I have realized that one of the things that made the US Artists Initiative blog so popular was the way that I gave each post a sense of a day. “In the morning, I did this. In the afternoon, I did this. At night, I did this.”

I have hitherto avoided putting that much detail onto my personal blog, out of a desire for privacy. I don’t really want to tell everyone in the world what I do in the morning, afternoon, and night. It’s one thing when you’re participating in a highly structured and public program, but another when you’re, I don’t know, reading Harry Potter all day.

But I do think it was effective.

I am going to compromise by giving future posts more of a sense of place and time, if possible.

metablog, Poland, theater

US Artist Initiative weblog launched

Last night, I started a new blog with Rachel for the US Artist Initiative project, the program through which I’m here in Poland at the The World As A Place Of Truth festival.

I’ll be writing posts about the theatrical / Grotowski experiences of the trip there, rather than here. I’ll try to link to this page when I have a new post there, but I’m hoping to write there every day. All the 30 participating US directors and theatre artists will also be able to post there, once they arrive, so it should be a good place to get different perspectives on the trip.

Here it is: US Artist Initiative Weblog – Grotowski Year 2009

metablog, poetry

back out of all this now too much for us

I am deeply unsettled by all my self-descriptions being spilled in a sea of HTML on this site. How long has it looked like that? I don’t want to know. There is only one thing that will cleanse the space: Auden. The last lines of the last poem I memorized for a high-school acting class, these words are one of the last connections I have to a time of unquestioning confidence.

Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William Yeats is laid to rest.
Let the Irish vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry.

In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

Can’t be wrong.


that’s better

What a nightmare of introspection. WordPress vomited every description I’ve ever written of this blog, simultaneously, onto the sidebar. SIMULTANEOUSLY. Young and hopeful: older and hope-weary: oldest and hopelessest, side by side, and each one of them beginning chirpily with “My name is Dara Weinberg.” Oh, it was awful. One might age, one’s perspective on one’s art might grow, develop, or wither: one might sum oneself up with less bravado than one used to: but, for the love of Blog, one does not need to be reminded of it. My slate may not be clean, but at least now my sidebar is. I am suitably chastised for having neglected both this space and the space inside my brain, and for having had no ideas for a fortnight of fortnights except survival. This is what I get.

metablog, writing

it seems like

I can only write/blog in the appropriate grumpy tone which all writers should have when I am actually happy. When I’m really feeling that way, I can’t write at all. Everything is wrong – the keys, the pen, everything.

But the most disgruntled, self-serving, whiniest and most maudlin writing is better, better, better than no writing at all. Even if the posts sound like I HATE THIS NO COMPARISONS THING IT MAKES ME ANGRY WHO SHUFFLED THIS MESS otherwise.

chicago, dialogue, metablog

no action

Friday night at La Pasadita, one of three of the La Pasadita taquerias in the block south of Ashland and Division. B and her friend C are eating carne asada Super Tacos.

A: Where did you ladies get that beer?
C: Around the corner.
A: Around that corner there?
C: Yep.
B: There’s a giant arrow sign pointing to it. You can’t miss it.
A: We appreciate it.

In rereading a portion of this blog yesterday, I decided that the parts I like reading the best are:
1) the observations about writing, which I’m getting better about doing regularly
2) the dialogue excerpts, which there aren’t enough of. I’m going to create a new category.

I will try to have dialogue even when, as is typical in my plays, there is no action. Maybe by writing a little bit of dialogue regularly in the blog I will find more action in the sound of people’s words.

metablog, writing

something about nothing

Once upon a time, I cared more about the sounds of spoken words than about plot, which is central to drama, and comparison, which is central to poetry. I only cared about sound. But this is no longer true. This is who I was, the writer I was. I am no longer that person. As I get older, I seem to get better at action, metaphor, and simile. My writing today is not something my former self would recognize as mine. I would not want to possess it. I would not know it.

We name things and they change under the names. You can just be grateful – I know I am – that this blog isn’t titled TIME TO RHYME.

metablog, writing

isn’t hard to master

I haven’t blogged in a long time. Shortly after the Passover Seder of which I spoke in the last post, my MacBook, which has seen me through a year and a half of personal assisting, a year and a half of assistant directing, and a year of Chicago writing, died the death of all good technology. I am writing this from my friend B’s computer, up in Lakeview, where I spent the night last night – watching SINGING IN THE RAIN and talking of old and new friends.

Being without a laptop has made trying to write regularly interesting at best, difficult at worst. I am laboring under a backlog of both ideas and emails. I find myself taking a weekly two-hour-long trip to the 24-hour Kinkos to get scenes typed up for playwriting class.

I lost work as a result – not much finished work, which was backed up, but first drafts in all genres.

A good thing about this is that I am learning to write first drafts longhand and save computer composition for revision, which has the merit, if nothing else, of shaking up my work habits.