Randy-writer as self-promoter

I tried for a long time to promote my play ON THE EDGE.   Except for readings I arranged, it has not been produced.   Maybe it is because of the nature of the play that it hasn’t been.   Maybe not.   In this regard, actors and members of the audience agreed that the subject matter and the explicit nature of it made the play difficult to watch; one friend even suggested that I change the ending so that audience wouldn’t leave the theater so depressed.   However, positive responses from audiences and professors and readers tell me I haven’t written a dud.

The reasons why I wrote the play and why I would like to see it produced are the same.   (One director shot me down when I said the play was important.)   My promoting it has moderated, significantly, now that I have a theater of my own and can produce it myself.   I no longer have to knock on the doors of theaters, present myself as a playwright, and have no one acknowledge me.   So I no longer expect a welcome or that a business card or my personality will carry any weight, and I’ve decided promotional tours by and large are a waste of time.

The creation of a theater/creative community arts center in Tucson hasn’t been smooth and swift. From the start, and with me spending a considerable of my own money, there was a reluctance of people to participate in the effort, even after an initial expression of excitement and saying it (the venue) was something they had been looking for.   For now I am content when three or four actors show up and we’re able to explore something new: of course with financial support we could reach out more.   So, I may not have progressed as far as I might’ve hoped (my play still has not been produced and the theater/creative community arts center may still be in its infancy), but I am still me, naïve maybe, and I won’t give up.   I still have my acting workshop this evening to give and feel some original ideas I have about acting are clicking.   Original?   I think so, but there is a good chance I’m wrong.   The germ for my concepts came from Angna Enters, America’s first solo mime artist, with whom I studied under at Baylor University.   She was fond of saying, “mime (to me movement also works) is everything the actor does on stage beyond words.”

Randy Ford

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