. I won’t be a playa.
I can’t control anything, much less the Establishment, and I can’t make them love me or my work. I’m realizing that that’s not the important thing anyway. My community is the important thing. My task is to start loving my work so much that I don’t shut down when given a compliment, or when I’m asked a question, or when I’m challenged.
I’m a good playwright, same as everyone else out there. I deserve a seat at the table, same as everyone else. My league is my league is my league.
F that noise.