We’ve all be there. Starting out on our writing journey. Eyeing the careers of “more established” artists. When we read interviews we find ourselves seeking for jewels of wisdom to answer the question “How do I get ‘there’?” The 50 Playwright’s Project, an online resource showcasing with work of Latin@/x artists and allies, has been helpful resource for me as a playwright of color trying to get “there”. Each playwright featured on the website shares their own journey, but the one thing that binds them is that they all do the work. So, here are 31 quotes that will inspire you to get off your butt and put in work for your writing!
- “Artists MUST be more than just artists. Having a basic understanding of show business goes a long way toward maintaining a healthy and consistent career.”-Marco Antonio Rodríguez
- “Go to the theater – eat, drink and pray theater. You will soon discover if theater is your true creative calling.”-Gregg Barrios
- “Stop selling yourself short.”–Luis Alfaro
- “Don’t do it for the recognition. That will come and pass. Do it to tell the stories. Whatever you are saying is a beautiful piece of what the world needs to hear. Think about it. You are the only you and you are uniquely made. “-Jelisa Jay Robinson
- “Learn to be open to the world, and listen to who you are becoming. You’ve picked the hardest profession in the world…so find the joy of the craft and the connection to the community.”-Karen Zacarías
- “Write and submit. You’ll get 50 rejections, but when that one hits, it’ll be all you need.”-Guadalís Del Carmen
- “Don’t worry about other people, and don’t compare yourself.”-Bernardo Cubría
- “When you work hard on your craft, you will find others who do too, and you will have a blast together.”-Elaine Avila
- “Take time to get to know everyone who works with you. It’s important to learn to love people.”–Maria Alexandria Beech
- “Keep on writing even if you only get a couple of good sentences in a day.”- Miryam Madrigal
- “It can take 10 years of hard work before you see any traction in your career. I heard that from another playwright early on and it was so helpful—don’t think you’re failing at this if you don’t see immediate success. It takes time. Use those 10 years to hone your writing, to build networks of peers, and develop relationships with people who want to work with you.”- Marisela Treviño Orta
- “Find out what is missing and what you can do to fill the void.”- Chema Pineda-Fernández
- “Be brave on the page”-Anne García-Romero
- “Listen to them when they say, “But would she do that?” They are deep in the character’s skin.”– Diana Burbano
- “Write with heart first. Then look it over again with your mind. Look to close friends and colleagues to look at your work—ask them for what they “see” in your work, not what they don’t see. Avoid listening to feedback that starts with, “It would’ve been better if…”—that’s the worst kind of dramaturgy.”-Tlaloc Rivas
- “So, playwright to be, hone other skills, develop a parallel track career which you find fulfilling, find homies who got your financial back and be ready to wipe asses and scoop up dog poop.”-Ricardo Bracho
- “Create your own path. Do everything within your power to align yourself with theater artists you respect, and produce work together in reciprocity and unconditional love. Don’t long for the audiences to love you – go out there and love them.”-Magdalena Gómez
- “Keep writing and read as much as you can, attend as much theater as you can, support local Latino theater companies.”-Carlos Morton
- “Throw yourself into every opportunity to collaborate (or intern) with whom you admire the most!”-Amparo Garcia-Crow
- “There will be ups and downs in this writing life. It’s all about persistence, and riding the currents.”–Caridad Svich
- “Make Art. But above all, make friends.”-Wilfredo Ramos Jr.
- “You have to be an addict. You have to be obsessed. You have to be driven to the point of almost insanity. At least at the beginning. I have been told by my elders that it gets easier down the road.”–Beto O’Byrne
- “Keep rewriting and keep meeting deadlines! When you meet a deadline you are already a winner because your word is in integrity with your dreams.”-Josefina López
- “It’s not about money or fame, but about finding and sharing your voice that is unique and a necessary piece of the fabric of humanity.”-Migdalia Cruz
- “Be generous. Support fellow playwrights especially when you’re successful. We’re playing on an uneven playing field, we’re all working hard and most of the time, its plain luck that got our work noticed. Know that and help a fellow writer whenever you can.”- Carmen Pelaez
- “So, whatever you have to do to put food on the table for however long you may have to do it, remember this: no experience is wasted on a storyteller. “-Mercedes Floresislas
- “Do the work and have fun doing it. “-Virginia Grise
- “Having “muses” enables me to listen to the characters without forcing “punch lines” or other quirks. It also enables me to feel like the “Taylor Swift of Playwriting”…exes will become villains…watch out!”-Emilio Rodriguez
- “It’s easier said than done, but more than half the struggle is putting the pencil to the paper and trusting. If trust is too hard right now, know that page is the one place where you can always go back and use your eraser.”–Krysta Gonzales
- “Your play matters as much as any play written by those playwrights we consider as great. Don’t let anyone tell you different. “-Alvaro Saar Rios
- “You have a story, and it doesn’t need to wait. Even if you don’t initially intend to share it, just start writing. “-Josh Inocéncio
What advice would you add to the list?
Be sure to check out 50 Playwrights Project, it’s changing the game by creating a space for Latin@ artists and allies to shine!
*All photos came from 50 Playwrights Project site.