I’m thoroughly enjoying the biography of Wendy Wasserstein written by Julie Salamon. I’ve always felt a special connection because we were in the same Theatre 145 class at Mount Holyoke College in 1967. Also, we shared a mutual friend in Aimee Garn who is quoted throughout the book.
I’m just halfway through the 460+ page volume but had to immediately blog about the paragraph I just read.
Unlike many artists, who claim they don’t read their reviews, Wendy studied the criticism of Isn’t It Romantic–so much so that every time she sat down to write, she heard Walter Kerr say, “You aren’t really a playwright.” Finally Chris Durang told her, “You have to open the window, push Walter Kerr out, and close the window.”
In coaching I tell my clients to invite their gremlins to sweep up the room next door, leave the premises or in some other way occupy themselves so that you can do the work you were put on this earth to do.
I’m reminded of a quote I heard years ago from a member of the Clinton administration:
The higher up the mountain you go, the harder the wind blows.
Wendy heard Walter Kerr’s voice. We underlings may hear our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers or a high school social studies teacher who once said to me, “You’re not Mount Holyoke material.” Hah!