Alyssa Burgos is 18 and has written three plays over the past three years which have been workshopped and given staged readings through Downtown Art's Writer's Project.
I know you guys have heard this kind of thing before, so I’m going to make this as original as possible and interesting as I can. Okay? Okay. Here we go.
1. For starters, one big difference 'The Writers Project' made is that I have actual completed scripts. I have written a lot as a kid .. basically my whole life. I could complete short stories - no problem. Scripts I couldn’t. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because when you don’t have a deadline to pressure you to finish something, and you don’t have a deadline so deadly that if you don’t finish by then you will die (I tend to be very dramatic - I apologize), and you’re a procrastinator ... stuff just doesn’t get done.
But now I have three complete scripts, thanks to the Writer’s Project. And I have the ability to give myself a mental deadline, because I know that if I don’t finish the script I’m starting the damn thing won’t write itself and an amazing earth shattering idea just goes to waste in a file drawer.
2. I found out in the Writers Project that I’m a good comedic writer. Like, I can actually be funny and sorta witty. Who knew? I sure as hell didn’t. Lovely self discovery. So, yes, that made a difference because now I’m writing comedies.
3. Last, but not least, the third difference the project made... Confidence. Yeah, how original. Basically, when it comes down to it, when you’re doing something and you want to be good at it, and you can be good at it, its confidence that will put it over the top. (When I say this don’t get too confident so that you think you’re better than everyone else, even if it is true. No one likes an overly confident person. I think they would rather have a humble person than an overly confident, arrogant one instead.) But seriously, I did get more confidence in my writing. Not overly confident, mind you. Just a bit more than I was before. I mean, I still get nervous when someone first reads my writing. My hand or knee might shake a little bit and I’m mentally going crazy trying to figure out what I can do better, but, hey, that’s normal. (I hope. Well, at least that’s normal for me. It’s my normal.) Now if someone asks me if I can write, I’m no longer like all shy and saying “Yeah.... I guess I can.” Now I’m like “Yupp! I can write. It’s what I want to do.”
Oh, one thing that hasn’t changed…I don’t edit! I get someone to do it for me. (Oh, yeah, I got it like that. Okay, not really. My sister likes to do it for me. No, really. She does.)
For more info on opportunities for teen playwrights at Downtown Art, go to www.downtownart.org