You can't just go in there and open your mouth until the cast and director feel comfortable with you.
Some really good things kind of swing both ways and I like to see people that can swing really, really, really sad and horrible and terrible and really, really, really beautiful and funny.
Then I went off to Southern Methodist University in Dallas. They had a really wonderful theatre department.
In movement class, you had to lie on the floor and get your alignment in to pass the class.
It's really interesting that whenever you do something that is so out of character, like having an emotional outburst, that you don't get in trouble.
My fault now is making my plays too short.
My first few plays took place in the South and even The Lucky Spot was in the thirties but in Louisiana.
But here's the thing: what you do as a screenwriter is you sell your copyright. As a novelist, as a poet, as a playwright, you maintain your copyright.
It's called Sisters of the Winter Madrigal. It was interesting for me to see it done after so many years; because I wrote it and I didn't realize what a rage I was in.
Plays are so much more special if they've never ever had a production, but I think you can really work on a play and make it better with each production.
Somehow I got to be one of five or six actors that the directors would use as guinea pigs at this directing colloquium, where people pay to listen to and watch the directors direct.
The impetus behind going to graduate school was a year after graduating from college spent in Dallas working at the dog food factory and Bank America and not having met success in my chosen field, which at that point was being an actress.
The next thing I wrote was in a writing class at night school. It was about a poor woman who worked at a dime store and who was all alone for Christmas in Laurel, Mississippi.
What I loved about the acting class was that you got to think all day long about a person that wasn't you, and figure out why they were sad and what they wanted, what they dreamed.
I did write a couple of original screenplays, but I'd rather write plays.
I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, really in suburbia, so my mother was in community theatre plays.
I just loved being divorced from my own wretchedness.
I love writing for the screen.
I tried to start a theatre in LA and failed miserably, but I was probably not meant to raise money.
I was just restless with being in school; so I went out to Los Angeles.