Yesterday was amazing. I didn’t get a chance to blog about it, but now I’m sitting in Colorado Coffee and it’s cold out and I’m wearing flip-flops, so I basically have no choice. Anyway. Yesterday we had an incredible opportunity to Skype with Kris Diaz, the playwright who wrote Chad Deity and was nominated for a Pulitzer. Idris talked to him for twentyish minutes about technique and about what it’s like to be a playwright of color (all the standard stuff–we’ve been covering this ground for a bit and we’re all seasoned race-discussers), but then we got the chance to ask him our own questions.
Playwrights are a very, very smart bunch. They’re very measured in the way that they talk, they know how to get a laugh out of you, and they know how to grab your attention when you might not be taking them seriously. Kris talked to us about how he builds characters, how he humanizes villains, how he gets his ideas down on paper, etc.
I haven’t had a lot of chances in my life to talk to anyone famous (and yes, for all intents and purposes I’m consider Kris famous) or otherwise eminent in the art world. One of my favorite things ever, though, is realizing that these people are human. They are just like me. How much more motivation could anyone possibly need to become a successful artist? Determination and dedication can get you anywhere, and talking to Kris just reaffirmed that for me.
There are a lot more things I could say about our conversation. The most important, though, is this: when I had the chance to ask him a question (I got to ask Kris Diaz a question, how cool is that?) about how to get out of my mind and onto the paper, he told me, in exactly these words, “it doesn’t fucking matter.” IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. GAH. I can’t get over that. He went on to talk about how having a partially completed piece of shit play is better than having nothing at all, and all that jazz. But that was one of the best things that happened to me in a long time. Kris Diaz told me, not in so many words, that anything I write counts. And that is the best thing I could have heard.
I can’t get over this shit. Oh man.