Thursday, November 3, 2011

The First Room

[for the full experience, listen to this while you read...]

I used to write out everything long-hand. When I started. Everything was just piles of words in a notebook with no rhyme or reason. I'd fill up a notebook and then put it in a drawer. Then, sometime when the mood would strike me I would go searching in the notebooks for something. If that 'something' struck me, I would fold the corner of the page.

Then put the notebook away.

Then, much later, I was around a bunch of people who wrote things and read them aloud together and I wanted to play too. I wanted to join in. Then I remembered. I have these notebooks. These notebooks are full of words, and some of them are on dog-eared pages. I will type up those dog-eared pages.

So, I typed them up. But not just typed because there were people in mind. There were people I would read this to, so I fiddled this word, arranged this thought, made this image stand out, threw in this memory or that, something I would want them to know. These became poems and stories and random prose - eventually I found a notebook that was all dog-eared that seemed like it had voices in it, that became a play. My first play. The one I don't talk about or show, but I love it. Because the three voices became three characters and the three characters demanded a stage, a stage with microphones and over-sized furniture and papers falling from the sky. And they had all these words and stories that they wanted to say in front of people and they had all these things they wanted to do in front of people and I put it down into a script and we did it. Me and those people who were reading things together, just put it up in front of people.

And I'm so grateful for those people in a room reading things they wrote to one another.

And I'm so grateful that in my life there has continued to be so many rooms where people read things they wrote to each other.

But the first one. That's the one that was necessary.

- Kristen Palmer

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