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A recipe for lethargy

Updated: May 2, 2023

Author Tom Moran fatbiking through the snowy woods
The author engaged in COVID-safe activities.

Well, it's been a year. No, literally, it's been a year (and then some) since I wrote anything in this blog. Have things happened since then? Yes! Has my career suddenly, belatedly and inexplicably taken off? No! In fact, the era of COVID has been one of the least productive of my playwriting career. It sounds like that form of lethargy has been the case for a lot of creative types, while others have seized the opportunity to churn out tons of content.

Without attempting to justify, excuse or rationalize anything, I don't think this pandemic was ever going to jolt me into productivity. That's because it didn't change all that much about my life: I live in the hinterlands, am somewhat antisocial, and most of my leisure activities involve being alone and outdoors (see picture) and thus continued unabated. In other words, my free time remained fairly constant and so did my chief distractions (i.e. Netflix, books, housework, shiny objects), while I lost most of the external stimuli that can help inspire creative works. Hence the title of this post.

All that being said, there have been some fun developments over the past year:

First, I had three virtual productions of my work, including one of a play I specifically wrote for Zoom. One of them was done in Glasgow, Scotland, which makes it an international production, I don't care if it took place in cyberspace.

Second, I had my first non U.S./Europe show, a production of "WYWH" by the Bangkok Actor's Theater. This one was notable because they found it through NPX (I knew something on there would have to get produced eventually) and because they asked me to make major changes to it since Asia has such a sex trafficking problem and the play is about an (innocent!) online relationship between a 15- and a 22-year-old. I was happy to switch a few things around if it meant getting a show up on a whole 'nother continent.

Third, my short play Nemeses had a reading at the Valdez Theatre Conference, which was held in person in '21 after getting canned in '20. The event was hybrid in nature and included more Zoom elements than I would have liked (the ideal number being zero!) but it was close enough to the real thing to make for a wonderful week. Probably the highlight for me was writing part 4 of a 5-part serial play as part of the Fringe Festival. The Fringe adopted a new serial format this year to account for the (expected) shallow acting pool this time around. Turned out there were a kajillion actors, but it was still fun working within the restraints of the serial play and turning in an installment that I thought was pretty damn hilarious, as did many in attendance.

Fourth, I wrote another play with my brother. More on that later, as it'll give me an excuse to write another one of these in less than 14 months.

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