XPT Blues

Mar. 19th, 2002 12:17 pm
terracinque: (bridesmaid revisited)
[personal profile] terracinque
A few weeks back magdalene1 asked me to tell her what XPT is. I'll tell all of you.

Each year at the Center for Puppetry Arts they issue a call for proposals for short (10-12 minutes) puppet plays. The proposals come in, they pick the five they like best (not necessarily the best or most interesting ones; the criteria are as arcane as those for the fabled MacArthur "genius" grants) and tell the proposers that they're in.

These five project directors then submit a budget for the materials they'll need, and they get a grant not to exceed $400. Then, over the next month or two, they build their puppets and sets, bring in any actors or puppeteers they might need, rehearse, do tech, and then the shows are presented nightly for four evenings.

The shows tend to be pretty edgy, not for kids, and are explicitly, by definition, unfinished works-in-progress. Hence the name: Xperimental Puppetry Theater. Every audience member is given a comment sheet and there's a Q&A session with the five directors after each night.

I was in XPT several years ago, with a play about a paraplegic computer programmer who's bitten by a werewolf and then changes into a fully-abled werewolf himself each full moon.

I submitted another proposal last month, and this morning I called home to check my messages. I had one from this year's producer, Lorna, who said she wants to bring me in for an interview on Friday but "we're probably going to accept your piece."

Great, you're all thinking. Why the "Blues" in the title?

Because this is the absolute worst possible time this could be happening. I mean, I can't decline, obviously; I must not refuse any opportunity to flex my creative muscles, to massage my bone of imagination. But at this same time I'm:


  1. Getting over a breakup
  2. Losing my job
  3. Trying, not just to find a new job, but to make a career change
  4. Training for a marathon
  5. Unraveling all my faults in therapy


It's too much. Resources are at maximum. Terracinque is not responding; please wait while system restarts.

I've already decided something's got to give, so I'm unloading the marathon. Will it be enough? We'll see. Watch this space.
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