More than forty years ago, in the Texas town of Dallas, a young playwright with some success decided to leave his theater home. He had no idea what that would do to his career (to instead of for), because he didn’t think twice about leaving. That was when his plays stopped being produced. He intended to stay in the theater; in Manila found a rewarding position in the Peace Corp teaching drama at the University of the Philippines and working with Cecilia Reyes as she established a national theater at Fort Santiago. There was no hint at that time that he wouldn’t continue to have a promising career in the theater.
Many years have passed. The playwright continued to write and to make a living began working in the helping professions. He also read, in spurts, authors he thought would help him in his writing. He began with Hemmingway, and concentrated on Faulkner and Joyce. Plays did not interest him as much, but he still called himself a playwright. It happened that he still had a strong desire to work in the theater, but his tenacity didn’t match his desire.
The playwright, however, demonstrated tenacity in other areas. He helped many people and used his creativity in that way. He started programs, not only programs but non-profit corporations, that did a lot of good. Quite suddenly, after a successfully stint as a Child Protective Services investigator, the playwright retired. Only retirement presented him with a dilemma; and he realized that he could no longer runaway from his writing. Runaway, indeed, a curious word for him to use after so many years of writing. Hadn’t he paid his dues? What does it take? He had been trying, but now there was greater urgency. Only he knew he couldn’t go back and start over, and has wondered if he’s missed out.
Opportunities were missed. The playwright, older and less agile, works on his thinking; he never considered himself a thinker. The playwright has started several projects. He jumps around not knowing what would interest other people. He has tried many things and has had a hard time settling on one. The playwright writes everyday and reads until he falls asleep late at night.
Struggling today, Randy Ford