Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Friday, October 27, 2006

On the art of collaboration

"No one wants advice, only collaboration."
-John Steinbeck

I've recently finished a script.

By "I," I mean "we." The script, for the aforementioned school shooting television series, was the collective effort of three other people and myself and will next month be getting a live stage reading.

Collaboration, as loathsome as it can be, may perhaps be one of the only reasons I get things done. I've worked on this project for almost a year now, and though it's not for a grade, I've invested more time into this screenplay than in any school assignment. I like to think that, had this been an independent project, I would've done just as well and had complete creative control.

But I'd just be bullshitting myself. My "independent projects"--essays, short stories, homework, etc.--usually don't get done until about an hour before they're due. Or, for the projects not being assigned to me, I usually begin with a jolt of enthusiasm before abandoning it once the newness wears off.

What does it say about me that I need somebody to answer to before I will get anything done? Why isn't answering to myself enough? I like to think of myself as maintaining my own individuality and identity; but I'm beginning to believe that this identity may need some solidification in order to be defined and lead by it.

Like the worn-down issue of abortion, this leads to very deep questions about existence, about life and living, and the human soul and what drives it. The ability to shed the crutch of collaboration and take the reigns, I'm coming to realize, will only occur only once the individual has reached self-actualization.

Or maybe not. Perhaps (and I like this concept better) self-actualization is the ability to admit, without embarrassment, that collaboration is a necessity. I hope not to be misunderstood here--I am not making excuses for my own procrastination. Nor am I claiming to be self-actualized (not by a long shot), but in the material produced by my small group of writers there is a glimmer of the painstaking hours that went into our project. I couldn't have done that on my own. The art of the collaboration is bringing your own flavor to the melting pot.


At 3:20 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Everybody needs someone. Things are always more fun when shared with others. Minds meet, ideas flow.

At 5:19 AM, Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

It certainly didn't take you long to post something interesting. I've never collaborated on anything. Maybe I should. I have this fear of letting go, thinking that I could always write a better short story.

Good luck with the live stage reading. I hope your script is well received.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Bird on a Wire said...

Thanks. Much appreciated.


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