The Last Fifteen Years

It’s hard to believe that it’s fifteen years since I wrote my first one-act play, ‘Looking For Love’. Back then, I never thought I’d be where I am now – with a body of work of five one-act and thirteen three-act plays.
When I read extracts from ‘Looking For Love’ at that gathering of local Writers Groups back in 1996, the reaction I got spurred me on to try and get it staged. And the reaction of the audience to that staging in 1997 spurred me on to write more plays.
I could have left those first few plays to gather dust on the shelf of a bookcase, but I decided to try and get them staged. I began to phone libraries around the country to get the names of drama groups in their area. Some were helpful, some were not. Looking back on it now, I can’t believe I had such drive. One-act plays are much more difficult to sell than three-acts, because the market is much more limited. I had to make a lot of ‘cold calls’ to members of drama groups. I met some lovely people and I met some very unpleasant people. I remember one snooty woman in Dublin said she didn’t want to see my play, because she’d only have to incur the expense of sending it back. She was rejecting it without having even seen it. But I didn’t lose my cool, picked myself up and moved on.
As I’ve mentioned before, I started writing my first three-act play in 1999. It was a big step-up for me from a one-act and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish it.
In those early years, it was an uphill battle trying to sell my plays when I only had a small body of work. As I look back on it now, I can’t believe how I persevered, not only in writing new material, but also in promoting what I already had.
Slowly but surely, I progressed. While I’ve met many many wonderful people over the years, I’ve also had to endure the people and drama groups who show their contempt for me and my work. They don’t reply to phone calls or e-mails and they won’t even do me the courtesy of reading my work.
But at least I have the comfort of knowing that by now thousands of people all over the country have enjoyed my work and that lines I have written have put smiles on a lot of faces. And this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t had the drive and perseverence over the years to get my plays out to groups. Those plays could still be lying gathering dust on a bookshelf in Corrydonlon.
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