Q. Do you know who I am?
A. I have a very good idea, yes.
Q. Then why have you summoned me?
A. Time for a tune-up. Missed last Tuesday, just needing to operate more effectively.
A. You heard me.
Q. Is there something about the way you’ve been operating that is particularly ineffective?
A. Well – maybe not about my own modus operandi. But about my work, which in essence is the product of my operational procedures. Take my piece in question: Eden in Babylon. The script, while effective in many places, is extremely ineffective in certain spots — as has recently been revealed to me.
Q. Revealed to you? You mean, supernaturally?
A. No – not supernaturally. This particular revelation was imparted on the part of earthlings. But these were no mere mortals who conveyed the information. I’m talking about a panel of MFA playwrights. People who are definitely “in the know” when it comes to such concerns.
Q. A panel? You don’t say?
A. I do say!
Q. And when did you appear before this panel?
A. On Thursday night, which was the scheduled reading and critique of Eden in Babylon here at the local One World Cafe.
Q. The scheduled critique involved a panel?
A. As it happened, yes.
Q. Can you clarify this, please?
A. I’ll do my best. You see, it turned out that not many Actors were answering my advertisement for the upcoming reading. This threw me into a minor despair, which I articulated to one of the Actors, who happens to have an MFA in Playwriting from the local University here.
His response was to round up his own crew of fellow MFA Playwrights — people who critique scripts like mine all the time. I was impressed with their professionalism, with the way that they expressed their observations honestly and eloquently, without emotional attachment one way or the other to my piece.
This helped me to detach myself from emotions that would have interfered with my accepting their observations reasonably. As a result, I gained very much from what they had to offer, and I am wholeheartedly going about making the script more effective than it was before.
Q. Really? How so?
A. You don’t expect me to answer that, do you?
Q. Why not?
A. I’ll give away the story.
Q. But what about all of us who are so eager to hear this story?
A. Then all of you are just going to have to make it possible for me to tell it now, aren’t you?
Q. Whatever are you talking about?
A. You know what I’m talking about! Daylight’s burning. We’ve got a show to produce.
A. Kick it down, clown. We don’t have all night.
The Questioner, presumably, is silent.
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